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Thursday MLB Betting Odds, Picks, Predictions for Twins vs. Tigers: Expect Offensive Fireworks for Hitters Against Shaky Bullpens

Thursday MLB Betting Odds, Picks, Predictions for Twins vs. Tigers: Expect Offensive Fireworks for Hitters Against Shaky Bullpens article feature image
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Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images. Pictured: Spencer Torkelson #20 of the Detroit Tigers.

  • The Tigers host the Twins in Thursday's matinee.
  • Neither starter is elite and both bullpens have their weak spots, so our analyst is targeting the total.
  • D.J. James breaks down his best bet below.

Twins vs. Tigers Odds

Twins Odds -125
Tigers Odds +105
Over/Under 8 (-115 / -105)
Time 1:10 p.m. ET
TV MLB.TV
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

Alex Faedo and the Detroit Tigers will host Chris Archer and the Minnesota Twins on Thursday afternoon in the series finale. Detroit has been abysmal against right-handed pitching in May with a 72 wRC+, but Chris Archer has been lucky with a 4.19 ERA versus a 5.30 xERA. Alex Faedo has been the same way for the Tigers as he owns a 3.00 ERA against a 5.79 xERA. The Twins, however, have a 117+ wRC+ off of righties since May 1, so it is a bit of a different story.

Both of these bullpens have been in the top half of the league in xFIP since May 1, but they have their weak spots — especially if the opponent gets deep into the bullpen after attacking  weak starting pitchers.

Taking the over in this matchup is the correct play, even if starters typically get a rest before flying that night.

Minnesota Twins

Chris Archer is not the same pitcher he once was. His walk rate is over 10% and his strikeout rate is a shade under 19%. Pair that with a Hard-Hit rate of 41.7%, a WHIP of 1.43 and he is not a strong starting pitcher.

The Tigers are plagued with injuries. Víctor Reyes, Robbie Grossman, Jake Rogers and Austin Meadows are all on the Injured List. No one in the lineup jumps off the lineup card, but they still have seven hitters with over a .320 xwOBA off of righties this season. This number should be better against Archer, whose xwOBA is .388 this season.

The Minnesota bullpen is top-heavy. The Twins have seven arms with a sub-3.50 xFIP since the beginning of May, but they have eight over that mark. This is not necessarily bad, but there is volatility. If Archer exits early, that is crucial for the over to hit in this game, particularly if the Tigers contribute some to that total.

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Detroit Tigers

Faedo is similar to Archer, but worse. Even if Faedo looks good with a 3.00 ERA, his xSLG against is .552. That is absolutely horrid coming into a game facing the Twins’ offense. Similar to the Tigers, the Twins have some key contributors on the IL in Miguel Sanó, Royce Lewis, Carlos Correa and Gilberto Celestino.

Minnesota has eight members on the roster with a xwOBA mark over .320 this season. Considering Faedo owns a .388 xwOBA against a .320 wOBA, he is bound for negative regression. He is also allowing an Average Exit Velocity of 91.1 MPH. The Twins rank second, only behind the Yankees, in Average Exit Velocity at 90.3 MPH. They should be in good shape to get to the Detroit bullpen early, as well.

Like the Twins, the Tigers have their sore spots in the bullpen. Wily Peralta, Gregory Soto and Michael Fulmer should be encouraging relief options for manager A.J. Hinch, but they all own at least a 4.50 xFIP since May 1. This means the back-end of the bullpen is a little up in the air. The Twins should take advantage of this, as well as the general wear and tear of the Tigers’ bullpen, at the end of the series.

Twins-Tigers Pick

Archer and Faedo are both weak pitchers who have overachieved this season. They will negatively regress in this game and put further strain on the two bullpens. Since each team has some weak spots in the relief corps, taking the over is the right call. The Tigers have struggled since the beginning of May, but they have enough to take on Archer.

Grab the over at 8 (-115) and play it to 9 (-110), even if both of these teams have their fair share of injuries.

Pick: Over 8 (-115 | Play to 9 at -110)

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