Monday MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: Twins vs. Tigers Betting Preview
Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images. Pictured: Byron Buxton.
- The Tigers face the Twins on Monday for a one-off game at Target Field.
- The teams are two of the worst in the American League, but the Tigers have been playing well and may make a playoff push next year as they build around a young nucleus.
- BJ Cunningham explains below, however, why he thinks it's the Twins that will come out strong early in Monday's meeting.
Twins vs. Tigers Odds
|Time||2:10 p.m. ET|
Two of the worst teams in the AL square off on Monday afternoon in a game designed for bettors as the Twins take on the Tigers.
The Twins are well out of the playoff picture, and their starting rotation and bullpen have been abysmal this season. However, their offense has been above average, and they’ll need it to be clicking on all cylinders Monday if they are going to hit Casey Mize.
The Tigers have been improving over the second half of the season and are creeping back towards .500. Detroit is a young team in rebuilding mode, so while 2021 has not been their year, the Tigers will be a team to look out for over the next five years. One of those key pieces will take the mound this afternoon to try and end their two game skid.
The Twins became sellers at the trade deadline and dealt one of their best hitters in Nelson Cruz to the Rays. With Cruz out of the lineup, the Twins offense has been average since the trade deadline, putting up a .315 wOBA and 99 wRC+.
Minnesota is top 10 against right-handed pitching with a .325 wOBA, but they’ll have a difficult matchup against Casey Mize because they have negative run values over the past month against his top three pitches of slider, fastball and slider.
Detroit has been struggling offensively all season long, as they are 23rd in wOBA and have the third highest K% in baseball. They also have been really bad versus right-handed pitching, as they only have 88 wRC+.
Detroit’s offense doesn’t really have the firepower at the moment to compete with some of the best teams in the American League, as Robbie Grossman is the only hitter with a wOBA over .340.
The matchup against Bailey Ober isn’t going to be a great one because he is a fastball-heavy pitcher, and the Tigers have a -9.7 run value against fastballs over the past 30 days.
Starting Pitching Matchup
Bailey Ober vs. Casey Mize
2021 Stats (via Fangraphs)
Twins Starting Pitcher
Bailey Ober, RHP
Pitch Arsenal (via Baseball Savant)
Bailey Ober has been thrusted into the Twins starting rotation and hasn’t pitched horribly, putting up a 4.50 xERA and 3.99 xFIP. He’s got good control, as his K/9 rate is almost 10 and has a BB/9 rate below 2.5. His biggest problem is giving up the long ball, because his HR/9 rate is all the way up at 1.83. However, Detroit is in the bottom 10 in home runs, ISO and slugging percentage against right-handed pitching.
Ober is a fastball-heavy pitcher, as he goes to it almost 60% of the time. He’s been pretty effective with it, as its allowing a .225 expected batting average and .296 wOBA. However, the rest of his offspeed pitches have not been effective, as they are all allowing a wOBA over .360. But, if he sticks to his fastball he should have success since Detroit has been struggling against them over the past month.
Tigers Starting Pitcher
Casey Mize, RHP
Pitch Arsenal (via Baseball Savant)
Casey Mize is a big-time negative regression candidate, as his ERA is currently sitting at 3.55, but his expected ERA is all the way up at 5.02. The reason for that is because his hard hit % allowed is at 40.2%, which ranks in the 39th percentile of qualified starting pitchers.
Mize made a change this season and added a slider to his arsenal. He must love it too, because he throws it more than any other pitch he has. It’s also been one of his most effective, allowing a .170 batting average. However, his fastball and sinker have both been terrible, allowing over a .360 wOBA. The only pitch the Twins have had success against this season is fastballs, as they rank fourth in baseball with a +48.4 run value. So, Mize may want to stay away from his fastball this afternoon.
The later innings will be a matchup against two of the worst bullpens in the American League. Both the Twins and Tigers are in the bottom half of baseball in ERA, xFIP, HR/9 rate, and LOB%, so this one will not be over until the final out is made.
I think the difference in this matchup is going to come at the plate. The Twins are significantly better against right-handed pitching than the Tigers. Also, Ober does have a better matchup and expected ERA than Mize.
Given the predictability with the Twins bullpen, I am going to back Minnesota for the First Five Innings at -124 and would play it up to -140.
Pick: Twins First Five Innings (-124)