Ouch. The blown save bug bit us again last night. We backed the Atlanta Braves at home as home dogs and Atlanta hit the ninth inning with a 2-1 lead. The Braves sent in closer Arodys Vizcaino, and he promptly blew the game, allowing two runs on three hits in the ninth. This is always the toughest way to lose a game. You have the lead late, and it looks like the game is over, only to fall apart at the very last minute. This is the third blown save that has cost us a win in a little over a week. Let’s hope we shake off that run bad today as we look at the game between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Minnesota Twins.
The St. Louis Cardinals are in Minnesota Wednesday for game two of a quick two-game series with the Twins. The Twins took game one last night 4-1, behind a dominant start from Jose Berrios. Berrios pitched seven and a third strong innings, allowing just one run on two hits and striking out ten. The offense was supplied in part by a two-run bomb from Bobby Wilson, and the Twins will look for the sweep today in game two.
Starting today for the Cardinals is Mile Mikolas (5-0 2.51 ERA), and for the Twins, it is Lance Lynn (1-3 7.34 ERA). The Cardinals are small -118 road favorites. The game total over-under is set at nine and a half runs. First pitch is scheduled for 10:10 AM PST from Target Field in Minneapolis.
The Minnesota Twins are finally starting to get their act together after a slow start to the season. They are 9-5 in May and are inching their way back to .500. The good news for the Twins? Nobody in their division, the American League Central, has a winning record. Not even the first place Cleveland Indians at 20-21, are above .500. So, even though the Twins started slow, they are still very much in the mix for the playoffs.
A big reason for those early season struggle has been the performance of the newly acquired Lance Lynn. Lynn was picked up by the Twins in the offseason after spending seven years in a Cardinals uniform. That relationship did not end well as Lynn made a lot of disparaging comments about the Cardinals franchise not being loyal on the way out the door. Well, maybe the Cardinals saw the writing on the wall that Lynn was no longer going to be an effective big-league starter, as his time in Minnesota has gotten off to a terrible start.
Through his first seven starts for the Twins, Lynn is just 1-4 with a sky-high ERA of 7.34. The deepest he has gotten in any start is six innings, and he has gone five innings or fewer in five of his seven games. The big struggle for Lynn has been walks. Lynn has handed out twenty-five free passes in just thirty-four and a third innings this year. It makes it very hard to win games when you are constantly having to deal with baserunners you gifted on to base. Lynn lasted just four and two-thirds of an inning in his last start as he had a stinger in his back and had to be pulled from the game.
The Cardinals will look to Mike Mikolas tonight to split the series. Mikolas has been fantastic this year and has an undefeated 5-0 record and an ERA of just 2.51. In the last month or so he has really stepped up his game as he is going deep into games and has given up no more than two earned runs in any start and one earned run or fewer in four of those five starts. The Cardinals are 5-2 in games in which Mikolas starts.
There is likely to be bad blood on both sides of this game tonight, rare for an interleague matchup. Lance Lynn would love nothing more than to dominate the team that he says threw him away after seven years of loyal work. And the Cardinals would like to get back at him for taking a shot at their very proud franchise. I love when there is some extra motivation in a game, it just makes it that much more exciting.
I have picked up a habit this year of betting against Lance Lynn. The American League has not treated him well, and he has been terrible most of this season. I will continue that trend tonight as I think while he may know this Cardinals roster inside and out, they know him as well, and right now he just doesn’t have his best stuff. Throw in the fact, the Mikolas has been nearly unhittable for his last several starts, and I really like St. Louis in this one.
The money line seems to be a favorable one for us as the Cards are only -118. But when I look at the run line, it is offering a very juicy +140 on St Louis. This feels like a game where the Cardinals should be able to hit Lance Lynn, and even though the Twins are winning games recently, they still aren’t really scoring many runs. So, I feel strongly that this game could end up as an easy Cardinals win. I’ll snatch up all that extra juice and feel like we are certainly on the right side of this one. Give me the St. Louis Cardinals laying a run and a half at +140 today from Minnesota.