Well, it seems the only thing that can slow us down this month has been the weather. We had our game rained out yesterday in Chicago as the White Sox were to host the Oakland Athletics. They will make up that game today as part of a night and day double-header. This was our second game that was rained out so far this week. Today we will hope for better weather as we will look at the game between the Minnesota Twins and the Texas Rangers.
The Texas Rangers will travel to Minnesota Friday for game one of a three-game series with the Twins. The Rangers are flying high as they have won five straight games and are coming off two straight series wins. The Twins are in a similar position as they have won their last two series, against some stout competition in the Boston Red Sox and the Cleveland Indians, both teams that if the season ended today would make the playoffs. Things are looking up for both squads as they matchup for game one tonight.
Starting tonight for the Rangers will be Mike Minor (4-4 5.35 ERA), and for the Twins, it is rookie Fernando Romero (3-2 4.17 ERA). This game is basically an even pick ‘em as the Rangers are slight -106 road favorites. The game total over-under is set at nine runs. First pitch is scheduled for 5:10 PM PST from Target Field in Minneapolis.
I don’t think either of these teams are going to make the playoffs this year. Both teams are double-digit games back in the American League wild-card race, and neither team has much of a real shot to win their division. But, that being said, both of these teams are still playing hard right now. The Rangers have taken advantage of a soft spot in the schedule to win five straight games. And boy did they need to stop the bleeding as they had lost seven straight games before this nice little run.
As for the Twins, they surprised just about everyone last season by making the playoffs and hopes were high for a repeat trip this season, but that just hasn’t panned out for Minnesota. They have dealt with a bunch of injuries and not having Miguel Sano producing like he did last season has really hurt them. Sano was key to the Twins success last year as he blasted twenty-seven home runs.
This year he was barely hitting .200 before he was recently sent to the minors to try and regroup. The Twins have managed to scrape together a couple of series wins recently, and with the trade deadline looming, they need to win now, or they are at risk of management selling off their best pieces to the highest bidder.
Starting tonight for Minnesota is rookie Fernando Romero. If you haven’t seen this guy pitch, he is something special. He is still very young at just twenty-three years of age, so there have been some growing pains, but boy does this guy have some great stuff. He has an A+ fastball that regularly clocks in at 95 MPH or above. He started out his career absolutely lights out as through his first five starts, he had a 1.88 ERA with more strikeouts than innings pitched.
He felt some of those growing pains in his sixth start when he failed to make it out of the second inning while getting blasted for eight runs. Since then, he has settled right back down and has been solid in his last three starts. He hasn’t gotten particularly deep in games recently, averaging just five innings a start over his last three games, and his strikeout numbers have faded some as well. But the Twins have won all three of those games, and that is what matters right now for Minnesota. This kid’s stuff is too good for him not to eventually pick up those elite strikeout numbers again, so I see big things in his future.
Mike Minor has been better recently for the Rangers. In his last two starts, he threw two quality starts and has had an ERA of about three and a half runs. That is a big improvement over what he did in May where he went 2-3 with an ERA of almost seven runs. Minor has never really been a shutdown guy for the Rangers, and he is continuing that trend this year. The guy isn’t terrible, but he is very rarely going to go out and win his team a game. The Rangers have lost five out of his last seven starts.
If you read my daily picks a lot, you know that I love to bet underdogs. Especially home underdogs. There is just so much intrinsic value of betting on a home team, that when given the opportunity to bet on a home dog, I generally jump all over it. Now this line is a very tight one, so its not offering too much dog money, but I still feel the home team is the side to be on.
The Twins, despite their struggles and overall losing record, have been a solid home team this year. They have a winning record at Target Field, and I will look for that to continue tonight. While the Rangers have played well this week, they are still a bad team. They are twelve games below .500 and are completely out of the playoff race, so as we hit the dog days of summer a consistent effort is going to be hard to find for Texas. So, I’ll take the great price and back the home team tonight in this one. Give me the Minnesota Twins at -104 tonight in game one!