The Detroit Tigers and Minnesota Twins meet in a battle between American League Central foes. With the division well out of reach, the Tigers and Twins aren’t playing for much. The Indians have run away with it, in a year that a record below .500 probably would have won the AL Central. The Tribe are 69-51 and the next closest, the Twins, are 56-63.
So, even though the Indians are feeling comfortable at 69-51, a record below .500 may have resulted in the same thing. This has been the case since back in May, where no one else was able to compete with the Indians. Cleveland weren’t even playing good baseball at the time, yet they still held a decent lead over the Twins and Tigers.
It’s been a disappointing year for the Twins, who failed to build off their appearance as a wildcard in the play-in game against the Yankees a year ago. The Yanks didn’t end up winning anything either, but they at least went on to give themselves a chance. It isn’t like the Twins didn’t acquire any talent to help out in the offseason either.
They went out and found Lance Lynn, who had been stellar for years in his career with the Cardinals. The Twins also looked for some depth and nabbed Jake Odorizzi. Lynn was the main misfire for the Twins, as he never developed in Minnesota and was sent to the Bronx in a recent trade. Couple that with the fact Ervin Santana has been on the shelf for the majority of the year. In any event, Santana hasn’t looked like his former self when on the mound in 2018. He’s made four starts since coming off the DL and none were worth remembering. Santana will get the call tonight, while the Tigers send fellow veteran, Francisco Liriano, to the bump. Get our free Tigers vs. Twins pick below.
Detroit Tigers vs. Minnesota Twins Pick
Francisco Liriano (3-7, 4.42 ERA) vs. Ervin Santana (0-1, 6.53 ERA)
The Twins get a do-over against the Tigers after they dropped two of three against them last week. Ervin Santana made a start in that series and it didn’t go swimmingly for the veteran. He allowed 5 runs in just 6 innings of work for the Twins. Santana has yet to impress since coming back. He’s made just four starts in 2018 and is searching for a sharp outing tonight.
Santana enters with a 6.53 ERA and .348 OBA. He has struggled against several guys in this lineup, including Castellanos and Victor Martinez. Castellanos is hitting .368 in 19 at-bats, while Martinez is hitting .349 with 4 long balls in 43 at-bats. Overall, the Tigers are hitting .284 with 7 homers and a .357 OBP in 148 at-bats. The Tigers do not have some menacing lineup, but they’ve been able to get to Santana. Detroit have also been hitting lefties better at an average of .258 vs .231.
Liriano has been lucky to get out of numerous jams lately. While his ERA is decent at 3.68 in his last three contests, he’s also had to navigate through some tricky innings. Liriano posted a 1.70 WHIP and .380 OBA. That usually results in more than 5 runs scored across 12 innings. In his last start, which came against the Twins, he allowed 6 hits and 4 walks in only 5 innings. The Twins managed to score just 3 runs out of it, though. They could have blown things open, but instead took a 4-3 loss. I don’t expect Liriano to get as lucky here. The Tigers’ bullpen is 21st in the majors, sporting a 4.42 ERA, while the Twins are worse in 24th with an ERA of 4.63. Runs should be anticipated on the board Thursday night in Minnesota between the Tigers and Twins.