The Detroit Tigers meet with a divisional foe in Minnesota this weekend, as the Twins host them for a three-game series. Following this series, they head to Chicago for three games against the White Sox, and then go to Detroit next weekend for another series against the Tigers.
Those are three winnable series for the Twins that they must take advantage of. This is a nice spot for the Twins who can put some more separation between them and the Indians in the AL Central. Heading into Friday, the Twins own a 3.5-game lead over the Indians.
After putting in a lot of work to overcome a sizable deficit, the Indians have slowly been fading back again. That said, the Tribe can still play October baseball with a win in the Wild Card Game. However, they are now trialing by half a game following three losses against the Mets at Citi Field. Cleveland have a much easier outlook this weekend against the Royals at Progressive Field. If the Indians do nothing in that series, the Twins are going to begin to smell blood in the water.
This is after the Twins didn’t have a nice series, either. They were able to avoid a sweep in Chicago, though, as the White Sox beat them in two of three games. The Twins are winners in six of their last nine games, so the lackluster trip to Chicago didn’t bother them too much.
They will enter Friday with a record of 77-50. Whereas the Tigers go in with a league worst record of 38-87. They are well on pace for the first overall pick in the draft. Matthew Boyd was originally scheduled for this start, but Drew VerHagen is getting the call against Jose Berrios on Friday night. Head below for our free Tigers vs. Twins pick.
Detroit Tigers vs. Minnesota Twins Pick:
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The Twins dodge a small bullet by not having to deal with Matt Boyd on the bump tonight. Boyd is one of the better options that the Tigers have in their awful rotation. Without Michael Fulmer, the Tigers have really had nothing to get excited about from their pitching staff. Drew VerHagen hopes to make an impact on the front office tonight.
It hasn’t gone so well for the 28-year-old in 2019, but he is coming off his best outing of the year against the Rays. VerHagen was sharp out of the bullpen with 3 hits and no runs allowed in 5 innings. He has been a decent arm out of the bullpen for the Tigers in some spots. VerHagen also has a few good outings as a starter, but it clearly hasn’t been enough. Before heading to the bullpen, VerHagen posted a 6.59 ERA and 2.05 WHIP in his previous three starts. The Twins have seen VerHagen in just ten at-bats, but they were productive with 4 hits for a .400 batting average.
The Tigers on the other hand have scored just 4 runs against Berrios in 69 plate appearances. Berrios will be looking for a strong performance tonight after hitting a pothole recently. He enters with an 8.44 ERA and 1.88 WHIP in his last three outings. Having said that, Berrios has allowed less than 4 runs in 14 of his last 15 appearances. A brutal showing against the Braves got him his 8.44 ERA, but it’s largely an outlier. The Twins have to bury inferior opponents when they have the chance and I think they get it tonight against VerHagen and the lowly Tigers.