The basement of the American League Central can almost come out and go on vacation. Everyone has been sitting in a cellar deep in the division, while they’ve watched the Cleveland Indians run away with the division. The Twins, Tigers, Royals, and White Sox never stood a chance as it was over within the first two months. By the end of May, it was just about a foregone conclusion that the AL Central was going to belong to the Indians.
That’s not how it was supposed to happen. The Twins came into the season expecting to be a major threat for top honors in the division. Things don’t always work out how they are supposed to, though. Minnesota have to go back to the drawing board in the offseason and look at what went wrong.
No pitching definitely didn’t help anything. Lance Lynn major bust as a Twin. Nothing translated in Minnesota like it did for him in St. Louis. Lynn is currently in the Bronx trying to help the Yankees win a World Series. As the Yankees go into the postseason as a wildcard, Lynn is a wildcard in his own right.
The Tigers said farewell to Comerica for the last time until next Spring over the weekend. They split a four-game series against the Royals, as they play out this three-game series in Minnesota and head to Milwaukee for the season finale. That’s going to be an important series for the Brewers, so the Tigers could either make a lot of people really happy or depressed.
The Twins are going to be using another unique pitching approach in this game. Teams have been getting creative and experimenting late in the year. The Twins will use an opening pitcher and a primary pitcher. Kohl Stewart will not pitch the 1st inning, but will be the primary pitcher for the Twins. I added a * next to his name below to designate him as the primary starter tonight. The Athletics have used this with some success by opening the game with Liam Hendriks. It’s been hit and miss for the Twins, though. Head below for our free Tigers vs. Twins pick.
Detroit Tigers vs. Minnesota Twins Pick
Spencer Turnbull (0-1, 10.80 ERA) vs. Kohl Stewart* (2-1, 4.40 ERA)
Spencer Turnbull is getting some work late in the season as he looks to get a taste of major league hitters. If his first start is any indication, then he has some work to do in the offseason to better adjust himself to better hitters at the plate. Turnbull has made one appearance out of the bullpen and has made a start, which came against the team he’s playing tonight, the Twins.
The Twins took advantage of mistake after mistake, as he got pummeled for 6 hits and 6 runs in 4 innings. It equates to an ERA of 13.50 and 1.75 WHIP. Combined with his relief appearance, Turnbull has a 10.80 ERA heading into tonight.
Kohl Stewart has pitched as the primary pitcher a few times with varying degrees of success this season. He looked good against Astros and Tigers, but also allowed 3 runs in 3 innings against the Yankees. The Tigers looked good against Stewart in August, though, as they knocked him out of the contest in just 2.2 innings with 3 runs allowed. He was wild with 3 hits and 4 walks surrendered. Stewart also pitched against the Tigers a week prior and it was a similar result with 8 hits and 3 runs allowed in 4.1 innings.
The Tigers are hitting .283 with a .400 OBP against Stewart in 46 at-bats. He’s been much worse at home, as he has posted an ERA of 7.59 with a 2.16 WHIP and .463 OBA in Minnesota. If this opener and primary pitching formula doesn’t work out, they will have to rely on a bullpen that is 25th in the majors with an ERA of 4.57. The Tigers aren’t much better, though, with a 4.44 ERA. I’d take a look at the OVER if you’re looking for a baseball wager on Tuesday night.