Ervin Santana by all accounts has had a nice career. A lot of pitchers fizz out before ten years into their career, but Santana has been a steady option in the majors since 2005. He isn’t elite, yet has carved out a respectable career and helped some teams out. Santana spent eight years with the Angels, before heading off to Kansas City where he helped the Royals out. Santana wasn’t part of the World Series winning group, but he had a decent year in the one he was in Kansas City. In fact, his 3.24 ERA with the Royals was his best season of his career. I think that was just about when he maxed out his career.
Santana hasn’t been able to match it yet, as his ERA continues to degrade negatively. He is still a serviceable option, but not in the same category he used to be. Santana will get a crack at the Athletics on the road today in the west, who are just coming off a win against the Tigers on Sunday.
Kendall Graveman will go opposite Santana this afternoon. Graveman is in his second season as a full-time starter, not doing much to evoke much confidence in his abilities to be a valuable member of the A’s. We do see some late bloomers from time to time, so it isn’t the time to give up on Graveman yet. However, the A’s were hoping that they were going to see something out of him early this season, perhaps a sign he was going to make a jump from a year ago. Thus far, his pitching has been a reflection of the team as a whole, in the toilet I guess you could say.
The Twins have been coming on of late, but it’s not going to be enough to generate much in the way of anything more than a successful stretch of games. The Twins have their problems and should just enjoy their current four game win streak, including a sweep of the Mariners in Seattle. Note the earlier start time due to Memorial Day. Typically on a normal day there aren’t any afternoon Monday games.
Minnesota Twins vs. Oakland Athletics
Ervin Santana (1-3, 4.17 ERA) vs. Kendall Graveman (1-6, 5.36 ERA)
Even with the sweep against the Mariners, a big weekend for the Twins mind you, they are still only 15-34 and the worst team in baseball. The pitching has been anemic at best, with the starting pitching getting hit early, and the floodgates opening up later thanks to a lackluster bullpen. Santana will try and add another consecutive win for the Twins this afternoon. He got hit good in his last outing, allowing 6 runs and 9 hits in only 3.2 innings of work. Santana has posted a 4.58 ERA in his last three starts.
With Graveman on the hill, the Twins might be able to extend their string of success. He has been vulnerable this season and has been easily hittable thus far. Santana might give some solid production for the Twins to stay around, the wildcard is going to be their bullpen which hasn’t helped out in the least bit. Graveman has posted a 4.60 ERA in his last three games, even more startling, is the sky-high OBA of .411. He knows how to put the runners on base. The offense has been playing well, scoring an average of 6.25 runs in their last four games. Both teams are better off against right-handed pitching. It’s going to be a nice day in Oakland, with the offenses having the considerable advantage over the pitching in this game. It lends itself to a play on the OVER at 8.5.
PICK: OVER 8.5 RUNS (-110)