The Minnesota Twins and Seattle Mariners begin a four-game series on Thursday at T-Mobile Park. The Twins are the unlikely team in the AL Central to be ahead of the Indians. If the Twins hold on to win the division, it’s going to be a mini upset with the favorite Indians losing. It would be nice to see a nice race in the AL Central after what happened last season.
The AL Central was the least competitive division, as everyone struggled expect the Indians. They ran away with the championship by the end of May. It clearly didn’t help them win much more than that, though.
While the Twins brought in additional talent, the Indians sat and checked their hand. Now Corey Kluber is dealing with a fractured arm and isn’t coming back soon. He wasn’t pitching up to his standards before the injury either, but the Indians were waiting patiently on a turnaround for Kluber. Not so fast, as he’s out and there is no timetable for his return.
In other words, this leaves a nice opportunity for the Twins to take advantage of the situation. Minnesota enter Seattle with a record of 27-15. Conversely, the Mariners have struggled to keep up no matter where they are playing. This is a team who had something nice going on earlier. Erik Swanson is expected to play for the Mariners, while Michael Pineda is scheduled to pitch for Twins. He may be the guy who holds them back. Head below for our free Twins vs. Mariners pick.
Minnesota Twins vs. Seattle Mariners Pick:
Betting odds provided by bovada.lv
This was supposed to be the year that changed Michael Pineda. After so many injuries and downtime, it’s been hard for Pineda to pitch like it’s a decade ago. He actually didn’t too bad to open the season, but that has changed drastically. Pineda has been slipping fast with an overall ERA of 5.85. For a guy with an extensive injury history looking for a change of scenery in Minnesota, it just hasn’t worked out well thus far.
In his previous three starts, Pineda has gotten rocked for a 6.19 ERA and 1.56 WHIP. Now he must deal with a top-5 offense who have averaged 5.33 runs per game this season. It’s certainly worth noting that his opponents are hitting .333 against Pineda in 54 at-bats. They should be able to get a good offensive day in on Thursday vs Pineda.
There are no guarantees about Erik Swanson, though. He is likely going to run into some issues on the bump in this contest. Swanson goes into this one with an ERA of 6.35. In his previous three outings, that number balloons into a 7.98 ERA and 1.50 WHIP. The 25-year-old has shown some promising moments, but still has been erratic for the most part. I’d look at the OVER here late on Thursday night which should prove to get into the double digits in Seattle.