The Minnesota Twins and Texas Rangers meet for the second of a four-game series on Friday night in Arlington. Minnesota jumped on the Rangers in the opener, as they recorded a 13-6 win in a convincing affair in Texas. The Twins are in a heated race with the Cleveland Indians for top honors in the AL Central. They have been going back and forth recently, with the Twins going into the weekend with a half game lead on the Indians.
The Indians were able to keep pace with the Twins thanks to a 19-5 beatdown of the Yankees. Minnesota got zero help from the Yankees when they needed them to perform. The Indians aren’t going to have it easy over the next few days, though.
They shouldn’t expect the Yankees to lay down and play dead after getting embarrassed. I will say that this is far more exciting than what happened in the AL Central a season ago. Cleveland ran away with the division leaving no doubts regarding who was winning at this point in 2018. Cleveland have company this season and it’s truly going to be a coin flip in September.
The Indians were the favorites going into the season and might be the right side now. After clawing back out of a hole in the NL Central and then acquiring Yasiel Puig, the Indians are likelier the safer pick. However, I don’t think the Twins are going to be going anywhere.
Their offense can strike quickly and have been the more consistent unit in that regard. We’ll see if they can keep the hot stroke tonight against Mike Minor, who has been sizzling hot recently. The Twins will counter with Jake Odorizzi. Head below for our free Twins vs. Rangers pick.
Minnesota Twins vs. Texas Rangers Pick:
Betting odds provided by bovada.lv
Mike Minor voiced his displeasure before the trade deadline about not wanting to be traded. He as pretty vocal about it and didn’t care for moving again after joining the Rangers last season. The Rangers ended up hanging onto Minor despite the possibility of getting something worthwhile in return for him. He’s rewarded his team with quality pitching throughout the season. Minor goes into Friday with a rock solid ERA of 2.90 and 1.17 WHIP. He is on pace for his best season as a starting pitcher.
His career-high currently is a 2.55 ERA with the Royals in 2017, but that was 65 appearances out of the bullpen. Minor didn’t get a start that season despite his elite pitching as a reliever. The Rangers made him a starter again in Arlington and are reaping the benefits in 2019. Minor was in a downslope before turning it back around recently. He had allowed at least 4 earned runs in four straight games, having allowed 5 against the Mariners to end July.
Minor hasn’t allowed a run since that game, as he pitched 14 straight innings of scoreless baseball against the Indians and Brewers. A strong performance in three straight games is going to be tricky with the Twins on tap. The Twins are 3rd in the major leagues with 5.72 runs scored per game. They’ve been better on the road, with over 6 runs scored per game. Minnesota are 37-22 on the road, which is one of the best road records in the majors.
Odorizzi has been hot as well recently. Even hotter than Minor statistically, as he enters Friday with an ERA of 1.04 in his last three outings. He’s allowed 10 runs in 84 at-bats against the Rangers, while Minor has surrendered 14 runs in 85 at-bats against the Twins. This is likely going to be a closer game than last night, but the winning team is shaping up to be the same. The Twins look like the right side on Friday night in Arlington.