A new week brings higher stakes for the Minnesota Twins in their quest for the AL Central. Having said that, they are feeling pretty comfortable with a nice lead over the Indians. The Twins go into Monday with a 4.5-game, as we head into the final two weeks of the regular season. Their AL Central foes, the Cleveland Indians, are just trying to find a wildcard to get into the play-in-game. It’s a tricky spot to be in for the Indians.
They’re 1.5 games behind the Rays and things aren’t looking so hot for them. Cleveland are coming off two of three losses against the Twins. They avoided a sweep on Sunday with a 7-5 win, but it doesn’t put much of a dent in the Twins’ lead. The Indians needed that series and they came up short. The Twins would have to perform a nice choke job to blow this lead in the AL Central.
It would also have to involve the Indians getting hot, which they’ve had trouble doing. The Reds traded for Yasiel Puig and go nowhere, having to end up finding a team who wanted to trade for him. He landed in Cleveland and the Indians aren’t going anywhere, either. I don’t think it’s a reflection of Puig, but his contract probably isn’t worth the hassle. The Dodgers are doing just fine without Puig in their lineup.
The White Sox haven’t been playing well and suffered a wild 11-10 loss against the Mariners in Seattle. That made it two out of three wins for the Mariners and a record of 1-4 in their previous five games. The White Sox enter with a record of 65-84 on the season. It isn’t much to be ecstatic about, but they may not be far off from being a spoiler in the AL Central.
Don’t expect a divisional championship, though they could at least be a team worth keeping an eye on. That’s going to have to come with better pitching. Reynaldo hasn’t been helping the cause in 2019. He will get the nod against Jose Berrios at Target Field tonight. Head below for our free White Sox vs. Twins pick.
Chicago White Sox vs. Minnesota Twins Pick:
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Reynaldo Lopez was expected to have a breakout campaign in 2019. The front office had high hopes for him after hitting a career-high in his first full season as a starter in 2018. Lopez was above average with an ERA of 3.91 in 32 starts. The idea was that he was going to have a similar season in 2019.
With a full year of experience under his belt, the only place to go was up, or so the White Sox believed in March. Lopez goes into this contest with an ERA of 5.35 and 1.45 WHIP. Things have continued to get worse for him as well. He has posted an 8.16 ERA and 1.47 WHIP in his previous three contests. In two of those three outings, Lopez was slammed for 6 earned runs.
Lopez has surrendered 13 runs in his last 14.1 innings of work. He hasn’t been too hot on the road, with a 5.60 ERA and 1.46 WHIP in 80.1 innings pitched. The Twins have gone deep on Lopez for 6 home runs and 23 runs scored in 97 plate appearences. With homefield advantage in this one, expect the Twins to be able to exploit Lopez in this one. Minnesota are 2nd in the majors with an average of 5.79 runs scored per contest.
Berrios is coming off a dominant performance over the Nationals. He was hot with just 2 hits yielded and no runs allowed. The No. 1 pitcher in the Twins’ rotation had been rather mediocre before that effort, so it was a good way to get back on track. Berrios has generally been hot at home, though. He holds an ERA of 3.32 in 84 innings. With the home crowd behind them, look for the Twins to enjoy a win by at least 2 runs in this one.