Pirates vs. Twins prediction and odds for Friday, Aug. 18 (Target total)

Pablo Lopez has been on a roll of late, how should that factor into our bets for Friday's matchup against the Pirates.
Jul 25, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Pablo Lopez (49) throws
Jul 25, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Pablo Lopez (49) throws / Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
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The Minnesota Twins are starting to see the results of what the it was hoping for when it traded for Pablo Lopez in the offseason.

Lopez made the All-Star Game this season and has been even better since, pitching to a 2.95 ERA in six starts as the Twins look to secure the AL Central crown this season. The team hosts the Pittsburgh Pirates to start a weekend series in hopes of pushing further ahead of the division.

However, the questions are still there for the offense, can the team take advantage of Pirates opener Andre Jackson? Let's dive into this matchup and give out a best bet:

Pirates vs. Twins odds, run line and total

Pirates vs. Twins prediction and pick

We'll start with Lopez, who should be able to keep his run of outstanding starts against the Pirates. Lopez has allowed two earned runs over his last three starts, spanning 19 innings and will face a Pittsburgh team that is 28th in batting average over the last 30 days, per MLB.com.

However, I believe the Pirates offense can keep a lid on this Twins offense. Jackson has a ton of power on the mound, and should be able to generate swing and misses against a Twins lineup that has a 26% strikeout rate this season, the highest in the big leagues.

Jackson will only pass through the order about once before being pulled, but I believe that the Twins inefficient hitting (.239 on the year) will slow the team down and make this more of a low scoring affiar.

We can trust Lopez to hold Pittsburgh to below two runs, but I believe the Pirates pitching staff can keep runs to a minimum as well and this game lands under the total.

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.