The Minnesota Twins keep pulling away from the rest of the AL Central. They lead the division by 4.5 games at 62-58, but they just can’t seem to beat the 53-65 Detroit Tigers who lead the season series 7-4. Now, they’ll play a two-game set in Minnesota starting tonight.
For Game 1 the Tigers will send 2-4 Alex Faedo to the mound to make his ninth start of the season. He comes in with a 5.80 ERA and will be opposed by Bailey Ober who is 6-6 with a 3.40 ERA.
The Tigers may lead the season series, but the Twins are big favorites at home tonight.
Tigers vs. Twins odds, run line and total
Tigers vs. Twins prediction and pick
Bailey Ober had a great first half of the year for Minnesota, but things are starting to fall apart for him. His Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) is up to 3.78 and it’s been higher than his ERA nearly all season. This has been a long time coming for the young right hander.
Last time out, Ober gave up 11 hits and four earned runs over five innings in the loss at Detroit. Faedo was his counterpart in that one and wasn’t much better, going 4.2 innings and allowing three runs.
Ober’s xERA is 3.76 and while he has a great walk rate and an above average strikeout rate, his expected slugging is .419 which is 34th percentile. That explains the seven home runs he’s allowed in his last five starts. However, with a great walk rate against a bad offense, I think Ober can limit the damage if he gives up extra base hits today.
Faedo is much worse with a 13th percentile xSLG and an xERA of 4.47, so even though the Tigers won 9-5 in this very matchup last week, I like the Twins to flip the script in this one. The Twins have scored the seventh most runs in baseball over the past 30 days and in that same stretch the Tigers have an OPS under .700.
Detroit has had Minnesota’s number this year, but I’m just going to bet on the better team with the better pitcher.
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