Twins vs. Rangers prediction and odds for Sunday, Sept. 3 (Maeda Bounce Back)

The Twins have taken five of six from the Rangers over the past two weeks.
Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Kenta Maeda (18)
Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Kenta Maeda (18) / Matt Blewett-USA TODAY Sports

The Texas Rangers have been struggling and falling back in the AL West standings. They’re now in third and the Minnesota Twins are certainly happy to help that process along this weekend. The Twins have taken the first two of this series to get to 71-65 while Texas has fallen to 75-60. Minnesota holds a five game lead in the AL Central.

For the series finale the Twins will send their fifth starter, Kenta Maeda to the mound to make his 16th start, this time against Jon Gray. Maeda is 3-7 with a 4.69 ERA while Gray is 8-7 in his 24 starts with a 3.79 ERA.

I’ll give you my pick and whether you want to back me or fade me you can do it in the DraftKings Sportsbook with this great promo. Just click the link below, sign up, deposit $5, bet on this matchup, and then collect $200 in bonus bets win or lose.

Now, let’s check out the odds for Minnesota and Texas down south. 

Twins vs. Rangers odds, run line and total

Twins vs. Rangers prediction and pick

This is a very interesting matchup of starting pitchers because it appears that Jon Gray is absolutely the one to back on the mound. However, I give an edge to Maeda and I’ll tell you why.

Jon Gray has an incredible slider that carries a run value of 15 and generates a nearly 40% whiff rate. His sweeper is also excellent though in lower usage. The problem is that he doesn’t throw either one enough to be his most effective. Opponents hit .338 against his fastball yet he throws it 41.8% of the time. This results in a 36th percentile strikeout rate despite having an 89th percentile chase rate because of his great breaking stuff.

Gray has a 4.33 xERA and a 4.16 FIP, so I’m fading him and I don’t believe in his ERA. On the other hand Maeda has a 3.99 xERA and a 3.97, which are much lower than his ERA and are a great sign for him going forward. Maeda did struggle last time out allowing six runs over 4.0 innings to the Guardians, but I think he'll bounce back today.

Maeda has an 80th percentile strikeout rate and will be facing the Rangers who have struck out the 10th most over the past 30 days. 

Over that same 30 day stretch the Twins have a team OPS of .805 and have scored 133 runs, 20 more than Texas. Since the start of August, Max Kepler has a .992 OPS and a wRC+ of 172. Yesterday, he had two hits off the bench and drove in a run in Minnesota's 9-7 win. Give me the Twins. 

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Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change