Minnesota Twins – Kansas City Royals
Twins win (-1.5) @ (1.76/-130)
It is no secret the Twins have been on fire the entire season offensively, on pace to set the Major League Baseball record for home runs in a season. The only question with them is has been their starting pitching, but today they will have Jake Odorizzi getting the start who leads the American League with a 1.92 ERA and has now given up one run or less in 8/10 starts. He should have no trouble continuing this success as he faces a Kansas City team that just got shut out yesterday and has lost 7 out of their last 8 games on the road. Given the form of Odorizzi right now, it is very difficult to trust the Royals right now.
However considering we’re going with a -1.5 handicap here, we expect the Twins to have a great hitting day against Royals pitcher Glenn Sparkman who has a 3.58 ERA this year but has yet to pitch very deep into games. However, what is most concerning about Sparkman is how he has a low strikeout rate and an XFIP (a more accurate measurement of a pitcher’s performance of 5.08). In this situation, I’m going to side with the Twins who match up very well in this situation and should be able to get plenty of runs off of him:
Cincinnati Reds – Texas Rangers
Rangers win @ (2.00/Even)
This bet comes down to advantage in pitching that in my opinion makes for a great value bet on the Rangers. For the Reds Tanner Roark has had a decent start to the year as he has yet to allow more than four runs in any start. However, he may be slipping a bit as he’s allowed four runs in back-to-back starts now. He has a 3.74 ERA in 13 starts this year but that could soon change against a Texas Rangers offense that matches up very well with him due to the number of left-handed batters in their lineup, As you can see below. Roark struggles against left-handed batters, significantly in almost every category:
For the Rangers, Mike Minor gets the start who has had an amazing turnaround season. He is currently 5-4 with a 2.52 ERA in 14 starts this season and has had his best season statistically since his rookie season with the Braves. He’s also trending upward as well. Against the Boston Red Sox in his last start, he only gave up two runs on four hits. He’s allowed three runs or less in nine straight games. He relies heavily on his changeup and what I like most about this matchup is the Reds and their struggles against this pitch. It is a small sample size but if these trends hold true, Minor could have an advantage here making the Rangers a solid value bet for today.