- The Minnesota Twins are big home favorites over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday afternoon (Aug. 4, 2:00 pm EST)
- Jose Berrios (0-1, 7.00 ERA) will start for Minnesota, while Pittsburgh will counter with Joe Musgrove (0-2, 4.76 ERA)
- Read below for a preview and betting prediction for the game
Two teams headed in very different directions square off Tuesday afternoon, as the AL Central leading Minnesota Twins host the Pittsburgh Pirates at 2:00 pm EST. Minnesota entered play Monday winners of three in a row, while Pittsburgh had dropped four straight.
Pirates vs Twins Odds
|Pittsburgh Pirates||+200||+1.5 (+100)||Over 8.5 (-115)|
|Minnesota Twins||-220||-1.5 (-120)||Under 8.5 (-105)|
Odds taken Aug. 3rd.
To no one’s surprise, Minny opened up as a sizeable favorite in the Pirates vs Twins odds in a game that features a total of 8.5. Prior to Monday, each of Minnesota’s seven wins were by at least two runs, while Pittsburgh was averaging just 1.75 runs in its last four outings.
Berrios Bounces Back
Things won’t get any easier for the Pirates on Tuesday, as they’ll have to face Twins ace Jose Berrios. After a shaky opening outing, Berrios looked much better in his second start of the season, allowing just three hits over five innings against Cleveland, while striking out six.
José Berríos, Ridiculous 83mph Curveball. 😳 pic.twitter.com/kdRnxUFq3K
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) July 31, 2020
This Pittsburgh offense has been atrocious to start the year, scoring just 30 runs in its first nine games, and ranking near the bottom in most offensive categories. The Pirates rank last in the NL in batting average, and second last in slugging and OPS. They average 9.2 strikeouts per game have scored one run or less in 44% of their contests.
Pirates Career Stats vs Berrios
That of course must be music to Berrios’ ears, who’s in a good spot to pick up first win of the season. Berrios historically has performed much better at home than on the road, posting a winning percentage of .625 and a 3.60 ERA in 49 career starts at Target Field.
Twins Will Mash vs Musgrove
Last year Minnesota led the Majors in home runs with 307 and this season they’ve picked up right where they left off.
Nelson Cruz today:
4-5, 2 bombs, 2 doubles
The man is a freak pic.twitter.com/Fvs7hStxD4
— Starting 9 (@Starting9) July 26, 2020
The Twins rank third in all of baseball in homers (16), just one behind both the Dodgers and Yankees. That’s bad news for Pittsburgh starter Joe Musgrove, who’s already been taken deep four times in just two starts.
Ben Gamel – Milwaukee Brewers (1) 2-run. pic.twitter.com/s5txZk4Yxe
— MLB HR Tracker (@hr_mlb) July 29, 2020
Musgrove has never posted a winning season during his five-year career, and has never finished a season with an ERA below 4.06. He’s currently sporting a 4.76 ERA, but there’s reason to believe that number should actually be worse. Musgrove has stranded 96.2% of the runners he’s allowed on base in 2020, which is over 26% higher than his career average. That kind of strand rate simply isn’t sustainable, and negative regression will likely begin as early as Tuesday.
Twins Career Stats vs Musgrove
Take the Twins at Home
Minnesota’s runline is currently sitting at -120, which simply isn’t enough given the quality of Tuesday’s opponent. Pittsburgh projects to finish with the fewest wins in baseball this season, while the Twins are a title contender.
— Minnesota Twins (@Twins) August 2, 2020
Minnesota’s offense is head and shoulders above Pittsburgh’s, and they have a big advantage in the starting pitching department. I’d feel very comfortable laying -1.5 with the Twins in this spot.
Pick: Minnesota Twins -1.5 (-120)
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