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Pirates vs Twins Picks and Odds – Aug 4

Minnesota Twins
The Minnesota Twins entered play Monday night third in home runs with 16. Photo by @Twins (Twitter).
  • 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

Team Moneyline Runline Total
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.

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

Player AB H HR RBI K AVG.
Cole Tucker 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Kevin Newman 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Josh Bell 1 0 0 0 0 .000
Jose Osuna 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Bryan Reynolds 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Colin Moran 2 2 0 0 0 1.000
Guillermo Heredia 7 1 0 0 2 .143
Jacob Stallings 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Erik Gonzalez 0 0 0 0 0 .000

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.

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.

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

Player AB H HR RBI K AVG.
Luis Arraez 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Byron Buxton 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Jorge Polanco 2 1 0 0 0 .500
Nelson Cruz 9 2 0 0 2 .222
Eddie Rosario 2 0 0 0 1 .000
Miguel Sano 2 1 0 0 0 .500
Max Kepler 3 1 0 0 0 .333
Marwin Gonzalez 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Mitch Garver 0 0 0 0 0 .000

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’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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