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Today’s MLB Picks, Odds, Probable Pitchers – Twins vs Rangers (June 18th)

Sascha Paruk

by Sascha Paruk in MLB Baseball

Jun 18, 2021 · 7:40 AM PDT

Nelson Cruz watching ball hit
Minnesota Twins' Nelson Cruz (23) hits a two-RBI single in the second inning of a baseball game against the Cleveland Indians, Wednesday, April 28, 2021, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Dermer)
  • See the best bet in baseball tonight (June 18th) when the Minnesota Twins visit the Texas Rangers
  • Twins ace Jose Barrios faces a struggling Mike Foltynewicz
  • See how SBD’s Sascha Paruk is betting this game

The Minnesota Twins (27-41, 13-20 away) and Texas Rangers (25-43, 15-16 home) start a three-game series at Globe Life Field in Arlington this evening  (8:10 pm ET).

The Twins will have their ace on the mound facing a man who has arguably been baseball’s worst starter this season.

Cubs vs Mets Odds

Team Moneyline Runline Total at DraftKings
Twins -165 -1.5 (+100) Over  8.5 (-120)
Rangers +143 +1.5 (-120) –>Under  8.5 (-103)<—

Odds as of June 18th.

Pick: Over 8.5 Runs

Probable Pitchers

Team Pitcher ERA WHIP
Twins Jose Berrios 3.49 1.02
Rangers Mike Foltynewicz 5.48 1.42

Jose Berrios, still just 27, has long showed flashes of dominance that make him a regular in the preseason Cy Young odds. He has yet to develop the consistency necessary to keep him in the Cy Young mix during the long regular season, but he remains the most-dangerous arm in Minnesota’s mediocre rotation. (No offense to Kenta Maeda.)

His history against these Rangers is limited, but encouraging. Only five players on the roster have faced Berrios before. In 28 at-bats, they are hitting a miniscule .102 with a .342 OPS and one homer. The longball belongs to Joey Gallo, his only hit in six at-bats.

Opposite Berrios will be 29-year-old righty Mike Foltynewicz. “Folty” put together by far his best season in 2018, posting a 2.85 ERA and 1.08 WHIP. But that is proving to be an anomaly in an otherwise underwhelming career. From 2015 to 2017, his ERA was between 4.31 and 5.71. In 2019, it ballooned back up to 4.54. This season, it’s a massive 5.48 and his peripherals are even more concerning.

 

Among qualified pitchers, Foltynewicz has the worst xFIP according to FanGraphs (5.08). The next-worst is teammate Jordan Lyles at 4.87.

Like Berrios, he has limited history against the batters he will face today. But unlike Berrios, what history there is portends crooked numbers. The biggest bats in the Twins lineup, Nelson Cruz and Miguel Sano, are a combined 4-for-7 with a home run a walk and three RBI. Only two other Twins have ever faced him before.

Lack of experience against a pitcher usually weighs in the pitcher’s favor, but I am still taking the over. Beyond the starters, we’re dealing with two bullpens that rank bottom-ten in the majors. Texas’ relievers have a 4.68 ERA, all together. Minnesota’s have an ERA just over 5.00.

Berrios is averaging 5.9 innings per start. Foltynewicz is down at 5.3. If that stats hold, the relievers in this game will account for 3.5 innings of work.

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