The Minnesota Twins look to continue their hot streak when they host the Chicago White Sox Monday in the opener of a three-game series. Minnesota comes into the game having won four straight and six of eight, while Chicago dropped three of four in a road series against the Los Angeles Angels over the weekend.
The Twins have pulled away from second-place Cleveland slightly in the American League Central, opening up a 2.5-game lead heading into Monday’s action. The White Sox are in third place in the division but are 20.5 games behind Minnesota. Chicago is also well behind in the race for the two American League Wild Card spots, trailing Tampa Bay, which holds the second spot currently, by 17 games.
The moneyline for this contest has the Chicago White Sox +185 and the Minnesota Twins -210. The over/under has been set at 9.5.
On A Run
While the White Sox haven’t been able to put together many winning streaks, Monday night’s starter for Chicago, Ivan Nova, is currently on a four-game winning streak. Nova hasn’t lost in his last five starts, giving up just two earned runs over that span. Nova is now 8-9 on the season with a 4.51 ERA, but he’s dropped his ERA from the 5.86 it was prior to this five-game stretch. His last start was masterful, as he held the Houston Astros to just four hits and one unearned run in a complete-game victory.
Chicago’s offensive output has been inconsistent of late, as they’ve scored at least five runs four times in their last 10 games but failed to score four runs in five of those contests. First baseman Jose Abreu continues to be the most consistent power hitter for the White Sox, leading the team with 26 home runs and ranking fourth in the American League with 89 RBI. He’s been putting it together in August so far, batting .329 with four home runs and 15 RBI in 18 games.
Starting To Roll
Minnesota left for a six-game road trip trailing Cleveland by a half-game in the American League Central race, but the Twins return home with a 2.5-game lead after a 5-1 trip to Milwaukee and Texas. Looking to keep things rolling will be Monday’s starter, Kyle Gibson. The right-hander has had his troubles of late, allowing 10 earned runs in 16 innings pitched in August. On the season, Gibson is 11-5 and has won four of his last five decisions going back to late June, but he also has six appearances with no-decisions over that span. He has a 4.28 ERA with 129 strikeouts and 44 walks over his 132 1/3 innings pitched this season.
The Twins continue to be the most prolific home run hitting team in the Major Leagues, with 250 home runs, 13 better than the second-place Yankees, who have played two more games than the Twins. The latest red-hot hitter for Minnesota is Miguel Sano, who has three home runs over his last five games to up his season total to 23. In all, the Twins have six players with at least 20 home runs this season, led by the 33 hit by Max Kepler. Kepler is expected to play in this one despite leaving Sunday’s contest due to heat illness due to the sweltering temperatures in Arlington.
Twins Eke Out Win
Nova is pitching as good as it gets lately, so the White Sox are going to be in any game that he takes the mound in. But Minnesota has something to play for and is really carrying a lot of momentum after their near-perfect road trip. I have to take the Twins -210 to win this one.