The Detriot Tigers (40-47, 19-25 away) and the Minnesota Twins (35-50, 18-25 home) conclude the first half of the regular season with a four-game series beginning Thursday night. Minnesota owns a 3-2 advantage over the Tigers in head-to-head games so far this year.
Thursday night’s first pitch is at 8:10 p.m. EST at Target Field in Minneapolis, MN. The oddsmakers side with the Twins (-130) straight-up while the prediction models have the run total at 9.5.
What to Know – Detroit Tigers
The Detroit Tigers enter the final series of the first half of the season, winning six of their last eight contest. Detroit’s recent success has positioned the Tigers in third place in the American League Central. The young Tigers were projected to finish at the bottom of the standings by most analysts prior to the start of the season.
Tarik Skubal (5-7, 4.35 ERA, 1.39 WHIP) takes the mound for the Tigers, looking to continue his recent success on the mound. Skubal hasn’t lost a game since May 25th and is 4-0 over his last seven starts. The 24-year old rookie surrendered five earned runs over five innings in his last outing.
Detroit is 18th in the majors and 10th in the AL, with a team batting average of .236. Second baseman Jonathan Schoop was snubbed from the all-star team but piecing together a solid season at the dish. Schoop headlines the Tigers in just about every offensive category, sporting a .273 batting average, 16 home runs, and 50 runs driven in.
What to Know – Minnesota Twins
The first half of the season hasn’t gone as planned for the Twins, and the Minnesota Twins are just 3-7 over their last ten games. Injuries have plagued Minnesota all season, causing the Twins to tumble to last place in the AL Central.
Southpaw J.A. Happ (4-4, 6.09 ERA, 1.50 WHIP) makes his final start of the first half of the season. The veteran arm was fantastic to start the year, holding a 1.96 ERA in May but has struggled to maintain that presence on the mound over the last few months. Happ scattered nine hits and allowed five earned runs over 4.1 innings in his last outing.
Offensively, the Twins are 8th in the MLB and 6th in the AL, hitting .245 as a team. Veteran hitter Nelson Cruz continues his assault at the plate, hitting a team-high .304 average with 18 home runs and 45 RBIs. 23-year old rookie outfielder Alex Kirilloff has been a welcomed addition to the Twins lineup, hitting .265 with seven home runs and 30 RBIs in 51 games.
The Pick is In
Detriot is making noise in the AL Central with their recent play and is beginning to showcase the young talent they have amassed over the years. Minnesota has struggled this season, and Happ has been roughed up often in his last starts on the mound.
With the Tigers playing well and the Twins moving in the opposite direction, we will fade the Twins and settle for Detriot and plus-money.
The Pick: Detroit Tigers ML