The Los Angeles Angels (47-49, 20-27 away) and the Minnesota Twins (42-56, 23-26 home) continue their four-game series with game three Saturday evening in Minnesota. Minnesota used an eighth-inning rally Friday night to come back and defeat the Angels, 5-4.
Saturday’s game time is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. EST at Target Field in Minneapolis, MN. According to oddsmakers, the Twins are favored (-125), and the run total is 9.
What to Know – Los Angeles Angels
The second half hasn’t started as planned for the Halos, winners of just two of their first seven contests post-break. Since mid-May, Los Angeles has been playing without All-Star outfielder Mike Trout, who’s sidelined with a calf injury. The Angels are fourth in the American League West standings.
The expected starter on the mound for the visitors is lefty Patrick Sandoval (2-4, 3.86 ERA, 1.22 WHIP). Sandoval’s taken a pair of losses over his last two starts and searching for his first victory on the mound in over a month. The 24-year old southpaw pitched 7.0 innings against Seattle, allowing four earned runs on six hits in his first start of the second half.
Los Angeles is one of the better hitting teams in the majors, sporting a .258 team average which ranks third in the MLB and third in AL. With Trout on the shelf, it has been two-way player Shohei Ohtani stealing the show. Ohtani leads the majors with 34 home runs and has driven in 74 runs.
What to Know – Minnesota Twins
Minnesota hasn’t put together quite the year they expected either, as injuries have plagued the Twins for most of the season. The Twins are just 3-6 to start the second half of play. Minnesota sits in fourth place in the AL Central.
The Twins have their ace, Jose Berrios (7-4, 3.69 ERA, 1.08 WHIP), on the mound for Saturday’s contest. Berrios hasn’t had his stuff this month, posting a 4.68 ERA over four July starts, his worst string of starts of the year. The right-hander was tagged for five earned runs over 6.0 innings of work in his last trip to the mound against the White Sox.
Minnesota is ninth in the MLB and sixth in the AL, with a team batting average of .245. The Twins sent Nelson Cruz, the team’s best hitter, to the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday. With Cruz out of the lineup and star Byron Buxton on the injured list, Minnesota will rely on Jorge Polanco and Josh Donaldson to keep the offense productive.
The Pick is In
Los Angeles is running out of time to get things going if they want to have a chance at postseason baseball. The Twins, meanwhile, appear to be looking ahead for the future with the trading of Cruz.
The first two contests of the series were decided by one run, and we don’t think that will be any different Saturday night. Sandoval hasn’t had his best stuff recently, but neither has Berrios. We’ll ride with the Angels on the run line in this one and hope for a Halos victory straight up.
The Pick: Los Angeles Angels +1.5