The Minnesota Twins (55-71, 25-38 away) and the Boston Red Sox (72-56, 40-26 home) conclude their three-game American League series Thursday night. Boston opened the series with an 11-9 win on Tuesday, and Minnesota rebounded with a 9-6 win in extra innings last night to even the series.
The first pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. EST inside Fenway Park in Boston, MA. According to oddsmakers, the Red Sox are favored (-290), and the total run over/under is 10.
What to Know – Minnesota Twins
The Minnesota Twins snapped a four-game losing skid with Wednesday’s victory. The Twins dealt Nelson Cruz at the trade deadline, a sure sign that the front office believed their playoff chances were slim. Minnesota has tumbled to the last spot in the American League Central, 17 games back of the leading Chicago White Sox.
Right-hander John Gant is the hill for the Twins (4-7, 3.77 ERA, 1.52). The 29-year old began the season with the St. Louis Cardinals but was dealt the Twins at the trade deadline. Gant has appeared in 33 games and made 15 starts this season.
Offensively, the Twins rank 14th amongst MLB offenses with a .318 on-base percentage and a 7th in slugging percentage (.428). With Cruz gone, it has been shortstop Jorge Polanco is pacing the Twins offense with 24 home runs and 76 runs batted in. Slugger Miguel Sano has homered in three of the last four games, including a massive 495-foot blast Wednesday night at Fenway.
What to Know – Boston Red Sox
The Boston Red Sox continues to keep up with the rest of the tough AL East and maintain their position as the second wild card spot holder. The Red Sox have been up and down in the second half, including a 5-5 record over their last ten contests. Boston sits in third place in the AL East, 7.5 games back of the Tampa Bay Rays.
The expected starter for the Red Sox is southpaw Chris Sale (2-0, 1.80 ERA, 1.20 WHIP). Sale returned to the mound earlier this month after working his way back from Tommy John surgery in March of 2020. The 32-year old’s looked sharp in his first two appearances, allowing two earned runs over ten innings with 13 strikeouts.
The Red Sox offense is one of the best in the majors ranking eighth in on-base (.325) and second in slugging (.445). All-Star third baseman Rafael Devers leads the potent offense, hitting 29 home runs and driving in 91 RBIs this year. Outfielder Hunter Renfroe has been a bonus for the Red Sox lineup with 25 home runs and 77 RBIs.
The Pick is In
Give both the lineup and pitching advantage to the hosts in this one. Minnesota doesn’t have a lot to play for while the Red Sox try to keep their slim wild card lead over the Oakland Athletics and the Seattle Mariners.
Boston jumps out to an early lead and never looks back in this one.
The Pick: Boston Red Sox -1.5