Minnesota Twins vs. Oakland Athletics
The Oakland Athletics and the Minnesota Twins meet for game one of their series in Oakland. The Athletics are -145 favorites over the Twins with an over/under run total set at 6.5.
With the race really heating up at the top of the American League West, the Oakland Athletics aren’t part of it as they are in third place in the division and not really close enough to realistically have a chance. Oakland hasn’t quit though as they are 6-4 in their last 10 games, 29-23 at home ,and 12.5 games back in the division. As a team Oakland is hitting .243 led by Jemile Weeks at .303, Ryan Sweeney at .295, and Coco Crisp at .266. As a team the Athletics pitching staff has an ERA of 3.38 with the starters at 3.42 and the bullpen at 3.29. For game one against the Twins Oakland starts Gio Gonzalez who was their representative in this year’s All Star Game. For the season Gonzalez has allowed 103 hits and 37 earned runs while striking out 124 in 124.2 innings of work.
The Minnesota Twins are fighting the good fight to get back into the race in the American League Central but with the log jam in front of them they will have their work cut out for them. The Twins are 5-5 in their last 10 games, 23-31 on the road this season, and six games back in the division. As a team Minnesota is hitting .250 led by Michael Cuddyer at .301, Joe Mauer at .289, and Delmon Young at .263. As a staff the Twins pitchers have a team ERA of 4.31 with the starters at 4.09 and the bullpen at 4.81. For game one against the A’s Minnesota starts Francisco Liriano who makes a road start after five consecutive home starts. For the season Liriano has allowed 87 hits and 53 earned runs while striking out 84 in 99 innings of work.
Oakland is 5-2 in their last seven home games, 0-4 in their last four home games against a team with a losing record, and 2-5 in Gonzalez’s last seven starts against a team with a losing record. Minnesota is 18-4 in their last 22 against a team with a losing record, 2-6 in their last eight games as an underdog, and 7-3 in Liriano’s last 10 starts against a team with a losing record. Minnesota is 4-1 in their last five games in Oakland.
Of late the A’s are hitting the ball and while Minnesota didn’t score much on Thursday, this sets up as a spot where they can manufacture runs. This one looks like an over.