Twins vs Tigers – MLB Pick for Friday August 11th
The Minnesota Twins are in Detroit to face the Tigers in game one of a four game series. The starting pitchers will be Jose Berrios (10-5 3.86 ERA) for the Twins facing off against Anibal Sanchez (3-2 6.62 ERA) of the Tigers. First pitch is scheduled for 4:10 PM PST from Comerica Park in Detroit.
The Minnesota Twins had a great first half of the season. They spent much of the first half sitting in one of the two wild card slots in the American League. Many believed that they would be buyers at the trade deadline for the first time in several years. They made a big move and picked up starter Jamie Garcia from the Atlanta Braves, they appeared to be all in on a playoff push in Minneapolis.
Then they have a rough road trip, and it looked like the Twins ownership had a change of heart last minute and decided to stop buying. In fact, they even started dumping talent even though they were in the thick of the American League Central title chase and the race for the wild card. They flipped the newly acquired Garcia to the New York Yankees for a couple prospects and sent the leading closer in the American League, Brandon Kintzler to the Washington Nationals.
It was not a change that was popular in Minnesota, and the team lost three out of the next five games after the deadline to San Diego and Texas. It was looking like yet another season ending in disappointment for the playoff starved Twins as they were beginning to slip out of the top of the standings and back towards obscurity. Then they swept the playoff contending Milwaukee Brewers in a big four game series, and the fans in Minnesota started to take notice again.
All the sudden the Twins are just .5 games back in the American League wild card race and only 3.5 games back of Cleveland for the Central Division crown. I won’t lie I was one that saw the Twins falling apart after failing to improve at the deadline, but they have rallied and are still competing.
Tonight’s started Jose Berrios has been a pleasant surprise this year for the Twins. The second-year right hander failed to impress many people in his rookie season last year for the Twins as he compiled a 3-7 record and had an ERA of over eight. This season Berrios has double digit wins with ten and has a very respectable ERA of 3.86. Berrios has been very representative of this Twins team this year. This team is chalked full of young guys and castoffs that nobody expected to produce, but they are.
The Detroit Tigers have failed to be relevant basically all season long, and nothing seems to be getting better in Motown. With 52 wins on the season, the Tigers only have more wins than the Oakland A’s and the Chicago White Sox in the American League. To call this season a disaster in Detroit wouldn’t be far off.
Tonight’s starter Anibal Sanchez has bounced back and forth between the Tigers bullpen and starting rotation, he has been terrible in both roles. In his last start against Baltimore, Sanchez got rocked about as hard as one can get rocked these days. Giving up eight earned runs and five homers in just three innings, they ran him right out of the ballpark. With an ERA amongst the highest of any starter in the Majors at 6.62, Sanchez has just not been good this season.
The Minnesota Twins have won five straight games and have themselves back to competing in the American League. I look for them to continue that run as Anibal Sanchez just doesn’t have the stuff this year to shut down anyone. I don’t have too much confidence in this Twins offense that is 19th in the Majors in runs scored this year, but you don’t need much with a guy throwing mush balls up there like Sanchez. I expect Sanchez to struggle, Berrios to be consistently average and the Twins to steal game one in Detroit as a road underdog. Give me the Twins at +110.