Fresh off a rest day, the Minnesota Twins will be in Boston tonight to take on the Red Sox. Minnesota recently split their series with the Yankees and will now face a Boston team that failed to complete their sweep over the Angels yesterday afternoon. We’ll preview tonight’s game before going over which side I’ll be backing.
After getting swept by the Rays, the Red Sox responded nicely by winning three straight games against the Angels. With the chance to pick up their second sweep of the year, Boston had to deal with a mix of weather delays, poor field conditions, and facing Shohei Ohtani on the mound. Boston put together a late rally to make the game 5-4, but they couldn’t complete the comeback despite Kutter Crawford’s stellar performance in relief.
On the mound, tonight for the Red Sox will be veteran Chris Sale, who has struggled mightily through his first three starts. In 12 innings, Sale has an 11.25 ERA, with 19 strikeouts and five home runs allowed. The lefty has shown the continued ability to rack up strikeouts, but he has also been allowing a lot of base runners with 18 total hits and seven walks.
Sale will face a Minnesota lineup that came out of the gate strong against the Yankees by winning the first two games and scoring a combined 15 runs in those wins. Unfortunately for them, they could not keep that pace up, as they went on to score one run on Saturday and get completely shut out on Sunday. As a team, they are now 26th in the league in batting average (.230) and 28th in OPS (.664).
Minnesota will also hand the ball to a veteran tonight, as Sonny Gray will make his fourth start of the year. Gray has gotten off to an excellent start to the season, as he has thrown 17 innings with a .53 ERA, 19 strikeouts, and no home runs allowed. The righty will face a Boston lineup that is hitting .238 on the season but does have the ability to leave the yard, as they rank 9th in home runs.
The Twins are currently priced at (-105) on the moneyline, and I’ll be backing them for my play in this one. Minnesota is 5-0 in their last five games following an off day, and they have also been phenomenal in opening games of the series by going 4-1 in their previous five. Aside from the trends, the Twins also hold an advantage in the starting pitching department tonight.
Minnesota will be taking on a pitcher in Chris Sale, that is in the 14th percentile in hard hit percentage, 17th percentile in barrel percentage, and 21st percentile in average exit velocity. On top of all that, Sale’s velocity is not where it used to be, as he is in the 48th percentile in fastball velocity. The lefty still features his wipe-out slider he has thrown 29.3% of the time, but his fastball that he’s thrown 27.5% of the time, has warranted a batting average of .600 against it.
The Red Sox are 1-5 in their last six games against a right-handed starter, and they will now face a righty starter in Sonny Gray, that is in the 74th percentile in strikeout percentage. Gray is also in the 78th percentile in expected batting average, and with how his breaking stuff has been dominating recently, I expect another solid performance tonight.
Minnesota Twins (-105)