After picking up a sweep in the first series of the season, the Minnesota Twins will head to Miami to take on the Marlins. We’ll be previewing the interleague matchup before going over which side I’ll be backing in this one.
The Marlins opened their season with a four-game series against a fellow NL East member, the New York Mets. After their loss yesterday afternoon, Miami will come into today with a 1-3 record and ranked 17th in team batting average and 19th in ERA. Offensively, Miami got their most significant contribution from the newly acquired Luis Arraez, who picked up nine hits in 16 at-bats, and now after his strong opening series, he’ll take on his former team.
On the mound today for the Marlins will be veteran Johnny Cueto, who is making his debut for the team. Last season with the White Sox, the righty went 8-10 in 24 starts with a 3.35 ERA and 102 strikeouts. Cueto made three starts against the Twins in 2022 and went 1-1 with 16 strikeouts and nine earned runs combined.
Cueto and Miami will take on a Twins team that hit .264 in their opening series against the Royals and are fresh off a seven-run game. One of the Twins' free agent signings in the offseason, Joey Gallo, had a massive game yesterday with two home runs, a double, and four RBIs. Centerfielder Byron Buxton also got off to a great start as he finished the series hitting .462 and with a slugging percentage of .692.
Minnesota only allowed four earned runs in the entire series against Kansas City and will come into today with a staff WHIP of .93, which is the third-best in the league. The starting pitcher today for the Twins will be Tyler Mahle, who they acquired at the trade deadline last season. In his four games with Minnesota, the right-hander posted a 4.41 ERA in 16.3 innings with 12 strikeouts. Before joining the Twins, Mahle did rack up 114 strikeouts in 104.3 innings with the Reds.
The Minnesota Twins can currently be found at (-122) on the moneyline, and I’ll be backing them for my play in this one. After starting the season 3-0, the Twins have a lot of momentum to start the season both in the batter box and on the mound. Minnesota will also be facing the Marlins' number-five starter today, who last season was in the third percentile in whiff percentage and eighth percentile in strikeout percentage so they get an ideal matchup to start the series.
Tyler Mahle also has an excellent chance to get his season on a high note as he will face a Marlins lineup that struck out 41 times in their opening series. Mahle was already in the 65th percentile in strikeout percentage and the 60th percentile in whiff percentage last season, so he has the stuff to send the Marlins back to the dugout consistently.
In 2022, the Marlins went 12-28 when listed as a home underdog on the moneyline, and they are already 1-3 this season. Getting off to a good start goes a long way in baseball, and Minnesota was able to do so in all aspects of the game, so I think they can continue their winning ways tonight on the road.
Minnesota Twins (-122)