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The Minnesota Twins are looking to stay hot at home against the Seattle Mariners.
Mariners falling south in a hurry
It has been a rough last few weeks for the Mariners, who have fallen south after getting a blazing start to the year. This has seen them drop well below the .500 mark on the year having pushed their way well out of the playoff picture both in the AL West and both wildcard spots in the process. Seattle has had their fair share of issues in the process that has come largely on the mound holding one of the least effective pitching staffs in the process. The Mariners are currently ranked 29th in the majors holding a 5.31 ERA along with being last with opposing hitters batting .273 against them, last with the most hits allowed, second-most home runs allowed, and have given up the most double this year. It has essentially been short of a horrendous start to the year with their pitching being utterly unreliable in the process.
— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) June 13, 2019
Seattle is hoping that they can right the ship from their recent struggles having dropped six out of their last 10 games with left-hander Yusei Kikuchi taking the mound on Thursday afternoon. Kikuchi has been the epitome of the Mariners’ issues with their pitching staff as he holds a 3-4 record with a 4.99 ERA in his first 14 starts of the year. He has been unable to find any type of effectiveness this season as he has given up at least four runs in each of his last three starts including at least six runs in the past two outings. In his last appearance against the Los Angeles Angels, Kikuchi was torched once again as he allowed six run on nine hits that included three home runs while giving up three walks in the loss. The Mariners have been able to get some dependable offensive production from their bats to begin the year that has seen them have a few bright spots. First baseman Daniel Vogelbach has been a bright spot with a strong start to the year with 17 home runs, 39 RBI, and .558 slugging percentage. However, the Mariners’ chances lie with Kikuchi putting together a strong outing.
Twins off to historic start
It has been nothing but a promising start to the 2019 campaign currently holding the best mark in the American League through the first 60-plus games of the year. This has seen them receive a tremendous level of balance from both their bats and pitching staff. This has been impressive from their play offensively that has them ranked among the best teams in the league in that regard through this point in the season with them currently being first in the majors in runs, third in hits, tied for first in home runs, first in batting average, first in slugging percentage, and tied for first in doubles. This has been a huge reason for their early-season success that has pushed them in the direction of being in the conversation as the top team in not only the American League but in the MLB entirely. They don’t possess any glaring hole on the roster at this point in the year that has put them in the spot of possibly of being a serious contender for the World Series.
— Minnesota Twins (@Twins) June 13, 2019
Their offense has been led by AL MVP candidate shortstop Jorge Polanco, who is batting an AL-best .339 with 10 home runs, 35 RBI, and is sixth in the AL with .582 slugging percentage. Polanco has kept that up over the last week as he’s hitting .385 with a home run, five RBI, three doubles, and four runs scored. It has been more than just Polanco as rising star outfielder Byron Buxton has also been a major factor both at the plate and in the field of play as he’s batting .271 with nine home runs and 38 RBI this season. Buxton is also arguably one of the best players at his position defensively. He has been productive in the last week as he’s batting .350 with two home runs, and five RBI over that span. Right-hander Michael Pineda has struggled this year holding a 4-3 record with a 5.34 ERA, but he has the benefit of having one of the most balanced offenses behind him. If he’s able to stay the course with providing a quality outing, it should see the Twins rack up another win.
- Twins are 4-0 in their last four games against American League West division opponents
- Twins are 4-1 in their last five games against a left-handed starter.
- Twins are 4-1 in their last five Thursday games.
- Mariners are 2-9 in their last 11 games American League Central division opponents.
- Mariners are 2-12 in their last 14 road games against a right-handed starter.
- Mariners are 0-4 in their last four Thursday games.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Although the Twins are sending a struggling arm to the mound, their loaded offense will be facing one of the Mariners’ unreliable starters in Kikuchi. This should see them put forth more than scoring behind Pineda to lift them to a win at home. This has the Twins grabbing another win at Target Field over a struggling team.
Prediction: Minnesota -182
Full-Game Total Pick
This is a matchup between two pitchers that are working through some rough outings. It also helps that these are the top two teams in home runs that should see more offensive fireworks on Thursday night. It should be noted that the over is 4-1 in the last five meetings between these two ballclubs.
Prediction: Over 10.5