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Major League Baseball action on Thursday evening and the American League West will square off with the American League Central as the Oakland A’s grapple with the Minnesota Twins at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This is game one of a four-game series.
Pitching Matchup: Oakland will trot out Mike Fiers (9-3, 3.61 ERA) and the Twins will counter with Kyle Gibson (8-4, 4.03 ERA).
A’s Had The Brooms Out Against The Mariners
The Oakland A’s are the hottest team in the league at the moment as they enter this game having won their last six games in a row and 12 of their last 14. They were well behind the Astros in the American League West, but they now trail them by just four games. The A’s are also tied with the Cleveland Indians for the 2nd AL Wildcard slot. The A’s have it rolling at the moment and a big reason has been an offense that has averaged 6.86 rpg over their last 14 games. This team can also get the job done on the mound as they have allowed just 2.71 rpg over the same stretch. Yes, my friends, they have outscored their foes 96-38 over their last 14 games. That is complete domination.
Speaking of domination, the A’s enter this contest off a two-game home sweep of the Seattle Mariners and they outscored them 19-4 in the two games. On Wednesday afternoon, the A’s won by a score of 10-2 and leading their attack in the game was Jurickson Profar, who had two hits, four RBIs and scored three runs. His two hits were deposited over the wall and he now has 13 round-trippers on the year. Mark Canha also went deep twice and now has 15 on the year, while Ramon Laureano (19) and Chad Pinder (8) also added to their home run totals. Homer Bailey made his first start for the A’s since being traded from the Royals and he allowed just two ERs on seven hits and no walks with six Ks in 6.0 innings of work. Bailey is now 8-6 with a 4.69 ERA on the year. Oakland is currently 5th in the league in run differential at +96.
— Oakland A's (@Athletics) July 17, 2019
Getting the nod for the A’s will be Mike Fiers and he has gone 9-3 with a 3.61 ERA in 20 starts on the year, including 3-1 with a 5.03 ERa in nine starts on the road. In his career, he has gone 27-29 with a 4.63 ERA in 89 games (78 starts) on the road and 10-8 with a 2.57 ERA in 26 starts during the month of July. Fiers has gone 6-1 with a 2.66 ERA in 12 games (11 starts) against the Twins in his career, including 5-1 with a 2.91 ERA in six starts against them here at Target Field.
The A’s have been solid on offense so far as they come in ranked 8th in the league in scoring, putting up 5.23 rpg, while also ranking 17th in hitting at .250 and 5th in homers with 158. On the mound, they have been solid as they rank 7th in the league in ERA at 3.95, while also ranking 5th in WHIP at 1.25 and 26th in K’s with 752. Their pen ranks 4th in ERA at 3.88.
Twins Get Rocked By The Mets
The Minnesota Twins have had one of the best records in the league all year, while the Mets have struggled this year, so naturally, the Mets would sweep a two-game series at Minnesota on Tuesday and Wednesday. That’s just the way it goes in the league these days it seems. The Twins have now lost their last three games in a row and their once comfortable lead in the American League Central is down to just four games over the surging Cleveland Indians. The Twins are hoping to get back on track in this series, but it will not be easy as the A’s have been scorching hot of late. Still, the Twins have gone a very solid 28-17 here at home for the year. This should be a good series overall and it does have major playoff implications in it.
The Twins lost game one of their series with the Mets by a score of 3-2, but game two was a much different story as they were rocked by a score of 14-4. The Twins had a 3-2 lead heading to the 7th, but New York scored three in the 7th, six in the 8th and another three in the 9th to win the game easily. Taking the loss was Trevor May, who allowed all three runs in the 7th inning. He is now 3-3 with a 3.79 ERA on the year. Martin Perez got a no-decision after allowing just two ERs through six innings of play. Mitch Garver (15) and Nelson Cruz (18) both went deep for the Astros, who are now 3rd in the league in run differential at +110.
— Minnesota Twins (@Twins) July 17, 2019
Toeing the rubber for the Twins will be Kyle Gibson and he has gone 8-4 with a 4.03 ERa in 19 games (18 starts) on the year, including 5-1 with a 3.69 ERA in nine games (eight starts) here at home. In his career, he has gone 29-33 with a 4.53 ERA in 87 games (86 starts) here at Target Field and 13-12 with a 4.46 ERA in 32 starts during the month of July. Gibson has gone 2-2 with a 3.81 ERA in five career starts against the A’s.
The Twins have been very good on offense so far as they come in ranked 3rd in the league in scoring, putting up 5.63 rpg, while also ranking 3rd in hitting at .270 and 1st in homers with 174. On the mound, they have been solid as they rank 5th in the league in ERA at 3.92, while also ranking 6th in WHIP at 1.25 and 17th in K’s with 820. Their pen ranks 12th in ERA at 4.29.
- 45-20 in their last 65 home games vs. a right-handed starter
- 9-1 in Gibson’s last 10 starts following an outing of less than 4 innings in his last appearance
- None Available
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
These teams are heading in opposite directions, but I still feel that the Twins are the play in this one. Kyle Gibson has a solid 3.69 ERA at home, while mike Fiers has a 5.03 ERA on the road. The A’s have been decent on the road, but the twins have gone 28-17 here at home for the year. Oakland has a strong offense that is getting better as the season goes on, but the Twins have the 3rd best offense in the league. Minnesota will stop the bleeding with a big win over a hot Oakland squad.
Prediction: Minnesota -140
Full-Game Total Pick
I will go with the Over here. Mike Fiers has solid numbers against the Twins in his career anbd in this park, but he has a 5.03 ERA on the road and Minnesota has one of the best offenses in the league. Kyle Gibson has pitched well this year, but he is facing the hottest offenses in the league. The A’s have averaged 6.86 rpg over their last 14 games and they will get their fair share of runs in this one. The Over is 12-5 in Athletics last 17 after allowing two runs or less in their previous game and 17-8-1 in Gibsons last 26 starts during game one of a series.
Prediction: Over 10.5