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The Oakland Athletics head to the Twin Cities to take on Minnesota on Friday night and to say that team’s bats are hot would be a bit of an understatement. The A’s ended their homestand by outscoring the Angels by a combined score of 31-3 in the last two games of their series, including a 21-3 victory on Wednesday night. The Twins had Wednesday night off but are coming off of a three-game sweep in Detroit and have won four in a row.
Minnesota Making the Best of It
A funny thing happened at the end of the season. The Twins started playing some decent baseball. The team has managed to get within ten games of .500 and will finish the season in second place in the AL Central. The team is unbeaten in their last four games, all of which have come away from home. They will want to keep up that road warrior mentality if they hope to continue their winning ways in Oakland.
Eddie Rosario leads the team in every major statistic with 24 dingers, 77 RBIs and a .288 batting average. Jose Barrios will be on the rubber for this one. The righthander out of Bayamon, Puerto Rico is 11-11 on the season with a 3.81 ERA. He has 185 strikeouts and a 1.115 WHIP. The 24-year-old has dropped his last three decisions.
Oakland on Fire
Oakland entered Thursday’s action with a five-game lead over the Tampa Bay Rays for the final wildcard spot in the American league, but by the end of the night, they had increased the lead to six games and most likely ended any hopes Tampa may have been harboring to catch them. They did all of this with an exclamation point, pounding the Angels into submission with an 18-run victory. This comes a day after a 10-run victory. Prior to the run eruption, Oak-town had dropped four of their last five and there were rumblings that they may be experiencing a late-season meltdown of epic proportions.
Khris Davis leads the team with 43 home runs and 116 runs batted in while Matt Chapman is batting .283. On Friday they will be sending Liam Hendricks to the mound. The eighth-year righty out of Australia is sporting a 5.30 ERA and 1.61 WHIP with 18 strikeouts. His only decision on the season came on September 1, a loss.
- 4-0 in their last 4 after scoring 5 runs or more in their previous game.
- Twins are 4-0 in their last 4 overall.
- Twins are 4-0 in their last 4 games on grass.
- Twins are 4-1 in their last 5 games following a win.
- Twins are 18-7 in their last 25 games vs. a starter with a WHIP greater than 1.30.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
This is a tough one as both teams are hot, but after Oakland’s win yesterday coupled with the Tampa Bay loss, they probably feel like they can breathe a little bit. They also will have a hard time continuing the run production that they have put up in their last two outings. Add in the fact that the Twins are starting a pitcher that is a regular starter and played a lot more baseball this season and we have the makings of Minnesota winning their fifth straight road game.
Prediction: Pick: Minnesota
Full-Game Total Pick
This one should be a bit of a shootout. Oakland is obviously going to get their runs. They have shown that lately. The Twins are no slouch in that department either and will be going against a pitcher not used to being in the starting lineup. Expect them to get to him early and for both teams to put up their share of runs.