Game: Baltimore Orioles @ Minnesota Twins
Time: 8:10 p.m. ET
Odds: Orioles +190, Twins -235
The Orioles and Twins kick off a weekend series both having dropped their last two games and losing their previous series. Baltimore dropped two of three to Seattle while the Twins lost three of five games to Cleveland. The losses to the Guardians allowed Cleveland to gain some ground on Minnesota in the race for the AL Central Division. Now, the Twins are looking to once improve their lead over Cleveland. Minnesota has had plenty of success recently against the Orioles.
The Twins have beaten the Orioles in 10 straight games at Target Field. Tonight, rookie pitcher Joe Ryan will start for Minnesota. He is enjoying a solid initial MLB season. Ryan is 6-3 with a 3.20 ERA. He won his last start giving up three earned runs in five innings in a 6-3 win over Colorado. Ryan had two starts in mid-May where he allowed just a single earned run in each. Since then, he’s allowed 10 earned runs in three starts and the Twins have lost two of the three.
Ryan will face an Orioles lineup that doesn’t scare many opposing pitchers. Baltimore is 22nd in runs per game at 4.08, but the O’s have won nine of their last 15 games and 14 of 26 in June. That’s an accomplishment for a team that has housed itself in the AL East cellar for the past several years.
Baltimore, which ranks 20th in team ERA, will start Spenser Watkins who is 1-1 on the season but has a 5.14 ERA. Worse yet is Watkins’ xERA which stands at 6.47. As bad as Watkins has been overall this season, the Orioles have won his last two starts. His last start was probably his best of the season. He pitched five innings, allowed five hits and no earned runs. He also struck out a season-high four batters as the Orioles beat the White Sox 6-2.
The Twins are getting healthier and it showed in June. Minnesota had the fifth-highest OPS (.759) in June and their pitching staff ranks in the top-10 in ERA (3.71). The Twins now rank just outside the top-10 – 11th – in runs per game at 4.51. They have scored six or more runs six times in their last ten games.
The Twins trend Under for the season and six of their last nine games have seen the total go Under. At home though, the Over has hit in 10 of the Twins’ last 15 games. Don’t forget, Baltimore hasn’t won a game in Minnesota in the last ten tries. The Orioles also trend to the Under – 34-40-3 O/U for the season. Eight of their last ten totals have gone Under. Baltimore also has just four wins in its last 20 games against the Twins.
Minnesota’s bullpen allowed five runs in the last two innings last night against Cleveland. The Orioles have a slight advantage in the bullpen where their FIP is 3.58 compared to Minnesota’s 4.19.