MLB Game Preview: Minnesota Twins at Atlanta Braves

Jun 27, 2023

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Game: Minnesota Twins @ Atlanta Braves

Time: 7:20 p.m.

Odds: Twins +130, Braves -150

Total: 9

In the second game of a three-game series tonight, the visiting Minnesota Twins and the Atlanta Braves will face off against each other, featuring a pair of right-handers who did not allow a run in their most recent starts.

Atlanta has won 11 of its last 12 games and took the first game of this series 4-1 last night. On its current nine-game road trip, Minnesota is 2-2. The Twins will start Joe Ryan (8-4, 2.98 ERA) and he will face Bryce Elder (5-1, 2.40) of the Braves.

Ryan is coming off a strong performance last Thursday against the Boston Red Sox. He gave up just three hits, struck out nine batters, and threw his first career shutout. Ryan became the first Twins starter to record a complete game shutout since Jose Berrios did it on April 1, 2018, at Baltimore. The win came at the right time as Minnesota was able to conserve its bullpen after playing 16 consecutive days. This will be Ryan’s first career start against Atlanta. In 18 previous starts against new opponents, he is 5-7 with a 5.01 ERA.

Last Thursday, Elder pitched seven innings at Philadelphia, holding the Phillies to three hits, two walks, and six strikeouts. He was not involved in the decision, but the Braves won the game 5-1. He has pitched 13 innings over his last two starts, surrendering just one run. Elder continues to lead the NL in ERA.

Elder’s campaign to be selected for the NL All-Star team is picking up steam. Max Fried and Kyle Wright, the top-line starters, have both missed a significant amount of time due to injury. Elder started the season in Triple-A Gwinnett and has done a great job of filling in. Elder has never faced the Twins.

Last night, Atlanta added two more home runs, both in the seventh inning. The Braves led 2-1 after Marcell Ozuna’s lone shot, and Ronald Acuna Jr.’s bomb added two insurance runs. The Braves have 141 home runs so far this season, which is 17 more than the second-place Los Angeles Dodgers.

On Monday, the Braves optioned rookie AJ Smith-Shawver to Triple-A Gwinnett, and they could bring Michael Soroka back to start the series finale on Wednesday afternoon. In his most recent minor league start, Soroka went seven innings while allowing just one hit, a solo home run. He also walked two batters and struck out nine.

Both teams have been active making moves to shore up their entire pitching staff. Dereck Rodriguez, a right-handed reliever, was recalled by the Braves in order to add some depth to the bullpen for at least a few days. Josh Winder, a right-handed reliever, was recalled by the Twins on Sunday from Triple-A Saint Paul to take Jose De Leon’s place. De Leon was placed on the injured list and will have the second Tommy John procedure of his career.

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