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Matt Garza Takes Mound Against Former Team

Milwaukee starter Matt Garza takes the mound tonight against his former team – the Minnesota Twins – who originally drafted the 30-year-old back in 2005.  Garza has been somewhat of a disappointment this season as evidenced by his 4.84 ERA and 1.31 WHIP (56/24 K/BB rate in 67 IP), although he has been much better at home where he owns a 3.63 ERA and 1.13 WHIP.  The concern for Milwaukee investors is the fact that Garza has allowed three or more runs in nine of his last 10 outings, but that trend could end against a scuffling Minnesota lineup.

Minnesota Twins Offensive Output in 2014:

  • Batting .241 with a .317 on base percentage overall (4.2 runs per game);
  • Batting .231 with a .305 on base percentage on the road (4.0 runs per game);
  • Batting .233 with a .302 on base percentage at night (3.7 runs per game);
  • Batting .190 with a .262 on base percentage in interleague play (2.7 runs per game);
  • Batting .214 with a .258 on base percentage over last 7 games (2.6 runs per game)

Pro Edge Sports also likes the fact that Garza is supported by a very good Milwaukee bullpen that owns a 3.26 ERA and 1.25 WHIP this season, including a 2.83 ERA and 1.17 WHIP at home and a 2.03 ERA and 1.03 WHIP versus American League opposition.  The biggest surprise coming out of Milwaukee’s bullpen has been the performance of Will Smith, who was acquired this offseason in a trade with the Royals for Nori Aoki.  The crafty southpaw owns an impressive 0.38 ERA, which is second among Major Leaguers who have pitched in more than ten games.

Garza’s counterpart, Kyle Gibson, was once considered the most promising arm in Minnesota’s farm system before undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2011.  Inconsistency is the best way to describe Gibson as he has allowed one or less runs in six of his starts, but five or more runs in each of his other four outings.  Traveling outside of his home ballpark has proven to be disastrous for the 26-year-old right-hander as he is 1-3 with a 7.77 ERA and 1.68 WHIP on the road.  Gibson is also 0-2 with a 7.71 ERA and 1.45 WHIP in two interleague starts this season.  Perhaps the greatest red flag surrounding Gibson is the fact that he owns a terrible 29/20 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 56 innings. Gibson’s pedestrian skill set is further evidenced by his 4.47 xFIP and 4.67 SIERA (Garza owns a 3.99 xFIP and 4.07 SIERA).

The Brewers are 12-6 in series-opening games this year and are 7-2 in interleague play where they are hitting .307 with a .356 on base percentage (5.8 runs per game).  Let’s also note that Milwaukee is batting .312 with a .356 on base percentage over the last ten days (5.7 runs per game) so Gibson could be in a lot of trouble tonight at Miller Park.  From a technical standpoint, Garza is 15-2 (+12.8 units) at home versus teams who strike out seven or more times per game. The Brewers are an eye-popping 54-12 as home favorites of -150 to -200 and 5-1 in Garza’s last six starts as a favorite, whereas Minnesota is a money-burning 33-68 versus teams with a winning record, 8-20 in interleague play versus right-handed starters and 2-10 in its last twelve games versus National League foes.

Pro Edge Sports Pick: Milwaukee Brewers (-151)  

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