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Surprise Prospect Tyler Duffey Faces Surging Rangers

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Tyler Duffey is the product of Minnesota’s player developmental program as the fifth-round pick in 2012 was converted into a starter in the Minors.  Duffey finished last season with nine outstanding starts for the Twins, posting a 2.25 ERA, 52 strikeouts in 56 innings and a .653 OPS against.  Overall, the 25-year-old finished his Major League debut with a 3.10 ERA, 3.24 FIP, 3.64 xFIP and 3.83 SIERA in 58.0 innings of work.

This season, Duffey has excelled in afternoon games, going 3-2 with a 3.02 ERA and 1.09 WHIP in 7 starts. He also faces a Texas lineup that is averaging just 4.5 runs per game on the road (.249 AVG.; .296 OBP; .698 OPS).

And, while many bettors will be dissuaded by Duffey’s 5.59 ERA in 2016, he has been victimized by a .327 BABIP and 62.8% LOB%.  Duffey owns a 4.49 FIP and 3.94 SIERA this season, together with a 19.1% K%, 4.7% BB% and a 14.4% K-BB%.

Tyler Duffey is also coming off his best outing of his Major League career, lasting a season-long eight innings against the Yankees on Sunday, allowing one run on two hits.  Meanwhile, Texas recalled right-hander Chi Chi Gonzalez from Triple-A to take injured Colby Lewis’ spot in the rotation. The 24-year-old last just five innings against the Yankees on Monday, yielding 5 runs on ten hits.

Gonzalez lacks the skill set to survive in the Majors.  Indeed, the best strikeout minus walk rate he has ever garnered at any level was 13% in 73.1 Double-A innings in 2014. As pointed out by Fangraphs.com, among pitchers with 60 or more innings, Gonzalez posted the lowest strikeout rate minus walk rate.

He was also the only pitcher to post a NEGATIVE K%-BB% (-1%).  In 80.1 innings at Triple-A this season, Gonzalez posted a 5.04 ERA with a 2.16 K/BB rate.

Take the Twins at home behind Tyler Duffey as Oskeim Sports’ Free Pick for Saturday.

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