Baltimore Orioles vs. Minnesota Twins Preview and Pick

Baltimore Orioles (28-29) +105, 9 at Minnesota Twins (30-28), 8:10 pm Eastern Wednesday
by Zman of

Two teams hovering around the .500 mark, but in very different situations in their respective divisions, meet when the Baltimore Orioles and Minnesota Twins play the middle game of a three-game set Wednesday night at the Metrodome in Minneapolis.

Bookies are listing Minnnesota and starting pitcher Glen Perkins (2-2, 3.90) as 115 home chalk for Wednesday’s game, with a total of 9, while Baltimore and Daniel Cabrera (5-1, 3.60) are getting around +105 as road dogs.

Baltimore, trying to stay relevant in the AL East, won the opener of this series 5-3 Tuesday night. So going into Wednesday’s action, the Orioles are in fourth place in the AL East, 6 games behind the division-leading Tampa Bay Rays.

Meanwhile, Minnesota finds itself right in the AL Central race, just a game and a half back of the first-place Chicago White Sox.

The Orioles are 11-18 on the road this season, 20-27 as underdogs, and 31-26 vs. the run line, while the Twins are 18-15 at the Metrodome this year, 8-6 as favorites, and 36-22 vs. the run line.

This series is the first meeting this season between these two teams. Last year, Minnesota swept seven games from the O’s, while the totals went 3-4, as the games averaged 9.4 total runs per.

Over his last three starts, including one of the quality variety in a loss to Boston last Friday, Cabrera has given up eight ER and 28 baserunners (hits + walks) in 19 2/3 IP. Baltimore is 8-3 in Cabrera’s starts this year, the totals 3-7.

Cabrera started once vs. Minnesota last year, allowing three ER and 10 BR in seven innings of a 3-2 Baltimore loss.

Over his last three starts, including minor bombing at the hands of the New York Yankees last Friday, Perkins has allowed eight ER and 27 BR in 18 innings of work. Minnesota is 2-3 in Perkins’ starts this season, the totals 2-3.

Perkins has never started vs. the O’s.

On the offensive side of things, the Orioles rank 25th in the majors this season in team batting at .249, 26th in team OBP at .318, 19th in team slugging at .397, and are averaging 4.2 runs per game.

The Twins rank 6th in batting at .268, 19th in OBP at .325, 21st in team slugging at .385, and are averaging 4.7 RPG.

On the injury front, Minnesota slugger Justin Morneau is bothered by a bad wheel, and SS Nick Punto has a sore hammy. Bettors may want to check tonight’s line-ups before making the call on this game.

Over its last five games, the Baltimore bullpen has allowed eight ER and 31 BR in 21 1/3 IP.

Over its last five games, the Twins pen has given up four ER and 27 BR in 22 2/3 innings of work.

The totals are 20-34 in Orioles games this year, 30-28 in Twins games, and 17-16 in games played at the Metrodome, where games are averaging 8.9 total runs this season.

Zman’s Pick: We like Baltimore to win on the road tonight.