Minnesota Twins at Milwaukee Brewers Pick 8/13/19
Minnesota Twins (71-47) at Milwaukee Brewers (62-57)
When: 8 p.m., Tuesday, August 13
Where: Miller Park, Milwaukee
Moneyline: MIN +130 / MIL -146 (Intertops)
Runline: Twins +1.5/Brewers -1.5
Starting Pitchers: Martin Perez (8-5, 4.80 ERA, 1.43 WHIP) vs. Chase Anderson (5-2, 3.70 ERA, X WHIP)
Get Off The Mat
Now’s the time where the Twins start to prove what they’re really made of. For the first time in months, the Twins woke up outside of first place, as a walk-off blast in Cleveland allowed the Indians to finally do what they’ve been threatening for weeks: pass the Twins. Minnesota is still on track to host a wild-card game at Target Field, but even that is precarious, as Tampa Bay sits just 1½ games back of stealing the home-field advantage.
How the Twins handle it depends on how they respond to losing three of four to Cleveland at Target Field. Minnesota hasn’t faced a lot of adversity this season, and the young Twins have to find a way to respond in their first real test of the year. It’s not an ideal time for that test to come, though, as it’s against a rival who needs this series even worse than they do.
There’s nothing like getting the August version of the Pittsburgh Pirates on your schedule, and the Brewers followed that up with two solid wins over a decent Texas squad to get themselves right in the thick of the National League’s wild card logjam. Milwaukee has a great shot at either claiming a wild card spot or catching Chicago for the NL Central title, but the Brewers have to replicate the form they showed in the past week to make that happen.
Getting Chase Anderson to continue the form that he’s shown as of late would go a long way toward that goal. The Brewers don’t ask Anderson to go more than six innings when he’s on the hill, and he usually starts with the expectation that as long as he gets Milwaukee to the sixth inning in decent shape, his team will have a chance to win. Since June, he has done precisely that. In eight of his past nine starts, he’s gotten the Brewers into the sixth inning with two runs or less conceded and left the game up to the bullpen. Milwaukee’s bullpen work is another story, but Anderson has done his part to give his team a chance, and the Brewers have won three of their past five with him on the mound.
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Martin Perez has one key thing he’s got to fix: he’s got to stop giving up home runs. In his past four starts, he’s seen ten balls leave the yard and given up a combined 19 earned runs. Part of that is because he was facing the Yankees and the Braves, both of whom hit pretty well, but there is no excuse for doing the same thing against the Royals. While Anderson has held Brewer opponents to two runs or less, two runs have been Perez’s minimum when he’s on the hill. Only the Mets scored fewer than two earned runs against Perez in his past ten starts, and that didn’t even matter because New York unloaded on the Minnesota bullpen for 12 runs in the final three frames.
The bottom line with Perez is that as of late, he’s getting hit hard, and it’s not just the home runs that have cost the Twins. In five of his past six starts, he’s allowed at least seven hits — and in three of those starts, he compounded the issue by allowing at least two walks on top of that.
The teams split a two-game series in Minneapolis earlier this year, and the series has been remarkably even in this decade, with Milwaukee holding a 25-23 lead over Minnesota in the 2010s. However, the Twins couldn’t get the job done in Wisconsin last season: Milwaukee swept the three games at Miller Park on its way to a 5-1 record against Minnesota.
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- The Twins have won six of their past seven series openers.
- The Twins have lost four of their past five Tuesday games.
- The Brewers have won seven of their past eight against the AL Central.
- The Brewers are 4-1 in Anderson’s past five home starts against teams above .500.
- The over is 4-1 in the Twins’ past five interleague road games.
- The under is 4-0 in the teams’ past four meetings.
The temperature is set to hit 74 degrees at first pitch, meaning the roof of Miller Park will likely be open.
Anderson’s pitching well and Perez isn’t. That’s a good reason to take the Brewers right there, and there’s a real concern with how the Twins are going to respond after seeing the Indians not only come back on them but take the AL Central lead from them in their ballpark. Minnesota is still a quality young ballclub, but these are the crucibles that make it difficult for a young ballclub to make a step forward. Milwaukee has been here before, Minnesota hasn’t, and that matters.
I need to see some proof from the Twins that they haven’t let the Indians series linger before I pick them against a club of Milwaukee’s quality, especially on the road. Give me the Brewers and Anderson.