Minnesota Twins vs. Chicago Cubs Pick 9/20/20

by | Sep 20, 2020 | mlb

Minnesota Twins (32-22) vs. Chicago Cubs (31-21), 9/20/20
Time: 7:08 pm ET Sunday, Sept. 20
Where: Wrigley Field
Listed Pitchers: Jose Berrios (4-3, 4.15) vs. Yu Darvish (7-2, 1.86)

Moneyline: Twins +140/Cubs -150 (BetOnline)
Over/Under: NA

After splitting the first two games of this three-game inter-league series the Twins and Cubs hook up for a rubber match Sunday night at the Friendly Confines. Minnesota has already clinched a spot in the upcoming American League playoffs, and Chicago is on the verge of clinching a National League playoff spot. Who do we like here for our free MLB pick?

MLB Betting Odds

Sunday’s MLB betting odds opened Chicago and Darvish at around -150 over Minnesota and Berrios, while holding off on posting an over/under, as they so often do with games played at Wrigley Field.

Twins vs. Cubs Set-Up

Chicago took the opener of this series Friday night 1-0 but Minnesota bounced back to win Saturday 8-1. The Cubs won as -120 favorites on the MLB betting odds Friday with Kyle Hendricks, while the Twins won Saturday as -125 chalk with Michael Pineda.

With Saturday’s win Minnesota is still only 2-4 over its last six games. At 32-22 overall the Twins trail the division-leading White Sox by three games in the AL Central, but Minnesota’s also already clinched a playoff spot, so it’s now playing for postseason seeding.

Meanwhile, Saturday’s loss snapped a five-game winning streak for Chicago. At 31-21 overall the Cubs lead the NL Central by 4.5 games over second-place St. Louis, and they would be the No. 3 seed in the National League if the playoffs started today.

Sunday’s Starting Arms

Darvish is a sparkling 9/10 on quality starts this season, working on a run of nine in a row. Tuesday he held Cleveland to three runs – two earned – on nine hits through seven innings of a 6-5 Cubs win. Just before that he held Cincinnati to three runs and two hits through six innings. And those are his worst two starts since his first outing of the year back in July.

On the season Chicago is 8-2 with Darvish, 8-1 over his last nine starts.

This will be Darvish’s first start against Minnesota since 2014, when he was with Texas, and that’s a long time ago.

Berrios is only 3/10 on quality starts this season but some of that is due to a short leash. Monday he limited the White Sox to one run and six hits through five innings, although the Twins lost that game 3-1. And over his last three starts he’s allowed just five runs and 13 hits, with five walks and 18 strikeouts, through 16 innings.

For the season Minnesota is only 5-5 with Berrios, but 2-1 over his last three starts.

In his only previous career start against the Cubs back in 2018 Berrios gave up six runs in 4 1/3 innings of a 10-6 Twins loss.

Sunday’s Batting Splits

Minnesota is batting .243 against right-handed pitching this season, with a .319 team OBP and a .463 team slugging percentage.

Chicago is batting .235/.326/.421 vs. RH pitching this season. The Cubs have also been held to three or less runs six times over their last 10 games.

The Bullpens

The Minnesota bullpen owns a 3.61 ERA this season and a 1.25 WHIP, along with a ML-best 3.43 K/BB ratio. Numbers like those help this unit rank among the top five bullpens in Baseball.

The Cubs pen owns a 4.34 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP, along with a 2.28 K/BB ratio.

MLB Betting Trends

  • Minnesota is only 12-17 on the road this season.
  • The Cubs are 17-12 at home this season.
  • Minnesota is 24-15 against right-handed starters this season.
  • Chicago is 24-18 vs. RH starters this season.

Totals Report

  • Unders are a lopsided 35-17 in Twins games this season.
  • Overs are 26-25 in Cubs games this season.
  • Unders are 17-12 in games played at Wrigley Field this season.
  • Unders are a combined 12-7 when Darvish and Berrios start this season.

Free MLB Pick

Darvish gets our handicapping check-mark in the pitching match-up but Minnesota owns a short edge in the splits with the sticks and a solid edge in the bullpen comparison. So we’re going with the Twins at the underdog price for our free MLB pick for Sunday.