Minnesota Twins (10-10) +130, o/u 8 at Oakland A’s (12-9), 10 pm Eastern Wednesday
by Zman of Predictem.com
The two top pitching teams in the AL in the early going of this season meet again when the Minnesota Twins take on the Oakland A’s in the middle game of a three-game series Wednesday night in O-Town.
Baseball Bookies list the A’s and Chad Gaudin as -140 home favorites for Wednesday’s game, with a total of 8, while Minnesota and Boof Bonser are getting around +125 as road underdogs.
The Twins won the opener of this series 5-4 Tuesday night, tying the game in the seventh inning and scoring the winning run in the eighth for their third victory in a row. So going into Wednesday’s game, Minnesota sits in second place in the AL Central, a game and a half behind the first-place Chicago White Sox, while Oakland, which had a three-game winning streak broken Tuesday, is tied for first in the AL West with the Los Angeles Angels.
Last year, the Twins took the season series with the A’s five games to two. The o/u went 1-6 in those seven games, which trended severely toward the low-scoring, averaging just 6.0 total runs per.
This season, Minnesota is 4-4 on the road, 12-8 vs. the run line and 7-7 as underdogs. Meanwhile, Oakland is 6-7 at home this year, just 2-5 as favorites but 14-7 vs. the run line.
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Bonser (1-3, 4.70, 1.30 WHIP this season), coming off a poor outing last Thursday in a loss to Tampa Bay, has allowed nine ER and 22 baserunners (hits + walks) in his last three starts, covering 17 IP. The Twins are 1-3 in Bonser’s starts this year, the o/u 2-2.
Bonser made one start vs. the A’s last year, giving up three ER and eight BR in 6 1/3 innings of a 4-3 Minnesota win.
On the other side of this pitching match-up, Gaudin (1-1, 4.76, 1.29) has made three starts this season, including a winning performance last Friday vs. Kansas City, allowing nine ER and 22 BR in 17 innings of work. Oakland is 2-1 in Gaudin’s starts this year, as is the over/under.
Gaudin made two starts vs. the Twins last year, giving up seven ER and 24 BR including 10 walks in just nine IP. The A’s managed to split those two games, and both somehow stayed under their totals.
On the offensive side of things, Minnesota ranks just 28th in the majors in team OBP at .303 and 25th in team slugging at .362, and is averaging only 3.8 runs per game. Meanwhile, Oakland ranks 13th in OBP at .336 and 24th in slugging at .363, and is averaging 4.5 RPG.
The Twins have been trending toward the low-scoring; over their last four games, Minnesota pitchers have given up just nine runs, but over the last five games, Twins hitters have pushed across just 13 runs.
Meanwhile, the A’s have scored 30 runs over their last four games.
Both of these bullpens have been very good as of late. Over the last five games, the Minnesota bullpen has allowed just one ER and 11 BR in 16 1/3 IP, while the Oakland pen has given up just three ER and 14 BR over its last 17 1/3 innings of work.
The o/u is 9-11 in Twins games this year, which are averaging 7.9 total runs, while the totals are 8-11 in A’s games, which are averaging 8.3 runs per. And games played at McAfee Coliseum last year averaged 8.4 total runs, the 4th-lowest scoring average among ML ballparks.
Zman’s Pick: The A’s have the value here as a medium chalk.