Washington Nationals vs. Minnesota Twins Pick 9/10/9
Washington Nationals (79-63) vs. Minnesota Twins (88-55)
When: 7:40 p.m., Tuesday, September 10
Where: Target Field, Minneapolis
Moneyline: WSH +140/MIN -150 (GTBets)
Runline: Nats +1.5/Twins -1.5
Starting Pitchers: Anibal Sanchez (8-7, 4.11 ERA, 1.35 WHIP) vs. Jose Berrios (11-8, 3.78 ERA, 1.25 WHIP)
The Twins are at the point where they’re essentially at their last real challenge of the season before they get into the playoffs. Minnesota can’t catch the Yankees or the Astros for home-field advantage in the playoffs, and the Twins likely don’t have to worry about making the playoffs with so little time left in the schedule. Instead, Minnesota’s biggest concern is getting past this series and setting itself up for the postseason. The Twins’ lead over the Indians is still a healthy 5½ games, so Minnesota should be able to keep its hold on the AL Central as long as it can tread water over the final few weeks of the season. The Indians sit waiting for the Twins this weekend, and a split with the Nationals would give Minnesota a vital cushion.
Third Time Bust?
When he’s on, Anibal Sanchez can still get the job done. Even at age 35, he’s still got the ability to get batters out and give his team a chance to win. However, this season, it seems that he can only do the job in two consecutive starts, with the third one leading to disaster. Over Sanchez’s past ten games, he’s had six where he’s given up three runs or less, including a one-run game through 8.1 innings at Chicago. But in the remaining games — all part of that third game issue — Sanchez has given up seven, five, four and three earned runs, and the Nationals have lost all four of those games.
The good news for the Nats is that the bust game came in Sanchez’s last time on the mound against the Mets, which should set him up well for this game.
Is Jose Berrios out of bullets? It’s a fair question to ask given how the past month has gone for him on the mound. Since pitching a two-hit shutout of Miami on July 31, Berrios has been hit hard, giving up at least three runs a game and going well above that in three of those six starts. Berrios has had a fine year, but he’s ninth in the AL in innings pitched with 174 frames. The way he’s looked lately, he might be out of gas for this season.
It’s hard for there to be less history between these teams, as the Nationals haven’t played in Minneapolis since 2008. As such, this will be Washington’s first-ever series at Target Field, which was constructed in 2010. However, the cities are intertwined in baseball history, as the Twins began life as the original Washington Senators, moving to Minnesota at the start of the 1961 season. The Twins won the American League pennant in 1965, four years after the move, while the reborn Senators bumbled toward the bottom of the AL standings and moved to Texas in 1972, leaving Washington without baseball until the Nationals arrived from Montreal in 2005.
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- The Nationals are 9-2 in their past 11 games after an off day.
- The Nationals have won Sanchez’s past four road starts.
- The Twins are 5-1 in their past six interleague home games against right-handers.
- The Twins are 1-5 in Berrios’ past six starts against a team who scored five or more the previous game.
- The under is 4-1 in the Nationals’ past five interleague road games
- The over is 6-1-1 in Berrios’ past eight starts.