Minnesota Twins vs. Tampa Bay Rays Free Preview

Jose VasquezArticles, Baseball, MLB

The Minnesota Twins will be squaring off against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Fox Sports North will broadcast this AL matchup and the game gets going at 6:10 p.m. ET.

Minnesota Twins vs. Tampa Bay Rays Odds

Minnesota (+105) is entering this game as the underdog against Tampa Bay (-115) and oddsmakers have set the Over/Under for this game at 8 runs (+110 for the over and -130 for the under). The games runline odds stand at -200 for taking the Twins +1.5 runs and +170 for the Rays -1.5.

The Rays are only 6-13 SU and 9-9 ATS. They’ve lost 8.8 units for bettors taking the moneyline and 0.8 units against the spread (ATS). Tampa Bay has a 3-4 ATS mark over its last seven games and the over has hit in four of those seven. The Twins, on the other hand, are 8-6 SU and have gone 10-3 ATS. Overall, the teams gained 3.5 units for moneyline gamblers in the seasons early going and 7.2 units ATS. Minnesota has covered the spread four times in its last seven games and the under has hit in five of those seven.

Rays games have an over/under record of 11-7 thus far in 2018. Twins games have gone under nine times, gone over four times and pushed on zero instances.

The right-handed Kyle Gibson is getting the start for Minnesota. Gibson is 1-0 with a 3.68 ERA and 13 strikeouts. He has yet to face the Rays this year and only made one start against them in 2017 (0-0, 3.38 ERA and four strikeouts across 5.1 innings).

The Rays are putting the ball in the left hand of Blake Snell (2-1, 2.95 ERA, 1.08 WHIP), who has 26 strikeouts and 10 walks. Snell only made one start against the Twins in 2017 (0-0, 13.50 ERA and seven strikeouts across four innings).

Tampa Bay’s pitchers have yielded 5.3 runs per game overall this season as a unit. The teams starting pitching staff has a 4.71 ERA, 1.30 WHIP and 8.4 strikeouts per nine innings. The bullpen has a 5.10 ERA, 1.51 WHIP and 8.5 K/9.

The Tampa Bay offense has put up 3.7 runs per contest, including 4.3 per game over its last 10 games and 5.2 per game over its last five. The teams hit .288/.364/.424 over its last five games and is 3-2 SU during that stretch.

The Rays hitters have been led by left fielder Mallex Smith and second baseman Daniel Robertson. Smith is hitting .364/.417/.491 with 20 hits, three RBIs and seven runs scored, and Robertson’s line is .250/.449/.389 with nine hits, four RBIs and nine runs.

Smith enjoyed batting against righty pitching at home last year, slashing .305/.393/.429 over 122 such plate appearances (his overall season line was .270/.329/.355).

For the visitors, Minnesota’s pitching staff allowed 3.7 runs per game and its starters own a 3.32 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and 9.15 K/9. The bullpen has an ERA of 3.27, along with a K-per-9 of 8.84.

The Twins offense has slashed .230/.307/.398 on its way to 4.4 runs scored per game this season, including 4.2 runs per game over the teams last 10 games and 4.6 per game over the teams last five outings (3-2 SU).

Minnesota’s hitters have been led by outfielder Max Kepler and first baseman Joe Mauer. Kepler is hitting .289/.396/.622 with 13 hits, six RBIs and six runs scored, while Mauer (.333/.475/.438) has produced 16 hits, six RBIs and seven runs scored.

Compared to his total season slash line of .243/.312/.425, Kepler didn’t do especially well against left-handed pitchers on the road in 2017, maintaining a slash line of .136/.212/.254 across 66 such plate appearances.

The Twins have gained 2.5 units and are 2-0 ATS when facing a left-handed starting pitcher this year. The over has cashed in zero of those games, compared to two that’ve hit the under in such games. On the other hand, the Rays have lost 7.0 units and are 3-7 ATS when facing a righty starter. The over has hit in six of those games, compared to four that went under.

Minnesota Twins at Tampa Bay Rays MLB Tip

Predictions: SU Winner – Rays, ATS Winner – Twins, O/U – OVER

Betting Notes

  • Tampa Bay has posted 22.7 Runs + Hits + Errors per game over its last 10 outings and 25.6 over its last five.
  • The Twins have hit 10 home runs in their last 10 games, including six over their last five.