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Pirates vs. Twins, 7:10 ET
At one point in time, one of the teams in this game was having a really nice campaign and they were working toward winning the division. Then all hell broke loose and they dropped down in the standings and now are fighting with the Cardinals for the last place. The Twins on the other hand have had to fight for first place the full year and are still sitting there. Now the Pirates and Twins take each other on in an evening matchup.
The Pirates are over 10 games under .500 at this point, but you have to give them a bit of credit because I was thinking that they would be significantly worse this season. The last time they were above .500 was June 15th. Since that point, the Pirates have gone 21-34. Today, they take on the Twins who still have something left to play for. The Pirates try and win this game with Mitch Keller, their lone All-Star. Keller has a 4.27 ERA overall, but he has struggled on the road in comparison to his home starts. Keller has a 5.00 road ERA. Since the All-Star break, Keller has been rather inconsistent. He has just one quality start, and two of the other starts were okay with three or fewer earned runs allowed but just around five innings pitched. In the other three starts, he allowed at least six earned runs. Twins hitters haven’t had much experience against Keller, but one guy who has done very well against him is Kyle Farmer. Farmer has got 8-for-15 against him, so over 1.5 hits or total bases at plus money might be a nice prop bet to tack onto this game.
The Twins should win their division. The Royals have been out of it since April, essentially. The White Sox, pretty much the same thing, but they at least were somewhat relevant for longer. The Tigers put a bit of a scare into Minnesota, but are out of it and were sellers at the deadline. The Guardians actually still have a chance to make a run at the division, but they also sold at the deadline for some reason. The Twins have stumbled a bit lately which has left the door open for a crack. They should be able to make progress against the Pirates though, especially with Sonny Gray on the mound. Gray has been a bit of a cash cow for me this season and he has a strong home presence. He has been very good in August so far with just four earned runs allowed over 19 innings pitched. He has posted five consecutive quality starts, and has a good situation to get another one here today. Gray has allowed six hits in 24 at-bats against him by the Pirates hitters. Bryan Reynolds has two home runs and four total hits in 11 at-bats so he’d be another one to bet over total bases on for today.
I’m going to take the Twins run line here. Gray has been very good lately and I think we are getting pretty solid value here. Keller has the ability to be a really good pitcher, but something is off and I think the Twins can capitalize on his shortcomings right now. I’ll back Sonny Gray and the Twins at +140 on the run line.
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