967/968 OVER 6.5 Detroit Tigers (Boyd) at Minnesota Twins (Dobnak) 1:10 PM CT (Game 1 7inn)
Playing the ‘over’ in a 7 inning game is a little uncomfortable but setting those numbers is a great challenge for the oddsmakers as well as everyone adjusts to this season’s uniqueness. The Twins have slid into third place in the surprisingly fierce AL Central with the fourth place Tigers even a .500 team on the edge of the playoff cut line. Matthew Boyd has been a talented pitcher stuck on terrible teams the past three years but as the Tigers have shown life this season, the left-hander has turned in disastrous results. His strikeout counts are high but he has surrendered nine home runs in seven starts and his ERA is 7.27 even after a strong outing vs. the Twins last week. Randy Dobnak’s fine campaign hit a wall in Detroit allowing 12 hits and six runs in his last start as both teams should have a comfort level at the plate in this matchup. While Dobnak was a nice early season surprise his strikeout rate is limited and his xFIP is more than a run higher than his ERA. He has also compiled wins vs. the Pirates, Indians, Brewers, and twice vs. Kansas City as he has benefitted from mostly facing bad offensive opposition. With 16 runs the past three games finally back at home after a long road trip, the Twins seem to be back on track offensively. The season splits suggest that both teams prefer facing the other hand, with Minnesota better vs. righties and Detroit better vs. lefties but these teams are familiar with these starters and both bullpens have had mediocre results in the past 10 games. Those recent splits also show Detroit batting 11 points higher vs. right-handers while scoring 6.9 runs per game while Minnesota has hit 37 points higher vs. lefties in that span. The return of Josh Donaldson boosts Minnesota’s potential vs. lefties and it will be hard to trust either starter to deliver a shutdown outing. In the first game of the double-header the ‘over’ is appealing at 6.5.
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