Minnesota Twins’ Jorge Polanco, center, celebrates with teammates after hitting a home run to win the game against the Detroit Tigers during the 10th inning of a baseball game Sunday, July 11, 2021, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Stacy Bengs)
- The Minnesota Twins visit the Detroit Tigers on Saturday (July 17th) at 1:10 pm ET for Game 1 of a doubleheader
- Minnesota swept Detroit in a four game series last week, and is 7-2 versus them this season
- Read below for odds, analysis and a betting prediction
Nasty weather in Michigan wiped out a doubleheader between the Minnesota Twins and Detroit Tigers on Friday, meaning a twinbill is now on deck for Saturday (July 17th). First pitch for Game 1 is set for 1:10 pm ET at Comerica Park, and sunshine is in the forecast.
Twins vs Tigers Odds
Odds as of July 16th at DraftKings.
Minnesota opened up as a slight road favorite in the MLB odds, looking to take down Detroit for the fifth straight time in just over a week. The Twins swept a four game series versus the Tigers in Minnesota last week, outscoring them 30-18.
Both games of Saturday’s doubleheader will be seven-inning affairs, a fact that must be considered if you’re contemplating a bet on the total.
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Lefty Charlie Barnes is set to make his Major League debut for Minnesota, while Detroit will counter with Jose Urena. Barnes is 5-2 with a 3.88 ERA at Triple-A St. Paul in 2021. He’s got a 50-19 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 11 starts, and is 2-0 with a 3.65 ERA in his past two outings.
Barnes vs Urena
Urena meanwhile, has struggled badly this season and has been hit hard in both outings against the Twins. The right-hander has an 8.59 ERA versus Minnesota in 2021, surrendering 13 hits, 8 runs and 6 walks in just 7.1 innings of work.
BOMBA @BringerOfRain20 Josh Donaldson ties it up!!! pic.twitter.com/9H5WdqJyyo
— RichardNoggin42 (@RNoggin42) May 8, 2021
Last time out, Urena was lit up by Texas to the tune of 6 hits and 5 runs over 4.2 innings, marking the fifth time this season he’s allowed at least 5 runs.
Batting Average vs Starting Pitchers
|Twins Batters||Batting Average vs Urena||Tigers Batters||Batting Average vs Twins Pitching|
|Luis Arraez||1.000||Robbie Grossman||.241|
|Josh Donaldson||.500||Jonathan Schoop||.229|
|Trevor Larnach||.000||Eric Haase||.250|
|Nelson Cruz||.600||Miguel Cabrera||.276|
|Alex Kirilloff||.000||Jeimer Candelario||.152|
|Jorge Polanco||1.000||Isaac Paredes||.000|
|Max Kepler||.250||Niko Goodrum||.400|
|Ryan Jeffers||.000||Jake Rogers||.182|
|Andrelton Simmons||.143||Derek Hill||.000|
The trio of Jorge Polanco, Josh Donaldson and Nelson Cruz have pounded Urena this year, combining to go 12-for-18, with a pair of home runs and 7 RBI. Polanco and Cruz are each batting .351 versus Minnesota pitching this season, while the Twins have racked up 61 runs against their divisional rival in only nine contests.
Given that this will be Barnes’ MLB debut, no Detroit hitters have any experience versus him at the Big League level, however Niko Goodrum has been one player that has feasted on Twins pitching in 2021. The 29-year-old is batting .400 against Minny this season in 25 at-bats, posting a 1.064 OPS.
Twins vs Tigers Pick
Minnesota dominating Detroit has been a trend over the past few seasons. Since 2017, the Twins are 50-26 versus the Tigers, and have won 13 of the past 16 matchups.
The Twins enter play winners of six of eight overall, and appear poised to take advantage of a struggling Urena. The 29-year-old has gone 10 straight outings without posting a quality start, and has failed to make it out of the 5th inning in five straight appearances. He ranks near the bottom of the league in a handful of categories, including strikeout percentage (14%), and has issued a .382 batting average to Twins hitters in two starts.
Also working in Minnesota’s favor, is Detroit’s severe home-road splits. The Tigers average half a run less at Comerica Park than in visiting stadiums, and have hit 26 fewer home runs in Detroit.
The Tigers rank bottom-10 in baseball in batting average, slugging percentage and runs per game, and have the worst winning percentage within the division of any team in the AL Central.
First time for everything:
A four-game sweep of the Tigers in Minnesota.
🧹🧹🧹🧹#TwinsWin | #MNTwins pic.twitter.com/Cv8j5oIPyv
— Minnesota Twins (@Twins) July 11, 2021
You couldn’t ask for a better team to debut against if you’re Barnes, and while he certainly won’t overpower the opposition, he should find success. The 25-year-old has held opposing Triple-A hitters to a .241 batting average, in large part thanks to a plus sinker and change up.
Pick: Minnesota Twins Moneyline (-110)
Chris began his career at Hockey Night in Canada over 15 years ago. He has since worked at TSN for over 12 years as a writer, line-up producer, field producer, newsroom supervisor for Sportscentre, and presently as a promotions producer.