The Detroit Tigers visit Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota on Thursday night. There they will take on the Minnesota Twins. First pitch will be at 7:10 pm central. Detroit is coming off of a disappointing series against the fourth place Chicago White Sox in their division. They dropped two games in a row against the rebuilding Chicago squad. As is stands, Detroit’s record is 50-71, which puts them in third place in the American League Central division. They are 19 and a half games behind the division leaders, the Cleveland Indians. In the case of Minnesota, they are on the other side of the coin, as they have won two straight games against Pittsburgh. They are 56-63, putting them in second place and 12 and a half games behind Cleveland, who is running away with the division. Minnesota is favored in this matchup: at -155.
For Detroit, Francisco Liriano will be on the mound. The big lefty has been decent throughout his career, posting a near .500 career record. However, this season has been disappointing for him. He stands at 3-7 thus far, and owns a 4.42 ERA. He is a far cry from the 2006 Liriano, who went 12-3 with the Twins or the 2013 Liriano who went 16-8 with the Pirates, but he still has some gas in the tank. His velocity has diminished, so he will have to locate his pitches nearly perfectly if he wants to win this game in an attempt to bring his record and other numbers anywhere near respectable.
Equally struggling Ervin Santana will be on the hill for the Twins. Since coming off of finger surgery, he has lost some velocity from his pitches. In his last outing, he played against Detroit, and gave up five runs in six innings, a game he will definitely look to improve upon. Like his fellow Dominican counterpart, he is also aging and looking to end the last few seasons of his career with some decent numbers. He is 0-1, with a 6.53 ERA.
Detroit is led by Nicholas Castellanos. His numbers aren’t elite, but they are respectable. He is hitting at a .290 mark, and has driven in 66 runs. Those are both team leading numbers, along with his 17 home runs. The Tigers are a shadow of their former self, a team that boasted a rotation including Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer (Who are dominating for other teams) and a fearsome lineup led by Miguel Cabrera, whose career seems to be in its twilight, destined to end with a losing record.
The Twins also seem to be diminished, but from much more recently. Comparing this team to the one who played in the AL Wild Card game last season is laughable. The Twins seemed as one of the more promising young teams who may finally break through and make it to the World Series at some point. Now, they look like a bottom feeder. Much like Castellanos with the Tigers, Eddie Rosario seems to be the heartbeat of the Minnesota offense. He is hitting .295, having driven in 67 runs. He will likely need to contribute for the Twins to win.
Twins Top Tigers
Two aging former stud starters, with seemingly depleted lineups. Sadly, this game seems set up to be forgettable. The Twins will be unpredictable, as Santana’s progress from his last bad outing will be seen in this game. If his velocity has come back in some way, he should be fine. Otherwise, I give this game to the home team whose hitting seems slightly better than that of the Tigers. Bet on the Minnesota Twins at -155.
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