8:10 PM EST – Money Line: Twins -134, Run Line: 9.5u13
Northwestern powers collide in this Interleague matchup as the surging Minnesota Twins host the Milwaukee Brewers from Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In search of a turnaround, the Brewers (30-24, 2nd in NL Central) entered this four-game set with the Twins after dropping five out of their last eight games, ending a stretch in which they had won ten of thirteen contests. One of the more potent offensive teams in the National League, Craig Counsell’s men rank in the Top-Five of their respective league in a multitude of categories, including Runs Scored (265), Hits (461), Stolen Bases (33), Walks (211), On-Base Percentage (.332), Slugging Percentage (.439), and most notably Home Runs (89), in which they sit atop the competition. Milwaukee has already pelted Eighty-Nine Homers thus far, seven more than the next team. Unsurprisingly, reigning National League MVP, Christian Yelich (.325 BA, 42 R, 55 H, 7 2B, 21 HR, 43 RBI, 10 SB, 31 BB, 25 K) has been at the forefront, leading the entire Majors with Twenty-One Home Runs, including three in his last four games alone. At this rate, the Outfielder figures to smash his personal-best of Thirty-Six recorded last season. However, he’s been far from the only Brewer to make an impact in this regard, with veteran Third Baseman, Mike Moustakas (.261 BA, 32 R, 49 H, 13 2B, 13 HR, 32 RBI, 16 BB, 41 K) looking more comfortable in his first full season with the franchise, after being acquired midseason from the Kansas City Royals in 2018. Over the last four outings, the 2015 World Series Champion has gone 6-for-16 with a Double, a pair of Home Runs, and Three RBIs. Heading to the mound tonight is Zach Davies (5-0, 2.43 ERA, 55.2 IP, 52 H, 15 ER, 6 HR, 17 BB, 38 K, 1.240 WHIP), who appears to have put a disappointing 2018 campaign behind him, authoring a perfect start to the term, winning Five of his first Ten Starts. Granted, the young Righthander has been far from overpowering, and been the recipient of some rather strong Run Support, particularly of late (22 Runs in last Two Starts), he’s nonetheless provided Counsell with a steady arm in the Rotation. When we last saw him, Davies departed the Brewers’ 11-9 victory over the Cincinnati Reds earlier than he’d have liked, lasting just Three Innings in which he relinquished Six Runs on as many Hits, including a pair of Home Runs. Fortunately, the hosts managed to overcome an early 1-6 deficit, scoring Ten Runs over the final Five Innings, with the aforementioned Moustakas going yard, and Yasmani Grandal (.269 BA, 25 R, 33 H, 4 2B, 10 HR, 28 RBI, 29 BB, 42 K) hammering a Two-Run Shot in the Sixth Inning to even the score.
Meanwhile, the Baseball Renaissance continues in Minneapolis, where the Twins (36-16, 1st in AL Central) have raced out to the best record in the Majors, and currently enjoy the most comfortable cushion in their Division, leading the Cleveland Indians by ten games. With just one Playoff Appearance in the past eight years to show for themselves, Minnesota underwent some serious changes in the Offseason, parting ways with former First Baseman Paul Molitor, who guided the franchise to the American League Wild Card Playoff back in 2017, and hiring Rocco Baldelli to his first post as a Manager. the 37-Year Old has done a remarkable job in the early stages of this season, with the Twins on an absolute TEAR of late, winning Eleven of their last Twelve Games, and Twenty-Three of their last Thirty. Offense, Offense, and more Offense has propelled them to this point, ranking tops in the American League in a slew of categories, including Runs (315), Doubles (111), Home Runs (104), and Slugging Percentage (.860), while placing Second thus far in Hits (488), Batting Average (.273), and On-Base Percentage (.343). The Long Ball has been their greatest tool, with Fifty-four Homers to their credit in the month of May thus far, which is a record for this particular month. Furthermore, Minnesota has failed to hit a Home Run in just Ten of their Fifty-Two outings this season, which is a ridiculous feat unto itself. Four different players have jacked at least Ten Homers, led by Eddie Rosario (.285 BA, 37 R, 57 H, 8 2B, 16 HR, 45 RBI, 10 BB, 31 K), who after totaling Twenty-Seven and Twenty-For in the past two years, appears to be ascending to another plane of hitting for power. The young Leftfielder also leads his team in Runs (37) and RBIs (45). Switch-hitting Shortstop Jorge Polanco (.355 BA, 33 R, 66 H, 14 2B, 9 HR, 26 RBI, 24 BB, 33 K) has also emerged as a bonafide All-Star, batting a team-best .355, while leading the American League with Sixty-Six Hits. Heading to the mound tonight is Martin Perez (7-1, .295 ERA, 58.0 IP, 51 H, 19 ER, 5 HR, 26 BB, 56 K, 1.328 WHIP), who will look to become the first Twins’ Starter to reach Eight Victories this season. Given their prolific Offense, it makes sense that Baldelli’s charges would be set up for plenty of positive decisions; Minnesota’s Rotation leads the American League with Thirty Wins thus far, though to chalk all of their success to the bats supporting them would be a disservice. Since coming over from the Texas Rangers, the Venezuelan Lefty provides some sorely-needed balance for a group that is rather heavy on Righthanders, while winning Six of his last Seven Starts. When we last saw him, the 28-Year Old earned the Win despite matters turning into a 16-7 track meet, with Perez relinquishing Two Earned Runs on Six Hits over the course of Five innings, walking Four while striking out three Los Angeles Angels.