Series 3 Preview - Twins @ Red Sox
Friday, April 15th 2:10 PM – Nick Pivetta (0-1 6.35 ERA) vs Joe Ryan (0-1 4.50 ERA)
Saturday, April 16th 4:10 PM – Tanner Houck (0-0 8.10 ERA) vs Sonny Gray (0-0 3.86 ERA)
Sunday, April 17th 1:35 PM – Michael Wacha (0-0 5.40 ERA) vs Bailey Ober (1-0 7.20 ERA)
Monday, April 18th 1:35 PM – Rich Hill (0-0 6.23 ERA) vs Dylan Bundy (0-0 6.23 ERA)
The Twins were on the wrong side of a Perfect Game bid from Clayton Kershaw Wednesday afternoon (it was absolutely bullshit that he was pulled in the 8th with only 80 pitches), while their pitching let up 7 runs in both games of the series against the Dodgers. This isn’t the Twins that we are used to though, they have totally revamped their lineup from top to bottom. Although the headline grabbing acquisition from the Twins was Carlos Correa, our old friend Gary Sanchez has been the one shouldering the load for Minnesota, with 5 RBI in 5 games played. Adding in Byron Buxton, Jorge Polanco, and Max Kepler, this lineup is solid and will most certainly be a challenge for our 2-5 starters.
No one on our team has faced Joe Ryan, and he has only 30.2 innings in his young career. Based on what I am seeing, he does well avoiding contact, but when he fails to do so he gets hammered. His WHIP is an impressive .880, but his ERA is over 4. He has only let up 18 hits, but has 14 runs allowed. My analysis? Raffy, JD, and Bobby D all sock a dinger in our home opener and this guy doesn’t last through the fourth inning. Pivetta is well known to this Twins lineup, and buddy let me tell you he has STRUGGLED. A .448 BA against, allowing 5 home runs, a triple, and 2 doubles is what we call Not Great Bob! Jorge Polanco alone is 5 for 6 with 2 home runs against Pivetta. If I were just betting with my head, I am taking the over, but with it being the home opener I’ll also put a unit on the Sox.
Thanks to his years shitting the bed for the Yankees, a lot of our guys have seen Sonny Gray, and those have been mostly enjoyable experiences. In 10 at-bats, JD is batting .400 with a double and a home run, and Xander is 4 for 11 with a double. Surprisingly, JBJ has actually seen him the most with 20 Abs, collecting 2 triples, a double, and 3 singles. Collectively, the Twins have 21 plate appearances against Tanner Houck, collecting only three singles, a double, and a triple. I like the Sox ML in this one.
Up next is Michael Wacha against Baily Ober. Wacha has seen this Twins lineup plenty, and has been entirely all or nothing. In 62 plate appearances against Wacha, Minnesota batters only have 10 hits, not too shabby! But of those 10 hits, 6 (SIX!!!) of them are home runs and 2 of them are doubles. On the other hand, although the sample size is fairly small, we have not done well against Baily Ober. 2 hits in 15 plate appearances doesn’t give me a lot of confidence, especially considering the only 2 with hits are Vazquez and Verdugo. If you’re in a hole on Sunday, I may bet against the Sox here, but I will never bet against Boston and that is my promise to the American People.
In the series finale, we are looking at Rich Hill against Dylan Bundy. Bundy had a real drop-off last year from an outstanding 2020, and has already started 3 games in 2022. In those 3 starts, he is averaging 3 innings and has a 3.00 ERA. How many solo shots has he let up? That’s right pal, it's 3. Other than those though, he has not allowed another run, and only has 2 additional hits against him. He has historically done very well against our lineup, only allowing 3 hits in 22 at-bats against our group. Story has seen him 11 times, and only has a walk and a single to show for it. Hill has been equally impressive against the Twins, only allowing 1 hit in 21 PAs, whiffing 5 of those batters. He has only faced three batters in the Twins lineup, but those three are Carlos Correa, Gary Sanchez, and Gio Urshela, so I feel really good about Hill facing the Twins' core. I am certainly going under in this one, and will root for Rich Hill to just eat some innings for our bullpen.