A split last night in the St. Louis and Arizona game has us at 4-4 this month as we continue to slide under the break-even point. A couple of wins to conclude August would certainly be nice and we’re going out to the Trop where the playoff hungry Minnesota Twins look to up their current winning streak to six games, while the Rays hope to get back into the thick of the AL wildcard hunt.
Typically I would be a little hesitant to start backing a team once it has already established a winning streak like Minnesota has. The Twins have won five straight and are just a half game back for that all-important second wildcard slot. But I’m pretty bullish on Minnesota going forward into this last month of the season because of the new, young talent that has been injected into the lineup. While Byron Buxton has yet to produce like we all know he can and will, Miguel Sano has been straight awesome in what’s been a little over a quarter of a full season for him now. Sano homered last night and has 12 on the year to go along with a .397 on-base percentage. With these two guys jumpstarting the lineup in the last 35+ games, there’s a lot to like about the Twins’ lineup, even if it does have to face Chris Archer tonight.
He is coming off yet another complete game one-hitter, but in his prior three starts Archer surrendered 12 earned runs, the highest of any three start stretch in what’s been a tremendous season for the 26-year-old ace. Archer will be tough on the Twinkies tonight but if they can get him out of the ballgame after six innings, there’s a lot to like about their chances against Tampa’s ‘pen. Then there’s 24-year-old Tyler Duffey who has impressed in his first two Major League starts. The youngster out of Houston, Texas has allowed just two earned runs in his first 13.2 innings as a starting pitcher and gets to face the AL’s most benign offense. He should at least be able to keep it close, if not continue Minny’s run to the playoffs.
Free Pick: Twins (+1.5) -125
YTD: 18-16-4 -1.51
2014: 45-28-3 +9.02