Twins Notebook 8/10: Looking to Brew Up Another W
Image courtesy of © Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY SportsYESTERDAY’S GAME RECAP
KCR 4, MIN 2: Bad Day for Berríos, Bats
QUESTION OF THE DAY
Would you rather the Twins had gotten off to a slower start, but have the exact same record?
Twins at Brewers 7:10 pm CT
Betting lines: Minnesota -114, O/U 8.5
Twins starter: Randy Dobnak RHP, 2-1 0.60 ERA
This really isn’t just a cute story anymore. Randy Dobnak has pitched 43.1 big league innings and has a miniscule 1.25 ERA to show for it. His 0.60 mark in 2020 is the lowest in baseball, and eight starts into his Major League career, he continues to find ways to get the job done.
Dobnak doesn’t put the ball by many hitters, as evidenced by the 4.8 K/9 in 2020. What he has been doing this season is inducing a ton of ground balls. The 52.9% ground ball rate last year was nice, but this season it’s all the way up to 68.2%. His hard hit rate remains a consistent 45% but giving up so few fly balls (just 15%) negates possibility for those events to hurt him.
None of his offerings are going to break the radar gun, but the heavy sink on his fastball and the frequency he goes to it is the name of the game. A 40% chase rate happens with much of those instances coming below the zone. If there’s a guy willing to let you get yourself out, it’s this type of pitcher.
Brewers starter: Adrian Houser RHP, 1-0 0.75 ERA
The former second round pick is off to a fast start for the Brewers in 2020. He’s given up just a single run in 12.0 IP and has won one of the two outings he’s been on the bump for. Like Dobnak, Houser doesn’t light up the radar gun, and his ability to generate ground balls is what sets him apart.
It’s an incredibly small sample size thus far, but Houser is generating grounders on 74.1% of the balls he’s had put in play against him. The 40.7% hard hit rate is a career high however. Houser utilizes a sinker as well and has gotten a career best 11% whiff rate and 30.2% chase rate this season.
Free passes are something to keep an eye on with him. He’s allowed 5 walks in 12 innings already and owns a 3.1 BB/9 over the past two seasons.
News and notes:
- The St. Louis Cardinals season remains on pause as they deal with their COVID-19 outbreak. They have not played since the end of July and have just 5 games total under their belt this year. The series with the Pirates through Wednesday has been postponed.
- Indians starter Zach Plesac made a dumb and selfish decision over the weekend. He was told to pack his toys and go home.
Around the AL Central
DET 2, PIT 1
CLE 5, CWS 4 (F/10)
MIN 10-6 (+23 run differential)
DET 8-5 (0)
CLE 10-7 (+22)
CWS 8-8 (-3)
KC 7-10 (-5)
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