Twins Notebook 8/5: Twins Travel to Pittsburgh for Two-Game Stint
Image courtesy of © Jordan Johnson-USA TODAY SportsLAST NIGHT’S GAME RECAP
MIN 7, PIT 3: José Berríos Overcomes Command, Drone
Twins @ Pittsburgh, 6:05 pm CT
Betting Lines: MIN -180, PIT +155, O/U 9
Twins Starter: Randy Dobnak, RHP 1.00 ERA
Randy Dobnak totes the mound for the Twins tonight in Pittsburgh. He is coming off two impressive outings to start the season, where he has combined to give up just one run over nine innings pitched. He will look to keep his momentum going versus the rather lackluster Pirates offense.
A quick glance at Dobnak’s Statcast numbers, and they tell a slightly different story. Opposing hitters have been making loud contact off Dobnak, to the tune of a 93.1 MPH average exit velocity, so far this year. For comparison, that is nearly as high as Nelson Cruz’s 93.7 MPH average exit velocity in 2019, which ranked second in all of baseball. Dobnak has also struggled a bit with walks to start the year. So far, Dobnak has already walked four batters, which is just one less than he walked in his 28 and 1/3 regular season innings in 2019. Avoiding walks and hard contact will be the thing to watch from Dobnak in his start tonight.
Pirates Starter: Trevor Williams, RHP 5.40 ERA
The Twins will be squaring off against Pirates right-hander Trevor Williams. After a decent rookie season in 2017, followed by a strong sophomore campaign in 2018, Williams has taken a big step backwards in his career development. In 2019, Williams posted a dreadful 5.38 ERA across 26 starts. Williams hasn’t looked particularly sharp in either on of his first two starts of 2020, having given up four walks, two home runs and hitting two batters in just 8 and 1/3 innings of work.
Williams primarily features a combination of a four-seam fastball, that sits in the lower 90s, paired with a low 80s slider. He also mixes in the occasionally changeup and curveball, but neither pitch is all that impressive. As a predominantly flyball pitcher, Williams has a tough time keeping the ball in the ballpark, as he gave up 1.67 HR/9 last season. This was the 8th highest among the 88 pitchers who at least 140 innings in 2019. Expect the Twins bats to jump all over Williams, and possibly drive a couple pitches out of the park.
1. Max Kepler, RF .943 OPS
2. Jorge Polanco, SS .684 OPS
3. Nelson Cruz, DH 1.132 OPS
4. Eddie Rosario, LF .797 OPS
5. Jake Cave, CF .686 OPS
6. Luis Arraez, 2B .502 OPS
7. Mitch Garver, C .582 OPS
8. Marwin Gonzalez, 1B .800 OPS
9. Ehire Adrianza, 3B .500 OPS
News & Notes
- This is the Twins first trip to Pittsburgh since April of 2018. The Twins split that two-game series with the Pirates, though that series will probably most notably be remembered for Fernando Rodney eating snow during his relief appearance.
- Albert Pujols hit a home run last night in the Angels 5-3 win over the Mariners. Pujols now has 659 career home runs and is now just one home run shy of tying Willie Mays for fifth on the all-time home run list.
- In other Angels news, Mike Trout homered in his first at-bat back after the birth of his son Beckham. Also, Joe Maddon announced that it is unlikely that Shohei Ohtani will pitch again this season.
- Yankees reliever Tommy Kahnle had Tommy John surgey and will miss the remainder of the 2020 season.
AROUND THE AL CENTRAL
CLE 4, CIN 2
CWS 3, MIL 2
CHC 5, KC 4
1. MIN 9-2 (+27)
2. CHW 7-4 (+8)
3. CLE 6-6 (+2)
4. DET 5-5 (-11)
5. KCR 3-9 (-17)
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