Twins Notebook 9/23: Ace in the Hole
Tuesday’s Game Recap
MIN 5, DET 4: Kepler Delivers Walk-Off Hit, Twins Half Game Back in Division
Twins vs Tigers 6:40 pm CDT
Betting Line: MIN -286, DET +250, O/U: 8
Twins Starter: Kenta Maeda (5-1) RHP 2.52 ERA
Kenta Maeda is one of the best pitchers in the American League. In fact he’s ranked third amongst starting pitchers in the AL on ESPN’s Cy Young Predictor, only behind division foes Shane Bieber and Dallas Keuchel. And regardless of what the friendly folks at ESPN say, Maeda has earned the title of Twins ace.
However, Maeda’s one loss of the year came on August 30 at Detroit, when he gave up three runs on six hits in 6.0 innings. A bad outing? Not by any means, but it was the only start all year where Maeda gave up six or more hits. In his September 5 no-decision outing against the Tigers, Maeda gave up run runs on two hits in 6.0 innings.
Despite his 0-1 season record against Detroit, Tiger hitters have batted a meager .159 AVG against Maeda this season. Almost all of Maeda’s starts in 2020 have been quality starts, expect another one tonight.
Tigers Starter: Casey Mize (0-2) RHP 6.02 ERA
Drafted by the Tigers in 2018, the Auburn Tiger alum is still looking for his first Major League win. Mize has faced the Twins twice this year, earning a no-decision in both outings. The first of those was on August 30 when he faced off against Maeda in a game the Tigers won 3-2. Mize only lasted three innings in that game and four in his subsequent outing against Minnesota on September 6.
While the Twins haven’t recorded wins in both outings against Mize their bats have come alive against the young righty. The Twins have hit .297 against Mize and have forced him out of the game early in both matchups. Expect the Twins offense to plate more runs against Mize then they have all season.
Three days ago it seemed as if the AL Central was out of reach for the Twins following their series defeat to the White Sox that put them three games back from the 'Southsiders' in the standings. But following last night's victory and two consecutive White Sox losses the Twins sit just .5 games back from Chicago. Cleveland ace Shane Bieber takes the mound tonight as the Indians look to sweep the White Sox. A Twins win and a White Sox loss tonight would put Minnesota atop the AL Central.
The Smell of October
The Postseason fever is in the air across the Majors with a large number of teams starting their projected Wild Card round game one starter.
Off all the great pitching matchups on the day Bieber vs. Giolito will be the marquee showdown as the Indians hope to continue their stretch of success and help out the Twins.
Around the AL Central
- Indians 5, White Sox 3
- Cardinals 5, Royals 0
1. CWS 34-21 0.0 GB
2. MIN 34-22 0.5 GB
3. CLE 31-24 3.0 GB
4. DET 22-31 11.0 GB
5. KC 22-33 12.0 GB
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