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[8:05 p.m. EST] Minnesota Twins (1.5-run line: -116) at Texas Rangers
MIN: Michael Pineda – R (7-5, 4.15 ERA/1.19 WHIP)
TEX: Pedro Payano – R (1-1, 3.86 ERA/1.71 WHIP)
The SpreadKnowledge MLB Free Pick of the Day comes to us from the Rangers-Twins game on Thursday. We’re taking the Twins on the 1.5-run line saving some money to lay in the process. After all, the Twins +0.6 IRT (implied run total) increase is the second-highest on tonight’s slate.
Michael Pineda makes his return off a brief stint on the injured list. He’ll be facing a Rangers team that has scored two runs or fewer in six of their last nine games. Looking at Texas over a slightly larger scope, its offense owns dreadful .292 weighted on-base average, .155 ISO (power metric) and 27.5 K-rate numbers over the last 21 days.
Pineda got off to a rough start this season, but he was simply masterful before hitting the IL, allowing three runs or fewer in each of his last six starts – two runs or fewer in five of those, one run or fewer in four.
Pedro Payano probably won’t last long in this game, whether if it’s due to his short leash or ineffectiveness. Payano has walked 10 batters over his last 12 2/3 innings of work, and that’s just not a recipe for success against a team like the Twins.
This game has a total of 12 attached to it, and you have to believe that’s got a lot to do with the Twins in this matchup against Payano – not necessarily the Rangers against Pineda.
Texas has lost six of its last eight games coming into tonight. Look for Minnesota to get the bats going early and often in one of the best hitter’s parks in all of baseball.
* Final Score Prediction * Minnesota Twins: 12 – Texas Rangers: 4