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Series Preview: Athletics at Twins

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The Twins are finally facing another non-AL Central team, and it’s a not very good one featuring former-Twin Trevor Plouffe.

MLB: Texas Rangers at Oakland Athletics
Trevor Plouffe is back and he says he wants to beat us up.
Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

The boys are back in town as the Minnesota Twins (12-11) start a three-game series against the Oakland Athletics (11-14) tonight at Target Field. In case you were wondering (because I was, even though I knew the answer), it’s only the second series against a non-AL Central Division team the Twins have had all year.

Is that a good thing or a bad thing? I’m not quite sure, but what I do know is that the Athletics are not very good. Sure, their record is currently good enough for third place in the AL West, but the A’s were pretty much a consensus last-place finisher among most preseason predictions. They’ve also lost six of their last seven games coming into tonight’s contest, including a 7-2 drubbing at the hands of the Astros on Sunday.

This week’s series is also notable for the return of Trevor Plouffe. Remember him? It’s the first time the seven-year Twins veteran will face his former team, which may or may not elicit varying-levels of feelings from fans.

As for how Plouffe feels about it, he had this to say to the San Francisco Chronicle:

“It’ll be nice to see everyone again, but I want to beat up on them for sure. I’m definitely going to relay some information.”

If you’re curious, Plouffe is currently hitting .207/.275/.366 with four home runs. Hopefully he can pad those stats using all his insider info against Ervin Santana, who pitches Tuesday night for the Twins.

Spoiler alert: I doubt Plouffe will so that, because Santana has been phenomenal so far this year. His 0.77 ERA (!!) is still the lowest of any starter in MLB. Plouffe also has only a .111 BA in nine at-bats against Santana in his career.

Santana will face off against Sonny Gray, who will be making his frst start of the season for the A’s. Though Gray has had success in his career (he finished in third for the 2015 AL Cy Young award), he struggled quite a bit last year and has been on the DL with some nagging injury issues. We’ll see what he can do tonight—but I bet the Twins could rattle him early in the game. I’m calling either a Brian Dozier or Miguel Sano dinger the first or second trip through the order.

On Wednesday, the Athletics are sending another gimp to the mound in Kendall Graveman. It’s only Graveman’s second start of the season (again, injury). He did okay in his first one against the Angels, giving up only two runs over six innings and turning a cool unassisted double play. He’ll face the surprisingly competent Hector Santiago.

Thursday’s game may be the hardest for the Twins, as that’s when Kyle Gibson has to pitch. Gibson has been pretty bad, as his 8.06 ERA through five starts shows. He’ll be opposing the young Jharel Cotton, whom the Twins have never faced before, so it’ll be kind of a grab bag of a game.

Also, have you voted for Miguel Sano for the All-Star Game yet?

Pitching Match-ups

Game 1: Tuesday, 5/2 7:10 pm CT - Ervin Santana RHP vs. Sonny Gray RHP

Game 2: Wednesday, 5/3 7:10 pm CT - Hector Santiago LHP vs. Kendall Graveman RHP

Game 3: Thursday, 5/4 12:10 pm CT - Kyle Gibson RHP vs. Jharel Cotton RHP

Notes

  • Brian Doizer is the only current Twin with a home run off Sonny Gray in his career.
  • Because Saturday’s game was rained out, but Hector Santiago’s stay on the bereavement list lasts three games, the Twins still have an extra Buddy Boshers in the bullpen Tuesday night!
  • Our brothers and sisters over at Atheltics Nation wrote their own series preview, if you’re interested in checking out what they think about us.
  • With 21 career at-bats, Jed Lowrie has the most experience against Hector Santiago of all the current Athletics. He also doesn’t have a hit against him.

Poll

How many games against the Athletics do you think the Twins will win this week?

This poll is closed

  • 28%
    3
    (59 votes)
  • 62%
    2
    (131 votes)
  • 3%
    1
    (8 votes)
  • 4%
    0
    (10 votes)
208 votes total Vote Now