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Series Preview: Twins looking to rack up wins against the Tigers

Detroit comes into Target Field as a team who has given up already, while the Twins need wins to stay in the race.

MLB: Detroit Tigers at Minnesota Twins
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Your Minnesota Twins survived the first part of their gauntlet schedule to start the second half, and now get a brief respite, facing the Detroit Tigers at Target Field. The Tigers are 5 games behind the Indians, in fourth place, while the Twins are currently only a 1/2 game out of first place. Somehow, though, the Twins are 2-4 this season vs Detroit, so lets hope for that to be corrected this weekend.

Despite a bit of a surge before the all-star break, the Tigers are already in Fire Sale mode. They just traded J.D. Martinez to the Diamondbacks, and told him to go get a ring. There are also rumors swirling around many other Tigers, including Justin Verlander, Alex Avila, and Justin Wilson. It is very possible that the team who comes to town is different than the one who leaves.

With the most-recent AL Champion Indians, two strongly rebuilding teams in Chicago and Detroit, and an always surprising Kansas City team, the young Twins may have a lot of good competition in the next few years.

Minnesota will be running out three pitchers who have been pretty okay lately, against some guys who would have been scary five years ago.

Game one will feature Ervin Santana. As usual, Santana has held most of their batters in check, but a couple of guys have done a lot of damage. In this case, its Victor Martinez, who is hitting .324/.390/.486 with two home runs, and Ian Kinsler, at .324/.385/.563 with three dongs. Al Avila and Miguel Cabrera have also each hit a dinger off Santana, but Big Erv has avoided the Tigers thus far this season. He pitches against Anibal Sanchez, who has a 6.08 ERA this season. Sanchez has pitched against the Twins thrice this season. He gave up six runs on seven hits in a 1.1 inning relief appearance on April 13th, and the Twins won that game 11-5. He also pitched a hit-less relief inning on April 21st, and gave up two runs in 23 of an inning on April 23rd. Bottom line is that the Twins shelled him as a reliever.

Kyle Gibson gets the nod for game two. This season he has given up 12 runs in 6.2 innings against Detroit. Both his starts against the Tigers came before he was sent down to Triple-A, and he has been much better since. In his career, the usual suspects for the Tigers have hit him well, most notably Kinsler, who is .344/.400/.469 with a home run, and Cabrera, at .292/.346/.458 with a home run and five RBI’s. Jordan Zimmerman, pitching for the Tigers, took the loss in his only previous appearance vs the Twins this season. He lasted 4.2 innings and gave up five runs. Despite that, the Twins are hitting a paltry .219/.286/.328 off him overall.

The rubber match pits rookie Adalberto Mejia against the Tigers. In his only previous experience with Detroit, he gave up three runs in 2.2 innings, including home runs to Nicholas Castellanos and Justin Upton. He faces Matthew Boyd, who has lined up against the Twins twice this season, and done well. Boyd carried a shutout through six innings in his first appearance, and gave up two runs across 4.1 innings in his second. The Tigers ended up winning both of those matches by one run in each game. Boyd has also given up five dongs to the Twins in his career — two to Robbie Grossman, and one each for Brian Dozier, Chris Gimenez, and Jorge Polanco.

Pitching Matchups

Game 1 Friday, July 21; 7:10 PM CT — Ervin Santana RHP vs Anibal Sanchez RHP

Game 2 Saturday, July 22; 6:10 PM CT — Kyle Gibson RHP vs Jordan Zimmerman RHP

Game 3 Sunday, July 23; 1:10 PM CT — Adalberto Mejia LHP vs Matthew Boyd LHP

Notes

  • Byron Buxton is still injured and won’t be available this series.
  • The Tigers are 18-29 (.383) on the road. The Twins are 22-29 (.431) at home.
  • In case you’ve been living under a rock, the Twins are celebrating the 1987 World Championship team this weekend.

Poll

How many games will the Twins win against the Tigers this series?

This poll is closed

  • 1%
    0
    (2 votes)
  • 10%
    1
    (13 votes)
  • 51%
    2
    (63 votes)
  • 36%
    3
    (44 votes)
122 votes total Vote Now