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Game 78: Rays at Twins

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The Twins look to start things off on the right foot against Montréal Tampa Bay.

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Hella sick unis, fam.
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

First Pitch: 7:10p Central
TV: FOX Sports North; fubo.tv (subscription)
Radio (English): W-C-C-... O! 830 AM, Treasure Island Baseball Network
Radio (Spanish): twinsbeisbol.com
Know Thine Enemy: DRays Bay

After a series split in Kansas City followed by a day off, Minnesota Twins baseball is back. Even better, they’re back within the friendly and familiar confines of Target Field. The Twins look to blast into the All-Star Break on a good note by playing 12 games in 13 days - three against the Tampa Bay Rays, three against the Chicago White Sox at whatever their stadium is called now, then a random trip to the west coast to face the Oakland Athletics at whatever their stadium is called now, and then three at home against the Texas Rangers. Getting a double-digit lead again over the Cleveland Indians would be pretty cool.

The three games against the Rays starts tonight, and it’ll be the first of a couple fantastic pitching match-ups in this series. Starting with the visitors, they’ll send out lefty Blake Snell to face our local nine. Snell has had a rough go of it the past couple starts, combining for 3.2 innings pitched, seven hits, nine earned runs, eight walks, and three strikeouts to complement a 22.09 ERA between those two starts. His last time out was a doozey, as he didn’t even make it past one out against the New York Yankees. On the season, he’s sporting a 4.40 ERA over 15 starts and 75.2 total innings. His K/9 is currently a career-high at 12.0, but his H/9 (7.9), HR/9 (1.2), and BB/9 (3.3) are all up from his numbers last year (5.6, 0.8, and 3.2, respectively), when he was the Cy Young Award winner.

For the Twins, they’ll counter with Jake Odorizzi. Odo took the loss for the first time in 11 starts on Thursday when the Twins lost to the Kansas City Royals, going only four innings and allowing eight hits and four earned runs. That start also marked the first time he notched less than six strikeouts in a game since mid-May. Although his ERA is not leading the American League anymore - it’s still at a very respectable 2.58 - it’s good for third-best in the A.L. now along with his MLB-leading 10 wins (alongside some guys named Justin Verlander and Lucas Giolito). He’s still maintaining a career-best 9.7 K/9 and 5.8 H/9 next to an ERA+ of 175. He’ll be facing his former team for the second time this season; his first outing against them was in a win in Tampa Bay: 6 IP, 3 H, BB, 9 K.

Apparently I’m a dummy. Kyle Gibson is actually taking the mound for the Twins tonight. After a strong start against the Kansas City Royals (8 IP, 2 H, 6 K, W), he had kind of a clunker against the Boston Red Sox (4.1 IP, 7 H, 6 ER, 5 BB, 3 K, L). He faced the Rays in Tampa Bay by going five innings and allowing only one un-earned run with three strikeouts. He still has a decent 4.18 ERA on the season and is maintaining decent per-9 ratios this year (8.8 H/9, 1.2 HR/9, 2.5 BB/9, 9.0 K/9) compared to last year (8.1 H/9, 1.1 HR/9, 3.6 BB/9, 8.2 K/9).

Today's Limeups

RAYS TWINS
Brandon Lowe - 2B Jorge Polanco - SS
Tommy Pham - LF Mitch Garver - C
Ji-Man Choi - 1B Nelson Cruz - DH
Austin Meadows - DH Eddie Rosario - LF
Avisail Garcia - RF C.J. Cron - 1B
Kevin Kiermaier - CF Max Kepler - CF
Travis d'Arnaud - C Willians Astudillo - RF
Joey Wendle - 3B Miguel Sano - 3B
Willy Adames - SS Jonathan Schoop - 2B

GO TWIMS GO