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Game 40: Twins at Tigers (at Target Field)

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Here we go, here we go, here we go again... folks, what’s our business? Twins!

Milwaukee Brewers v Minnesota Twins
Be confused. Be very confused.
Photo by Bruce Kluckhohn/Getty Images

Time: Afternoon (roughly). Vegas Line: -235 MIN / DET +195

Weather: Pretty clouds, no rain, 72° at first pitch (or look outside)

Opponent’s excellent SB site: Bless You Boys

TV: FSN. Radio: 14 innings for those guys, that’s easy!

Welcome back! It’s bullpen day, b-b-b-b-bullpen day. Twins rookie TBD is facing Tigers veteran IDK. (Actually, Matt Wisler and Tyler Alexander; Wisler coming off Tuesday’s save. I know nothing of Alexander, but BRef says he’s a lefty with a career ERA of 4.64 and a decent SO/BB ratio. Gives up some dingers.)

Ok, so, since last Friday’s Twins-at-Tigers doubleheader was rained out, and only one game was made up in last Saturday’s doubleheader, and MLB is trying to reduce travel time, Detroit will technically be the “home team” in this one. Meaning they bat last. AND the stadium sound — including walkup songs and fake crowd noise — will be Tigers-centric. What a strange season.

The advantages of playing at home (for real) are obvious; sleeping in your own bed, fewer travel hassles, a cheering crowd, etc. And there’s considerable evidence, across every sport, that loud crowds subconsciously affect referee/umpire calls. Humans are social animals, we respond well to social cues.

What about games with no fans in the stands? The annoyances of travel still apply. What about officiating?

Research on the subject is clearly raw, SSS all over, yet some early studies are showing the data you’d expect. One of the few not behind a paywall is this one from last month, looking at football matches in several countries since the restart. Referees are making calls more equally than they were with fans in the stands.

(“Football” is what everyone else in the world calls what we call “soccer.” What we call “soccer” is what everyone else in the world calls “crappy American football.”)

Of course, the consensus I’m seeing from baseball fans everywhere is that umpiring is just crummy all around this season, so that’d be a tough thing to study.

Today's Lineups

Jorge Polanco - SS Victor Reyes - CF
Miguel Sano - 1B Jonathan Schoop - 2B
Nelson Cruz - DH Miguel Cabrera - DH
Brent Rooker - RF Jeimer Candelario - 1B
Eddie Rosario - LF Willi Castro - SS
Marwin Gonzalez - 2B Christin Stewart - LF
Byron Buxton - CF Jorge Bonifacio - RF
Ehire Adrianza - 3B Grayson Greiner - C
Alex Avila - C Isaac Paredes - 3B
Jorge Alcala - RHP Tyler Alexander - LHP