It’s the opener Thursday of an intriguing series between two teams who have overachieved this season in the Oakland Athletics and Minnesota Twins. The AL Central leaders have been terrific at home and are favored on the MLB Lines.
How to Bet Athletics vs Twins MLB Spread & Game Info
- When: Thursday, 8:10 PM ET
- Where: Target Field
- Probable pitchers (away/home): Mike Fiers/Kyle Gibson
- TV: MLB Extra Innings
- Live Stream: MLB.tv
- Radio: SiriusXM
- MLB Spread: Minnesota Twins -130 (Total 10.5)
Why Bet on Oakland?
Injured outfielder Stephen Piscotty expects to begin a minor league rehab assignment in about a week. Piscotty was placed on the injured list at the end of June with a sprained MCL in his right knee. Reliever Jesus Luzardo has been playing catch from a distance of 90 feet. Luzardo was just about ready to join the Athletics when he suffered a Grade 2 lat strain while pitching in a rehab game at Triple-A Las Vegas on July 2.
The A’s have committed just one error in the last six games and have a .985 fielding percentage overall, which ranks fourth in the American League. They have the third-fewest unearned runs (24) but the third-fewest double plays (60). A’s opponents have been caught stealing 29 times, which is the most in the majors. However, Oakland has allowed 60 stolen bases, which is the third most. On offense, the A’s are 31-for-46 (67.4%) in stolen base attempts.
Oakland’s Mike Fiers pitched 7.2 scoreless innings Friday, allowing only eight hits and a walk while striking out four to earn the win in a 5-1 victory over the White Sox. Fiers picked up right where he left off at the end of the first half, tossing his ninth consecutive quality start and his longest outing since a no-hitter May 7. Since his no-hitter, he has lowered his ERA from 5.48 to 3.61, with a 1.11 WHIP and 74:31 K:BB on the year. Fiers ranks sixth in the AL in opponents slugging percentage (.363), ninth in OPS (.651) and tied for ninth in wins (9).
Fiers has been one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball over the last two months, posting the second-lowest ERA (2.31) among American League starters since April 26. He is 6-1 with a 2.66 ERA in 12 career games (11 starts) against Minnesota. The wins match his most against any team (Los Angeles-AL). Fiers has a five-game winning vs. the Twins streak dating back to Aug. 29, 2015. He had a no-decision in his only start this year, a 4-3 A’s loss in 12 innings on July 3 in Oakland (6.0 ip, 5 h, 2 r, 1 er, 4 so).
- Runs: 5.23
- Hits: 8.58
- Walks: 3.32
- Strike Outs: 7.70
- Runs: 4.23
- Hits: 8.25
- Walks: 3.08
- Strike Outs: 7.80
Why Bet on Minnesota?
Twins second baseman Jonathan Schoop has been diagnosed with a mild abdominal strain. Schoop is considered day-to-day for now, and the hope is that he will be able to avoid the injured list. Luis Arraez will start at second as long as Schoop is out. On Monday, the team activated both first baseman CJ Cron and outfielder Eddie Rosario from the injured list.
However, outfielder Byron Buxton has been placed on the 7-day concussion injured list. Buxton has been experiencing concussion-like symptoms since he banged his head on the ground while making a diving catch Saturday versus the Indians.
The Twins’ Kyle Gibson (8-4) gave up three runs (one earned) on four hits and a walk while striking out five in 3.2 innings Friday in Cleveland. He did not factor in the decision. He got off to a good start, but labored in the fourth inning and was lifted after hitting No. 9 hitter Greg Allen with a pitch on a two-strike count. Gibson has acknowledged that he has been struggling with his mechanics recently and that may have been the case again in this start, as he needed 80 pitches to get 11 outs.
Gibson didn’t factor into the decision on July 3 when faced the A’s in Oakland, despite notching his seventh quality start of the year after throwing 6.0 innings of three-run ball (two earned) in a 4-3 Twins win. He is 2-2 against the green and gold with a 3.81 ERA (28.1 IP, 12 ER), with his last win coming on Sept. 23 of last season in Oakland (7.1 IP, 1 R, 5-1 win), and his last home win against Oakland coming back on May 6, 2015 (6.0 IP, 0 R, 13-0 win). This will be his fifth start of the year against an AL West opponent…he enters 1-1 with a 4.34 ERA (18.2 IP, 9 ER) in those matchups.
- Runs: 5.63
- Hits: 9.61
- Walks: 3.03
- Strike Outs: 8.14
- Runs: 4.46
- Hits: 8.51
- Walks: 2.83
- Strike Outs: 8.72
Athletics vs Twins MLB Betting Trends
- Athletics are 6-1 in Fiers’ last 7 starts following a Quality Start in his last appearance
- Twins are 4-1 in Gibson’s last 5 starts during game 1 of a series
- Athletics are 5-1 SU in their last 6 games on the road
- The total has gone OVER in 4 of Oakland’s last 6 games against an opponent in the American League
- Twins are 1-4 SU in their last 5 games when playing at home against Oakland
- The total has gone OVER in 6 of Minnesota’s last 9 games at home
Expert Final Score Prediction for Athletics vs Twins
Oakland Athletics 4 – Minnesota Twins 5