It’s two of the American League’s biggest surprises facing off on Tuesday in the opener of a series as the Tampa Bay Rays visit the Minnesota Twins in what could be a playoff preview. The Twins are rolling in the AL Central, while the Rays would be a wild-card team as things stand. Tampa Bay throws its ace on Tuesday and it’s a pick’em on the MLB lines.
Rays vs Twins MLB Spread & Expert Pick
- When: Tuesday, 8:10 PM ET
- Where: Target Field
- Probable pitchers (away/home): Blake Snell/Kyle Gibson
- TV: MLB Extra Innings
- Live Stream: MLB.tv
- Radio: SiriusXM
- MLB Spread: Minnesota Twins -115 (Total 9)
Why Bet on Tampa Bay?
The Rays split a four-game series in Oakland over the weekend, taking Sunday’s finale 8-2. Travis d’Arnaud went 2-for-5 with a two-run homer and three RBI in the win. D’Arnaud led off for the third time this season and responded with a table-setting multi-hit effort, while also scoring a pair of runs. He walloped a go-ahead two-run homer to center field off Athletics starter Brett Anderson in the third inning and also tacked on an RBI single in the ensuing frame.
Austin Meadows went 2-for-4 with three RBI. He blew the contest open with a bases-clearing, three-run double off Athletics reliever Brian Schlitter to put the Rays ahead 8-1 in the fourth inning. He also singled to notch his 21st multi-hit effort of the season. The 24-year-old outfielder is hitting .304/.377/.552 with 33 runs scored, 12 homers, 41 RBI and eight stolen bases across 257 plate appearances.
Third baseman Yandy Diaz is expected to be ready for activation when first eligible on Thursday. Diaz has done some hitting and running and apparently not had any issues with his right hamstring. He’s sporting a .286/.363/.502 batting line with 11 home runs for the Rays this season.
It’s lefty and ace Blake Snell, last year’s Cy Young winner, for the Rays. He hasn’t been pitching like an ace recently, though. Snell (4-6) took the loss Wednesday against the Yankees by surrendering six runs on two hits and four walks while recording only one out. He failed to record any strikeouts. Snell gave up a three-run home run to Gary Sanchez and then issued three walks to load the bases before exiting the game, and all three runners came around to score. The 26-year-old has eight walks and 10 runs allowed (nine earned) in his last two starts. He has allowed at least six runs in three of his last 10 starts.
- Runs: 2.18
- Hits: 4.23
- Walks: 1.57
- Strike Outs: 4.42
- Runs: 1.66
- Hits: 3.49
- Walks: 1.41
- Strike Outs: 4.40
Why Bet on Minnesota?
The Twins split four games in Kansas City over the weekend, losing the finale Sunday 6-1. Luis Arraez went a perfect 4-for-4 in the loss. The 22-year-old has a modest seven-game hitting streak that’s spanned two stints in the majors, and with Sunday’s big game he’s hitting .436/.521/.590 in 15 games overall. If he keeps hitting, manager Rocco Baldelli will surely keep finding ways to get him in the lineup. Usual second baseman Jonathan Schoop (ankle) remained out of the Twins’ lineup Sunday, his second game in a row missed. Jorge Polanco extended his on-base streak to 36 games Sunday, dating back to May 13. He’s hitting .327 in that span with a .373 on-base percentage. The team record is 43 straight games by Joe Mauer.
The Twins have hit 60 home runs in the first, second or third innings this season – the most in baseball. They also own a major league-best .267 batting average with 84 home runs vs. pitchers the first time in a game. In addition, they have scored a major league-leading 314 runs in innings 1-6 and are 41-2 when leading after 7 innings.
The Twins’ Kyle Gibson (7-4, 4.18) will try to atone for a rough outing last Wednesday against Boston. He allowed seven hits and six runs over 4 1/3 innings in a 9-4 loss to the Red Sox. Gibson struggled mightily with his command, walking five batters and enduring a 38-pitch second inning. He threw only 49 strikes in his 94 pitches overall.
In Gibson’s one start vs. the Rays this season, he earned the win after allowing no runs on six hits with one walk and three strikeouts over 5.0 innings pitched. He owns a lifetime record of 3-5, (50.0 IP, 29 ER) with 19 walks and 34 strikeouts in nine starts vs. Tampa Bay.
- Runs: 2.67
- Hits: 4.43
- Walks: 1.45
- Strike Outs: 3.67
- Runs: 2.03
- Hits: 3.96
- Walks: 1.33
- Strike Outs: 4.00
Rays vs Twins MLB Betting Trends
- Rays are 2-5 SU in their last 7 games on the road
- The total has gone OVER in 4 of Tampa Bay’s last 5 games when playing on the road against Minnesota
- Twins are 11-5 SU in their last 16 games at home
- The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Minnesota’s last 7 games against an opponent in the American League
- Over is 6-1-1 in Gibson’s last 8 starts vs. Rays
- Rays are 21-10 in the last 31 meetings in Minnesota
Expert Final Score Prediction for Rays vs Twins
Tampa Bay Rays 5 – Minnesota Twins 3