San Diego Padres vs. Minnesota Twins Betting Preview
Line: Padres -130
Where: Petco Park
When: Saturday, 7/30, at 7:15 p.m. ET
Minnesota will be looking to snap a three-game losing streak when it faces San Diego in the second game of a three-game series on Saturday night.
The Twins got off to a slow start in the series on Friday, losing in a 10-1 blowout. San Diego is priced as a -130 favorite to win Saturday’s game as well, while the total is set at 7.5. The Padres opened as -150 favorites, but the early betting action has been on the road underdogs.
Minnesota had dominated the head-to-head series prior to Friday’s game, winning 12 of the previous 14 contests. The Padres have gone ‘over’ the total in eight of their last nine games against American League opponents.
The Twins will be looking to break out of a 15-game slump during which they have gone 5-10 and have allowed 6.67 runs per game. They have given up nine runs per outing during their current three-game losing skid.
Their offense has been the catalyst this season, ranked eighth in the MLB with a batting average of .252. First baseman Luis Arraez leads the way with 110 hits and a .336 average, while center fielder Byron Buxton has a team-high 25 home runs. Third-leading hitter Gio Urshela is going to miss Saturday’s game on the paternity list, while fourth-leading batter Max Kepler is ‘probable’ with a toe injury.
Minnesota remains atop the AL Central, but its lead has been trimmed to just one game in the standings. Chicago is also closing in on both teams, trailing the Twins by just three games. DraftKings has the White Sox listed as the +140 ‘chalk’ to win the division, while Minnesota is +150 and Cleveland is +250.
San Diego’s chances of winning the NL West are essentially zero, as the Dodgers are -10000 to win the division. The Padres are 12 games back of Los Angeles in the standings, putting them in second place. DraftKings has them priced at -600 to make the playoffs, though, as they are 2.5 games ahead of Philadelphia and St. Louis for the second NL Wild Card spot.
They opened the second half of the season with two wins in a three-game series against the Mets, but they proceeded to lose two out of three against Detroit prior to Friday’s win. San Diego has struggled with offensive consistency, ranked No. 17 in batting average (.240).
Star third baseman Manny Machado has a team-high 102 hits, including 17 home runs. First baseman Eric Hosmer has 91 hits, while second baseman Jake Cronenworth has 89 base knocks. San Diego remains without star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. (wrist) and Wil Myers (knee).
The Padres will send right-hander Joe Musgrove to the mound on Saturday night. He allowed four runs on five hits and two walks across 5.1 innings against the Mets in his last start. Musgrove has allowed 18 runs in 30.1 innings during his last five starts, seeing his ERA rise to 2.63 overall this season.
Minnesota will counter Musgrove with right-handed pitcher Sonny Gray. He allowed one run on two hits and a walk in six strong innings against Detroit in his last outing. Gray started the season with a 2.17 ERA through his first 10 starts, but he has allowed 14 runs in 13.1 innings in July.
The Twins have gone ‘over’ the total in six straight games, including five consecutive road games. San Diego has cashed the ‘over’ in four of its last five contests.
The pick: San Diego -130
The early line movement has created some value on San Diego as a small home favorite. Musgrove is coming off a pair of lackluster starts on the road, but he has an outstanding 2.20 ERA in seven home games this season. He is facing a Minnesota team that is in its worst form of the season and is on the verge of giving up its AL Central lead. The Twins are also without one of their best hitters in Urshela due to his stint on the paternity list. Gray was able to respond from two poor starts with a quality outing against Detroit, but the Tigers have one of the worst lineups in baseball.