Seattle Mariners at Minnesota Twins
First pitch: 4:10 p.m. ET
Probable pitchers: Marco Gonzales (0-0, 7.50 ERA) vs. Jose Berrios (1-0, 0.00 ERA)
Seattle Mariners vs. Minnesota Twins Predictions
Of everyone’s first turn through the starting rotation around baseball, Berrios was decidedly the most impressive. No one could top his perfect, 12-K six innings.
It was more like a true K-12 schooling by the two-time All Star, as Berrios absolutely bedazzled and literally didn’t give up anything to the Brewers. Being the first assignment of the year, he was limited to 84 pitches. If that wasn’t so, who knows? Maybe it would’ve been a perfect game.
Oh well, we just know he’s salivating to get back out there after his incredible opening act. And he has a salivating matchup up next this afternoon when he starts his team’s home opener against dead bats.
Seattle casts one of the weaker lineups normally and that’s enhanced even more without the still-sidelined Kyle Lewis. Furthermore, they just lost speedy Jake Fraley to injury. True, they did erupt for a load of runs yesterday but I wouldn’t anticipate something even close to that when facing a top pitcher on his game.
Not only does Berrios look to be in midseason form already, we’re also catching him in a desirable spot based on tendencies that have existed since the right-hander first came up five years ago.
Berrios is generally better at home, as his career ERA (3.57 ERA) and WHIP (1.15) are substantially better at Target Field than when working on the road (4.71 ERA, 1.36 WHIP). In addition, he’s performed far more consistent prior to the All-Star break (3.69 ERA, 1.13 WHIP) compared to afterward (4.84 ERA, 1.45 WHIP). The latter indicates a fresh Berrios is best.
Given how pristine Berrios looked his first time out, I think we can expect this early-season trend to sustain, especially for an encounter with such a light-hitting adversary. That would mean we could get by so long as Gonzales can survive afloat.
While the Twins possess a pretty dangerous lineup, they are not as impactful overall when dealing with a left-handed pitcher. Opposite southpaws last year, Minnesota recorded the fourth-lowest team OPS (.658) in all of baseball and tied with three other batting orders for the fourth-fewest homers (14) as well.
The difference was staggering, actually. They cranked out a homer against righties once every 18.4 at-bats, but with a lefty pitching, that mark more-than doubled to once every 37.2 at-bats. This is important considering the opposing starting hurler.
On Opening Day, Gonzales endured a very uncharacteristic outing that saw him yield a trifecta of walks and long balls apiece. The 29-year-old southpaw hadn’t even issued more than one free pass in any of his 11 starts a season ago, and at the same time, he gave up eight homers total.
Thus, I think we can chalk up his suspect season debut as an aberration. Gonzales, after all, had maybe his best campaign last year when he notched-career best marks in ERA (3.10), WHIP (0.95) and batting average against (.222). That WHIP actually ranked him fifth among starters.
Gonzales inducing the Twins toward their regular splits against left-handers will be key as Berrios picks up where he left off. Pick: UNDER 8 (-105)
Pick: UNDER 8 @ -105 (Click to bet)
Thursday's MLB Leans
Brewers-Cardinals Under 7.5
Angels-Blue Jays Over 10
2021 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: 3-4, -1.5 units
Yesterday’s Result: Pirates-Reds Under 8 (loss)
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit