Baltimore Orioles at Minnesota Twins
First pitch: 1:10 p.m. ET
Probable pitchers: Jorge Lopez (1-5, 6.00 ERA) vs. Michael Pineda (2-2, 2.79 ERA)
From a betting perspective, thus series finale in Minnesota today centers around the long overdue reemergence of Pineda.
Debuting in 2011, that was also the lone season Pineda would be an All-Star when he first exhibited a lot of promise as one of the brightest young pitchers in the Majors.
Ten years later and Pineda still hasn’t quite reached that superstardom some projected from his rookie campaign, but that’s truly been from no fault of Pineda’s.
The burley 6-foot-7 right-hander has dealt with a rash of injuries throughout his career, not to mention some bad luck that especially plagued his tenure with the New York Yankees when the batting average on balls put in play against him was regularly above .300. Even last year he was saddled with an unfair .321 BABIP.
With that mark considerably down (.216), Pineda is retaining his old All-Star form, which he never really escaped in the first place. He’s been good in three seasons with the Twins — following his return from Tommy John surgery — and his work thus far this year is some of his finest to date.
Lopez, meanwhile, does not possess nearly the same track record of consistency as his counterpart. However, he’s still showing some potential that he can finally stick around as an MLB starter.
Despite what that 6.00 ERA may say, the former second-round draft pick has made progress, as evident in how he’s allowed three runs or fewer in six of his nine starts.
Notably, Lopez’s strikeout rate (9.69 K/9) has never been higher in his seven years in the big leagues, and he’s never thrown harder either, as evident in the big uptick of his average velocity sitting at 95.3 mph.
With a 3.91 xFIP that suggests he’s pitched better than his overall numbers look, I’m willing to trust Lopez here. Molding that around a Pineda gem is what figures to decide how this game pans out.
MLB Picks & Predictions
Pick: UNDER 9 (-115)
Wednesday's MLB Leans
Rangers-Angels Under 9
Indians-Twins Under 9.5
Rockies-Mets Under 7
Royals-Rays Under 7
2021 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: “26-25-2,” -2.47 units
Yesterday’s Result: Padres-Brewers Under 7 (“loss”)
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit