MLB Picks: Detroit Tigers vs. Minnesota Twins Prediction
Date: July 8
Time: 8:10pm ET
Where: Target Field
Tigers vs. Twins Probable Pitchers
- Tigers: Tarik Skubal (5-7, 4.35 ERA)
- Twins: J.A. Happ (4-4, 6.09 ERA)
We’ve got one more series before the all-star break and it’s a fact that the Tigers will have a better record than the Twins when the first half of the season concludes.
One of the reasons the Twins have been so bad has been due to throwing J.A. Happ every five days.
Happ is 4-4 with a 6.09 ERA on the season and has given up 1.91 home runs per nine innings this season. He’s also got a WHIP of 1.50 and a BABIP of .313. The left-hander has struggled to say the least.
He’s coming off a brutal outing against the Royals, allowing nine hits and six runs with two home runs and one walk in 4.1 innings. In June, he allowed multiple runs in every start and only got through more than five innings once, which was against the Indians.
Happ had one start against the Tigers this season and went four innings while allowing three hits, three walks and one run. But that was back on April 6 and was his first start of the season.
The Tigers offense was extremely poor to start the season and while it’s still poor, it’s much better against lefties than earlier in the season.
The Tigers projected lineup will likely have eight righties in the lineup to go against Happ, the lefty.
In the last 30 days, Happ has thrown against 59 righties. He’s allowed a .466 wOBA, a .379 ISO and is striking out under 19 percent of those batters.
In small sample sizes, the Tigers have done well against lefties as of late. Jonathan Schoop has some power against lefties while every other right-handed batter is hitting a wOBA of .350 or higher in the last 30 days. If you take out Jeimer Candelario, Schoop, and Akil Baddoo, the lineup has a wOBA of way above .400 thanks to Miguel Cabrera, Eric Haase, Robbie Grossman, Zack Short, Willi Castro and Jake Rogers.
Combined, the projected lineup has a .207 ISO against lefties and a .367 wOBA with 10.3 percent walks in an average of 20 plate appearances for each player. They’re also hitting a BABIP of .345 and have seven players in the lineup crushing lefties with high hard hit percentages.
On the other hand, Tarik Skubal will take the hill for the Tigers. Skubal had a rough start to the season but he’s turned it around after allowing just 20 ER in May and June combined.
Of course, he’s coming off a bad outing against the White Sox where he allowed eight hits and five runs with six strikeouts in five innings. In that start, he only walked one and induced more ground balls than fly balls. If he can strike out six, walk one and induce more ground balls than fly balls, luck will be on his side in the near future.
It might not be this time though as the Twins do profile well against lefties like the Tigers. The Twins are only striking out 11.6 percent of the time against lefties in the last 30 days while Skubal is one of the best strikeout pitchers in baseball currently.
It’s hard to know which side is going to win that battle so I’ll stick with the Tigers team total against Happ and the Twins bullpen.
MLB Picks: Detroit Tigers vs. Minnesota Twins Prediction: Tigers TT Over 3.5 @ -160