Tampa Bay Rays vs. Minnesota Twins Prediction and Pick

The playoffs are just a month away and the Rays are looking to stay hot facing another bottom-of-the-barrel opponent. Jason Radowitz breaks down his Rays vs. Twins prediction.
Jason Radowitz
Fri, September 3, 4:14 AM EDT

Tampa Bay Rays vs. Minnesota Twins Prediction and Pick

Tampa Bay Rays vs. Minnesota Twins Probable Pitchers

  • Twins: Randy Dobnak (1-6, 7.83 ERA)
  •  Rays: Michael Wacha (2-4, 5.70 ERA)

Rays vs Twins Odds

The Rays bats have been silent as of late with just two runs in their last two games. You've got to give credit where credit is due. The Red Sox pitching looked solid against the Rays.

However, now the Rays will take on the Minnesota Twins pitching and a starter who hasn't made an appearance since June 19 due to an injury.

That's Randy Dobnak, who had a 7.83 ERA on the season before he was injured. Dobnak is not known for strikeouts but is known for his ground balls. On the season, Dobnak has an xFIP of 4.72 while striking out just 13.3 percent of batters faced.

He has limited walks to 6.1 percent but has allowed 23.6 percent line-drive this season, along with 47.2 percent hard contact. The right-hander has faced 77 lefties and has allowed a .456 wOBA and ISO of .324. He also faced 104 righties and allowed a wOBA of .368 along with an ISO of .219.

It's just below average stats everywhere for Dobnak.

The Rays have struggled to make contact with the ball at times, striking out 21 percent of the time against righties this season. But again, Dobnak is no threat when it comes to strikeouts.

The Rays will more than likely send at least six lefties in the lineup against Dobnak. The righties would include power bats like Nelson Cruz, Randy Arozarena, and Yandy Diaz. Realistically, the lineup is constantly changing for the Rays, but they'll find the best match-ups when it comes down to it.

The projected lineup has an ISO of .224 with a wOBA of .335. Mostly anyone from top to bottom in this lineup is smacking extra-base hits against righties consistently. Dobnak allowed 11 home runs and 60 hits in just  43.2 innings this season, and while he might not go deep, just one time around, the order could be enough.

However, Dobnak does start to fatigue as he goes deeper into the game. So if it's Dobnak out there in the third inning, or it's a bullpen arm, it'll be someone that's hittable.

The Rays offense is finally about to break out again. Did you see this offense against the Orioles? When they face bad pitching, everything comes back to life. In the first five innings, we're asking the Rays to score just three runs. Dobnak has had six games where he's allowed three runs or more.

He's only pitched in 13 games and has gone five innings or more in just four of those 13 games. Even if there're games where he's allowed two or fewer, the bullpen has come in and blown a couple of those to allow three or more runs in those five innings.

Let's roll with the over 2.5 in the first five innings for the Rays. Good teams beat up on bad teams. That's what the Rays are known to do.

Tampa Bay Rays vs. Minnesota Twins Prediction: Rays TT Over 2.5 F5

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