Free Picks: Detroit Tigers vs Minnesota Twins

Tigers vs Twins Week 2
Detroit Tigers vs Minnesota Twins, MLB, Comerica Park

The Minnesota Twins (3-1) entered the 2021 season with a third consecutive American League Central division in sight, and they’ve gotten themselves off to a strong start so far in the opening week. That includes a 15-6 rout of the Detroit Tigers (2-2) in the series opener between these teams on Monday, in which the Twins racked up 14 hits. Despite their even record so far, the Tigers have a minus-11 run differential after losing by a combined 24-9 margin the past two days.

Can Tigers bounce back against the potent Twins?

The Detroit Tigers have had a top five draft pick each of the past four seasons. Their time in the basement of the majors is coming to a close, or so they hope, as some of their most highly touted prospects emerge at the big-league level.

One of those prospects is Casey Mize, the top pick from the 2018 MLB Draft. Mize debuted without much success in 2020 (6.99 ERA in seven starts), but he has retained his rookie status for 2021, and he’ll have a chance to take a step in the right direction with his start Tuesday against the Minnesota Twins at 1:10 p.m. ET. In that game, Mize and the Tigers are +125 underdogs (888sport) on the latest MLB odds, while the Twins are listed as -149 favorites (888sport).

This is admittedly a tighter money line than expected, given how much better the Twins are on paper. Sure, Detroit won its first two games of the year against the Indians. But its past two games — a 9-3 loss to Cleveland and a 15-6 loss to Minnesota — served as a reminder of how much further the Tigers have to go as a team.

More importantly, the Twins are show how far they have come, as a legitimate power in the American League. Minnesota, owner of a .618 win percentage dating back to 2019, has racked up double-digit hits in three of four games so far this season. Remember, this is a team that set the single-season MLB record for home runs in 2019 (307, or 1.9 per game). With Nelson Cruz, Miguel Sano, Josh Donaldson and others, the Twins have plenty of power up and down the lineup.

And is Mize really the guy to stop that? Obviously the Tigers hope so, but the early returns have been brutal. Three of Mize’s seven career starts have come against the Twins, and they’ve rocked him for a 1.543 WHIP and 8.49 ERA in 11 2/3 innings. Yikes.

We might think twice if the odds were longer, but as it stands we’ll stick with the favorite Twins for this BetPicks prediction. J.A. Happ (3.74 ERA since 2015) has been a steady presence in the majors for quite some time, and he should be able to tame the Tigers on the road.

Stats

  • Detroit is 3-7 on the money line in its past 10
  • The UNDER has cashed in five of the Tigers’ past seven games
  • Minnesota is 5-5 on the money line in its past 10
  • The OVER has cashed in six of the Twins’ past 10 games

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Jordan Horrobin is a freelance sports journalist based in Toronto, Ontario, who enjoys sports-related research and telling engaging stories. His work can also be found at Sportsnet, Forbes and elsewhere. Though he abandoned most of his team-specific fandoms in the interest of unbiased analysis, Jordan roots hard for his fantasy football/hockey teams (and he's a complete homer for all things Ohio University). You can follow Jordan on Twitter at @JordanHorrobin

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