In the second of a three-game series between the Minnesota Twins (37-30) and the Chicago Cubs (37-30) at Target Field, Trevor May (4-5, 4.26 ERA) and Jon Lester (4-5, 3.99 ERA) get the ball. The Twins won the last game 7-2 and Minnesota leads the series 1-0. The game gets underway at 2:10 p.m. ET on Saturday, Jun. 20 and will air on ABC7 and FSN-N.
In his last start, May pitched 5.0 innings, giving up three runs, striking out three and walking one in a 3-2 loss to the Cardinals. Brian Dozier (.264, 54 Rs, 13 HRs, 32 RBIs, 5 SBs) played well again yesterday, going 2 for 4 with two runs and one stolen base. In his career against the Twins, Lester is 3-4 with a 3.86 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, and 57 strikeouts. Anthony Rizzo (.304, 39 Rs, 14 HRs, 41 RBIs, 10 SBs) has been hitting the ball well for the Cubs, going 2 for 4 yesterday with two runs, two home runs, and two RBIs.
Minnesota is a +117 underdog in this game and the Over/Under (O/U) is set at eight runs. The Twins are 30-24 as the underdog and have an overall money line of +1,303. They have performed well against the NL to earn an SU record of 5-4 and a 5-2 record when they were the underdog. Minnesota has averaged 2.5 runs per game over the last 10 games, lower than its season average of 4.1. In games against National League opponents, Minnesota's pitchers are doing better against opposing batters. It only gives up an average of 3.3 runs per game, well under their season average of 4.1.
On the other side, the Cubs have a record of 22-16 when they are favored and are +246 overall with the money line. Against teams in the American League, they are 3-4 SU and 2-2 as the favorite. During the last 10 games, they averaged 5.4 runs per game, above their 4.2 season average. Shifting to the pitching staff, they have the fourth-lowest ERA in the NL at 3.57. They also allow just 2.6 walks per game, good for fourth in the NL. The Chicago pitching staff has been an intimidating group this year, averaging an NL-best 8.8 strikeouts per game.
So far this season, the Twins are 1-0 against the Cubs. This game will feature Lester (LHP) on the mound against the Twins, who have an 8-4 home and 16-9 overall record when they take on a left-handed starter. The right-handed May will take the mound against the Cubs, who have a 30-25 record against righty starters this season.
Predictions: SU Winner - CHC, O/U - Over
For the 17th time this season, the Cubs registered at least two errors in a game.
When the Twins play into extra innings, they have a 3-1 record. The Cubs are 7-3 when their games exceed nine innings.
The Cubs are coming into this game after allowing two walks during their last outing. The Twins have a 17-24 record when opponents give up that many walks or fewer.
When they are outhit, the Twins are 7-27. The Cubs have a 7-25 record when opponents outhit them.
Minnesota ranks near the bottom of the league at 26th when it comes to home runs, hitting 50 this season. Chicago ranks in the top half at 12th with 66.
Minnesota and Chicago both rank in the top 10 of the league in hits. Minnesota sits at 10th with 8.23 hits per game and Chicago ranks ninth with 8.45.
Ranking 24th, Minnesota is near the bottom of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.686). Chicago ranks in the bottom half at 16th with an OPS of .713.
The Cubs are 20-21 when they allow at least one home run. The Twins perform similarly when they allow one or more homers with a 21-23 record.