Phil Hughes (4-6, 4.79 ERA) and the Minnesota Twins (36-30) go up against Kyle Hendricks (2-2, 3.80 ERA) and the Chicago Cubs (35-29) in the first of a three-game interleague series at Target Field. The game gets underway at 8:10 p.m. ET on Friday, Jun. 19 and will air on WGN and FSN-N.
In his last start, Hughes pitched 6.0 innings, allowing three runs, striking out three and walking one in a 4-3 loss to the Rangers. Torii Hunter (.260, 30 Rs, 8 HRs, 36 RBIs, 1 SB) went 1 for 3 yesterday. The Cubs were unsuccessful the last time Hendricks pitched. He pitched well, going, going 5.0 innings, giving up one run and striking out seven in a 4-3 loss to the Reds. Kris Bryant (.294, 38 Rs, 8 HRs, 39 RBIs, 5 SBs) went 1 for 4 yesterday.
Minnesota is a +106 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 National League to earn an SU record of 5-4 and a 5-2 record when they were the underdog. Minnesota has been struggling as of late. In the last 10 games, Minnesota has only averaged 2.5 runs per game compared to the 4.1 they've averaged on the season. 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.
Switching to the opposing bench, the Cubs come into this game with a win percentage of .579 when playing as the favorite (22-16) and an overall money line of +346. When playing interleague opponents, they have a 2-2 as the favorite and 3-3 SU. They sport the top-ranked offense in the NL, averaging five runs per game. One of the top road hitting teams in the NL are the Cubs, who average 9.0 hits in games away from home. Shifting to the pitching staff, they allow just 2.6 walks per game, fourth-best in the NL. The Chicago pitching staff has been an intimidating group this year, averaging an NL-best 8.8 strikeouts per game.
This game will feature Hendricks (RHP) on the mound against the Twins, who have a 20-21 record when they take on a right-handed starter. Taking the hill against the Cubs will be the right-hander Hughes. They sport a 30-24 record against righties.
Predictions: SU Winner - CHC, O/U - Over
In their last game, the Cubs lost by a margin of one run. The Twins are 13-9 in one-run games. The Cubs have a 17-12 record in close games.
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 off of a hot pitching game where they recorded 11 strikeouts. The Twins have a record of 0-4 when they are struck out that many times or more.
When they outhit their opponents, the Cubs are 23-3. The Twins have a 24-1 record when outhitting opponents.
Ranking 16th in runs, Chicago has earned 270 this season. Minnesota ranks 15th with 272 runs.
Ranking 24th, Minnesota is near the bottom of the league in walks, notching 160 this season. Chicago ranks in the top five at fifth with 217.
When the Twins hit at least one home run, they are 27-10, well-matched with the Cubs who are 23-14 when hitting one or more homers.