This game could be low scoring as Mike Pelfrey (5-3, 3.18 ERA) and the Minnesota Twins (35-30) meet Jaime Garcia (2-3, 2.06 ERA) and the St. Louis Cardinals (43-22) in the second of a two-game series at Target Field. The Twins won the last game 3-1 and Minnesota leads the series 1-0. The game gets underway at 1:10 p.m. ET on Thursday, Jun. 18 and will air on FSN-MW and MLB Network.
Pelfrey is 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA against the Cardinals in his career, but is up against a solid St. Louis offense that's hitting .262 on the year. The Cardinals were victorious the last time Garcia pitched. He had a good outing, pitching, going 8.0 innings, giving up zero runs and striking out six in a 4-0 victory over the Royals. Jhonny Peralta (.311, 30 Rs, 10 HRs, 35 RBIs, 1 SB) went 1 for 4 yesterday.
Minnesota, a +120 underdog, will look to capitalize at home against St. Louis. The matchup currently has an eight-run Over/Under (O/U). When playing as the underdog, the Twins have a 28-24 record and overall money line at +1,064. Over the last 10 games, they have performed poorly when playing as the underdog (2-6). The Twins will be looking to pick it up in this one after recent offensive struggles. In the last 10 games, Minnesota has only averaged 2.4 runs per game compared to the 4.2 they've averaged on the season. Turning to the pitching staff, the Twins are the best in the AL in walks allowed at home, giving up just 2.2 per game.
Moving on to the opposing team, the Cardinals come into this game with a solid win percentage of .756 when playing as the favorite (34-11) and an overall money line of +1,979. Over the past 10 matchups, they are 7-3 SU and have played well as the favorite with a 5-2 record. The Cardinals will be looking to pick it up in this one after recent offensive struggles. In their 10 most recent games, St. Louis's run production has dropped to 2.9 runs per game, compared to 4.2 for the duration of the season. Switching gears to St. Louis's pitching staff, they have the lowest ERA in the NL at 2.63. They have a WHIP of 1.20, fourth best in the MLB.
In their previous three games this season, the Cardinals have a 2-1 record. The Twins will take on a left-hander (Garcia) in this game and have a 15-9 record against left-handed starting pitchers this season. The right-handed Pelfrey will take the mound against the Cardinals. Against righty starters this season, they've racked up an impressive 36-14 record.
Predictions: SU Winner - STL, O/U - Over
Minnesota has won 39% (9-14) of its games when leading after 7 innings. However, St. Louis has won 73% (16-6) of its games when taking a late lead.
The Twins are coming into this game after allowing zero walks during their last outing. The Cardinals have a 1-4 record when opponents give up that many walks.
When they are outhit, the Twins are 7-27. The Cardinals have a 10-14 record when opponents outhit them.
Both falling near the bottom of the league based on total home runs this season, Minnesota ranks 26th with 48 homers and St. Louis is 25th with 49.
Minnesota and St. Louis both rank in the top 10 of the league in hits. Minnesota sits at 10th with 8.27 hits per game and St. Louis ranks seventh with 8.86.
Ranking 24th, Minnesota is near the bottom of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.681). St. Louis ranks in the top half at 14th with an OPS of .719.
The Cardinals are 17-14 in games where they allow one or more home runs. The Twins are 19-23 when they allow at least one homer.