Mike Pelfrey (4-1, 2.77 ERA) takes the hill for the Minnesota Twins (30-19) as they square off against Clay Buchholz (2-6, 4.33 ERA) and the Boston Red Sox (22-29) in the first of a four-game series at Fenway Park. Action begins at 7:10 p.m. ET on Monday, Jun. 1 and can be seen on FSN-N and NESN.
Buchholz is 3-2 with a 4.02 ERA in his appearances against the Twins, and goes up against a good Minnesota offense which is batting .257 this season. Hanley Ramirez (.261, 28 Rs, 12 HRs, 27 RBIs, 2 SBs) continued his strong play yesterday, going 2 for 5 with one run, one RBI, and one stolen base. When pitching against the Red Sox, Pelfrey is 1-0 with a 1.93 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, and 10 strikeouts. Brian Dozier (.258, 41 Rs, 9 HRs, 25 RBIs, 3 SBs) has been successful at the plate for the Twins, going 3 for 4 yesterday with three runs.
Boston is a -160 favorite against Minnesota and the Over/Under (O/U) for this game is sitting at eight runs. The Red Sox have an overall money line of -1,091 and a record as the favorite of 13-18. Boston's batters do not strike out very often, with only 6.4 per game.
In games where it is the underdog, Minnesota has a 23-16 record and an overall money line of +1,610. They played solid baseball as the underdog over their last 10 games with an 8-1 record, and an 8-2 record SU. Offensively, they average 4.6 runs per game, which is good for fourth in the AL. The Twins are tough outs for opponents, ranking fourth in the AL with 8.7 hits per game. The Twins allow 4.2 runs per game, but have improved upon those numbers in the past 10 games, allowing 3.0 runs per game during that span.
The Twins have the edge in the season series, 3-0. The Red Sox have a 15-21 record against right-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when Pelfrey takes the mound. Buchholz (RHP) will be on the hill against the Twins, who have a 14-13 record against right-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - BOS, O/U - Over
The Twins won their last game by a one-run margin. In games decided by one run, the Red Sox are 8-7. The Twins are 11-6 in close games this season.
When leading after 7 innings, Minnesota is 9-6, while Boston is 8-12.
The Red Sox are coming off of a weak pitching game where they recorded six strikeouts. The Twins have a record of 15-4 when opponents' pitchers have that many strikeouts or fewer.
It looks like the Twins have a slight leg up on the Red Sox, as the Twins have won their last two games while the Red Sox have lost their last three.
When they outhit their opponents, the Red Sox are 18-3. The Twins have a 20-0 record when outhitting opponents.
Ranking 20th, Boston is in the bottom half of the league in runs, scoring 195 this season. Minnesota ranks in the top 10 at sixth with 225.
Ranking 26th, Minnesota is near the bottom of the league in walks, notching 118 this season. Boston ranks in the top five at third with 174.
The Red Sox are 17-15 in games where they hit one or more home runs. The Twins are 24-4 when they hit at least one homer.