Ricky Nolasco (1-1, 10.12 ERA) and Drew Pomeranz (1-2, 4.61 ERA) start in the last of a four-game series between the Minnesota Twins (15-13) and the Oakland Athletics (12-17) at Target Field. The Twins won the last game 13-0 and Minnesota leads the series 2-1. Action begins at 1:10 p.m. ET on Thursday, May. 7 and can be seen on MLB Network.
Nolasco is 1-0 with a 1.69 ERA in his appearances against the Athletics, but goes up against a good Oakland offense which is batting .265 this season. Trevor Plouffe (.267, 13 Rs, 5 HRs, 17 RBIs) went 1 for 4 yesterday with one run and two RBIs. Pomeranz went 5.1 innings, surrendering three runs, striking out four and walking one in an 8-7 defeat to the Rangers in his most recent start. Josh Reddick (.372, 14 Rs, 4 HRs, 20 RBIs, 2 SBs) went 1 for 2 yesterday.
The odds for Minnesota and Oakland are even, while the Over/Under (O/U) is sitting at eight runs. The Twins have seen an uptick in scoring as of late, averaging 5.8 runs during the last 10 games compared to their season average of 4.2 runs per game.
The Athletics are tough outs for opponents, ranking second in the AL with 9.4 hits per game. Oakland is excellent at not striking out with just 6.2 per game, ranking second in the AL.
The Twins lead the season series, 2-1. The Twins have a 7-5 record against left-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when Pomeranz takes the mound. Nolasco (RHP) will be on the hill against the Athletics, who have an 11-12 record against right-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - OAK, O/U - Over
The Twins won their last game by a 13-run margin. In games decided by a margin of 10 runs or more, the Athletics are 2-2. The Twins are 3-1 in blowouts this season.
Minnesota has won 29% (2-5) of its games when leading after 7 innings. However, Oakland has won 29% (5-12) of its games when taking a late lead.
The Twins are coming into this matchup after a high-scoring game where they scored a whopping 13 runs. The Athletics have a 0-2 record when opponents score that many runs or more.
When they are outhit, the Twins are 2-12. The Athletics have a 2-11 record when opponents outhit them.
Minnesota ranks near the bottom of the league at 22nd when it comes to home runs, hitting 20 this season. Oakland ranks in the top half at 12th with 25.
Minnesota and Oakland both rank in the top five of the league in hits. Minnesota sits at fifth with 8.78 hits per game and Oakland ranks second with 9.43.
Ranking 19th, Minnesota is in the bottom half of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.692). Oakland ranks in the top 10 at 10th with an OPS of .726.
When the Athletics allow at least one home run, they are 2-12. When the Twins allow one or more homers, they have a 6-10 record.