Mike Pelfrey (1-0, 2.65 ERA) and the Minnesota Twins (8-11) go up against Anibal Sanchez (1-2, 5.96 ERA) and the Detroit Tigers (14-6) in the second of a three-game division series at Target Field. The Tigers won the last game 5-4 and Detroit leads the series 1-0. The game starts at 8:10 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Apr. 28 and will air on FSN-DET and FSN-N.
Pelfrey has a 4.54 ERA and a 2-3 record in his career against the Tigers, and faces a strong Detroit offense that's hitting .290 on the year. Joe Mauer (.296, 4 Rs, 9 RBIs) went 1 for 4 yesterday with one run. In his pitching opportunities against the Twins, Sanchez is 3-2 with a 2.30 ERA. He gets a less-than-stellar Minnesota offense that's batting just .228. Rajai Davis (.341, 11 Rs, 1 HR, 4 RBIs, 6 SBs) has been hitting the ball well to start the season for the Tigers, going 3 for 4 yesterday with three runs.
Minnesota is a +117 underdog in this game and the Over/Under (O/U) is eight runs. The Twins are 8-9 as the underdog and have an overall money line of +five. They have not performed well against their division, earning an SU record of 6-9 and a 6-8 record when they were the underdog.
Switching to the opposing bench, the Tigers come into this game with a solid win percentage of .643 when playing as the favorite (9-5) and an overall money line of +620. Against fellow AL Central members, they are 10-2 SU and have played well as the favorite with an 8-2 record. Detroit has stepped up their play against division opponents. They have averaged 6.2 runs per game, more than their season average of 4.7. Detroit is one of the top hitting teams in the AL with an average of 9.6 hits per contest. Detroit is a terror on the base paths, ranking second in the MLB with 22 stolen bases. The Tigers are a problem for opposing batters, sporting a 3.71 ERA this season. They also average just 7.8 hits allowed per game, fifth-best in the AL.
The previous four games have all gone Detroit's way. The Twins will take on a right-hander (Sanchez) in this game and have a 4-6 record against right-handed starting pitchers this season. The right-handed Pelfrey will take the mound against the Tigers. Against righty starters this season, they've racked up an impressive 9-5 record overall and 3-1 on the road.
Predictions: SU Winner - DET, O/U - Under
The Tigers sit at 11-2 against the division, while the Twins are 6-10
Minnesota has lost all of its games (0-5) when leading after 7 innings. However, Detroit has won 73% (8-3) of its games when taking a late lead.
The Twins managed to give up six walks in their last game. They'll have to pick it up against the Tigers who are coming in with a 6-0 record against opponents who give up that many walks or more.
When they are outhit, the Tigers are 0-4. The Twins have a 2-10 record when opponents outhit them.
Minnesota ranks near the bottom of the league at 29th when it comes to home runs, hitting nine this season. Detroit ranks in the top half at 11th with 18.
Ranking 13th, Minnesota is in the top half of the league in hits, notching 7.61 per game. Detroit ranks in the top five at second with 9.63.
Ranking 28th, Minnesota is near the bottom of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.612). Detroit ranks in the top five at third with an OPS of .801.
When the Tigers allow at least one home run, they are 3-5, well-matched with the Twins who are 5-9 when allowing at least one homer.