Twins at Cardinals Picks
By Mike Rose
Interleague play gets the ESPN Monday Night Baseball treatment when Paul Molitor’s Minnesota Twins invades Busch Stadium for an abbreviated two-game series with the St. Louis Cardinals. These franchises last crossed paths back in 2015 when the Redbirds went into the Twin Cities and got the brooms busted out on them by the Twinkies at Target Field. Both meetings combined for low scorers pushing the under to a lucrative 9-0 in the team’s last nine skirmishes.
Minnesota Twins at St. Louis Cardinals
Date and Time: Monday, May 7, 2018, 8 p.m. ET
Location: Busch Stadium, St. Louis, MO
MLB Odds: Check Back Later
Probable Pitchers: Fernando Romero vs. Carlos Martinez
Twins at Cardinals TV Coverage: ESPN
The Twins got out to a semi-decent start to their 2018 campaign by rattling off wins in eight of their first 13 games. Then they went on to drop eight straight games and completely fell off the mat. Since snapping the losing streak, they’ve managed just one win in their last four tries. Overall, the Twins have proven to be one of the bigger money burners in the league costing MLB bettors upwards of $700 overall.
A bulk of that deficit has been incurred on the road where Eddie Rosario and his mates have secured just three wins through 12 tries ( -$591 ). This is a team that ranks No. 20 in the league in scoring runs ( 4.1 RPG ) and has produced the fewest quality starts ( 8 ). On top of all that, the bullpen sports a sickening 5.93 ERA while the defense has committed 17 errors ( No. 16 ). This team has no doubt taken a step backwards through the first five weeks after qualifying for the play-in game a short season ago.
Since dropping two of three to the Brewers back on April 11, the Cardinals have been one of the hottest teams in the league. Yadier Molina and his mates have rattled off wins in 11 of their last 17 opportunities. In doing so, they currently sit a half game in back of the Brewers for the NL Central lead and rank out as the twelfth most lucrative team to wager on in baseball ( $225 ).
However, nothing about this team jumps off the page when you break it down statistically. The offense is league average in scoring 4.6 runs per game while batting .235 overall ( No. 24 ). The pitching staff has thrown to the No. 4 ranked ERA ( 3.32 ) and amassed 14 quality starts, but the defense is below average in fielding percentage and I’m not sure you can trust the bullpen entirely regardless of Bud Norris currently in good form. Still, the team has protected its house in winning nine of 14 in front of the hometown faithful ( $167 ), and gets the advantage of playing there in the series opener.
Fernando Romero –The youngster impressed in his 2018 debut by tossing 5.2 innings of shutout baseball at the Toronto Blue jays to log his first career win in the big leagues. Though he issued a trio of free passes, he also racked up 5five strikeouts. He’s proven to be a reliable strikeout pitcher at all levels, but will have his work cut out for him in this spot versus a Cardinals lineup that’s been the tenth toughest lineup to punch out. He does have the advantage of St. Louis hitting lefties better than righties.
Carlos Martinez – C-Mart is starting to once again pitch like the ace Mike Matheny had hoped for last season. He’ll enter his eighth start of the year 3-1 with a miniscule 1.40 ERA and 1.04 WHIP. Though his BB/9 average sits at 3.8, he’s offset the free passes by racking up 45 strikeouts in 45 total innings of work. Like his offense, Minnesota has been average against right-handed pitching ( No. 17 ). He’s been nearly untouchable at home where his ERA falls to 1.07 and BAA to .205. St. Louis has won all four of his home starts, and he’s only conceded 2 ER in his last three starts.
Twins at Cardinals Picks
As much as I want to believe Minnesota has what it takes to take down the Cardinals ace, I just don’t see it happening. Pitching at home against Toronto is a much different scenario than tossing in hostile Busch in your very first road test at the MLB level. That’s something I don’t foresee Romero conquering in this spot. He looks to be a viable arm that will give Molitor and his staff solid innings down the road, but he’s simply not prepared for this challenge. All things being equal, Minnesota’s only shot of beating the MLB betting lines at the best online sportsbooks would be if St. Louis suffers a major letdown after taking on the Cubs the previous three days. While that’s entirely possible, I’m not willing to bank on it.
MLB Pick: Bet the Cardinals at BookMaker.eu
MLB Score Prediction: St. Louis 8 – Minnesota 2