Chicago White Sox vs. Minnesota Twins: Preview, Analysis, & Best Bet – 8/31/20

By: Trent Pruitt (@trentbets)

8/31/20

The Minnesota Twins return home after losing two out of three earlier in the week to the Indians and getting swept in a three-game set to the Tigers over the weekend. They’re losers of five straight but looking to turn that around at Target field, where they boast a 12-3 record. As for the White Sox, they blew past the Twins in the standings and are now tied for first with the Tribe. Here are the standings in A.L. central:

Money Line: CWS -130, MIN +120

Run Line: CWS -1.5 (+120), MIN +1.5 (-140)

Total: 8.5 (O -125, U +105)

First Pitch: 7:10 CST, Target Field, Minneapolis, MN

Chicago White Sox

Chicago will open up a nine-game road trip tonight featuring stops in Minnesota (3), Kansas City (4), and Pittsburgh (2). As a fan, I’m very pleased with the way the Sox have been playing. They’ve won 11 of 13 games and to be fair, that’s what we should expect out of them at this point. They’re a team with a lot of potential and beating up on teams like Detroit, Pittsburgh, and Kansas City shouldn’t surprise anybody. This series will be tough, but the top of the rotation rolls around and Rick Renteria will turn to Lucas Giolito on Monday night. 

If you don’t live under a rock, then you know that Giolito was magnificent last time out, throwing his first career no-hitter and 19th in franchise history. That nine inning shutout performance builds off of a 7.0 IP, three hit, shutout outing against the Tigers back on the 20th. He’s lowered his ERA to 3.09 and has a 3-2 record on the year. In his one outing against Minnesota on the season, he was roughed up on opening day to the tune of seven earned runs over 3.2 IP. 

Minnesota Twins

2019 Skipper of the year, Rocco Baldelli will opt for Rich Hill in the series opener on Monday night. Hill is 1-1 with a 3.55 ERA and this will be his third straight start in the rotation. He was effective last time out against the Cleveland Indians, throwing five innings of one-run baseball while giving up four hits and two free passes. As for head to head stats, there isn’t a lot of meaningful data. Abreu is 1-1 with a double, McCann is 2-5, and Encarnacion is 4-18 with three long balls (get the parrots ready). Rich Hill may be in for a long night against a White Sox team that is 10-0 against left-handed starters on the year.

As for the Twins sticks, they’re lethal. Nelson Cruz leads the charge, slashing .319/.409/.681 with 13 homers. The veteran DH is 6-14 against Giolito with three long balls.

Final Analysis & Best Bet

You guys may think I’m crazy, but I’m going to ride the under 8.5 (+105) for 1.5 units on Monday night. Giolito’s game log/past history against the Twins is all over the place but when he has gotten touched up, it’s been in the middle of the summer in Chicago when the ball flies out of Guaranteed Rate. He’s only thrown once at Target field since the beginning of 2019 and it was a complete game shutout with twelve punch outs. He’s in excellent form right now, has a great history in Minnesota, and the under in 13-2 at Target Field this season!

On the flip side, the Sox own left-handed pitching. I do expect them to win this game which is why I’m playing the Sox money line (-130) for a unit. Their splits are second to none against LHP with a .406 wOBA and .342 BABIP. Hill has only accumulated 8 K’s over 12.2 IP this season, so look for the Sox to put the ball in play which should in turn lead to hits. It’s also worth noting that Hill is in the 82nd percentile of hard hit percentage in 2020. A “hard hit ball” qualifies as anything with at least a 95 exit velocity. Look for a White Sox winner in a low scoring affair on Monday night! I’ll guess 4-2.

For more sports talk, follow me on Twitter: @trentbets

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