The San Diego Padres and Minnesota Twins split the first two games of this series, and now each of these playoff hopefuls will look for a series win heading into the finale on Thursday afternoon. The game will get started at 1:10 p.m. ET from Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It’ll be matchup of two strong righties on the mound, as Padres ace Yu Darvish (2-2, 3.19 ERA) squares off against Minnesota’s Bailey Ober (2-0, 0.98 ERA).
The Padres are -120 moneyline favorites on DraftKings Sportsbook, making the Twins +100 underdogs. The over/under is set at eight.
Padres-Twins picks: Thursday, May 11
Out: OF Jose Azocar (elbow), RP Nabil Crismatt (hip), C Luis Campusano (thumb), OF David Dahl (quadriceps), RP Robert Suarez (arm), RP Jose Castillo (shoulder), RP Adrian Morejon (elbow), 2B Eguy Rosario (ankle), RP Drew Pomeranz (forearm)
Out: RP Caleb Thielbar (oblique), SP Tyler Mahle (elbow), SP Kenta Maeda (triceps), OF Gilberto Celestino (thumb), SP Ronny Henriquez (elbow), SS Royce Lewis (knee), SP Chris Paddack (elbow)
Yu Darvish vs. Bailey Ober
Darvish has been throwing well over the first month-plus of the season, allowing just one earned run in four of his six starts in 2023. In his last time out, Darvish allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits and a walk with six strikeouts over 6.2 innings of work against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The 6-foot-9 Ober will make his fourth start of the season, and he’s been fantastic so far in the wake of injuries to Maeda and Mahle. He’s allowed just two runs over 18.1 innings of work and threw seven scoreless innings against the Cleveland Guardians in his last start. He doesn’t have the sort of premium velocity that his height would suggest, but he has great command of all four of his pitches and forces lots of weak contact (94th percentile in hard-hit rate).
The sample size is small, but it’s tough to see Ober struggling on Thursday afternoon. He’s been dominant in all three outings and will face a Padres offense that ranks 25th in runs per game (4.2), scoring three or less in three of the last four games. On the other side, the Twins have the third-worst on-base percentage (.300) in baseball this season.
Pick: Under 8
Darvish certainly has the better track record over a longer sample size of about a decade, and it’s much easier to trust him to not have a blowup start on Thursday afternoon. The Twins have struggled to add baserunners all season, and the Padres will be on the winning side of this low-scoring matchup.