The Minnesota Twins will finish up their West Coast road trip on Sunday against the Los Angeles Angels in search of a win to pad their lead in the American League Central but, of course, will have to go through Shohei Ohtani first.
Minnesota Twins vs. Los Angeles Angels (-145, 8)
Ohtani gets the start on the mound and has been the most difficult starting pitcher to hit against this season with his opponents hitting just .145 off of him, the best mark for any qualifying starter this season.
Ohtani has a 3.23 ERA overall, which drops to 2.67 at home — a spot he’ll look to rebound in after allowing at least three runs in each of his past four starts.
Fortunately for Ohtani, he gets to face a Twins lineup that entered the weekend ranked last among the 30 MLB teams in batting average at .208 with home run leader Joey Gallo just returning on Saturday from injury and Jorge Polanco, who has the best batting average among players with at least 70 at-bats, currently sidelined due to injury.
The Twins will look to counter the Angels ace with offseason acquisition Pablo Lopez, who has been at his best on the road this season, posting a 5.25 ERA compared to a 3.00 ERA in five starts on the road this season.
Lopez has allowed two runs or fewer in four of those five road starts with at least six innings completed in three of his four road starts since the beginning of April.
Both bullpens have had their hiccups this season but overall have delivered decent results with the Twins and Angels entering the weekend ranked 15th and 7th in bullpen ERA, respectively.
The Twins are second in the American League in overall road ERA and with the team’s lineup now shorthanded, what looks to be a pitcher’s duel based on the star power of the two starting pitchers will live up to the billing.
The Play: Twins vs. Angels Under 8