Twins and Nationals Hold Slim MLB Playoff Leads
The Washington Nationals and the Minnesota Twins meet on Thursday at Target Field. The playoff contenders meet in the rubber match of a three-game interleague set. Ryan Zimmerman has made his presence felt since returning from a long absence due to a foot injury. The Twins will try to contain him and take home the deciding game.
TV: 7:40 p.m. ET, MASN (Washington), FS North (Minnesota); LINE: Nationals -129; O/U: 9.5 Under -120.
PITCHING MATCHUP: Nationals LH Patrick Corbin (11-7, 3.16 ERA) vs. Twins RH Kyle Gibson (13-6, 4.58)
Zimmerman looks to continue his power surge tonight. Last night he had three hits, including a two-run blast, and three RBI’s as the Nationals evened the series with a 6-2 victory. Washington improved to 10-6 against the American League this year.
Zimmerman is 7-for-24 with three homers and 10 RBI’s in seven games since returning from almost six weeks on the injured list. His bat added to a potent Washington offense is major down the stretch. The offense has been key to the club’s march toward a comfortable position as the National League‘s top wild card. Left-hander Patrick Corbin will try to give the Nationals a series victory when he faces Minnesota for the first time Thursday.
The Twins hand the ball to right-hander Kyle Gibson. Gibson is 4-9 with a 5.47 ERA in interleague play. Minnesota saw its lead in the AL Central shrink to four games over Cleveland with the loss yesterday. The offense went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position. The team continues to be cautious with four injured regulars sitting out. C.J. Cron (thumb), Miguel Sano (back), Max Kepler (shoulder) and Marwin Gonzalez (oblique) all missed the middle game of the series. Jorge Polanco belted a two-run homer for the only runs Washington scored.
This, That, and a Dart Throw
The Nationals‘ Corbin suffered his second loss in three outings last Friday at Atlanta. He allowed two runs, only one earned, on three hits in the loss. He had six walks over five innings while fanning nine. Corbin has an outstanding 210 strikeouts to compare to only 60 walks over 179-2/3 innings. Corbin has been better at home (7-2, 2.00 ERA) than on the road (4-5, 4.45). He lost both his decisions against AL teams this year. He is 7-6 with a 3.61 ERA in 19 career games (17 starts) during interleague play.
Gibson returns to the Twins rotation after missing almost two weeks due to ulcerative colitis. He will be going for his third straight victory. Gibson has already matched his career high total of 13 wins in 2014. He has improved his strikeout-to-walk ratio to 146-to-45 across 149-1/3 innings. Yan Gomes is 13-for-30 with a pair of homers and five RBI’s versus Gibson. He gave up seven runs over three innings in his only career start against the Nationals to take the loss. INF-OF Luis Arraez is 16-for-36 during a nine-game hitting streak. He racked up three hits Wednesday.
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The Dart Throw: Twins 6, Nationals 4
Nationals vs Twins Betting Odds & Trends
|Minnesota is 12-5 SU in its last 17 games|
|The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Minnesota’s last 5 games|
|The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Minnesota’s last 5 games at home|
|Minnesota is 1-6 SU in its last 7 games when playing Washington|
|Minnesota is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games when playing at home against Washington|
|Washington is 3-6 ATS in its last 9 games|
|Washington is 2-5 SU in its last 7 games|
|The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Washington’s last 6 games|
|Washington is 14-5 ATS in its last 19 games on the road|
|Washington is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games on the road|
|The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Washington’s last 6 games on the road|
|Washington is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games when playing Minnesota|
|Washington is 1-5 SU in its last 6 games when playing on the road against Minnesota|
Washington home to Atlanta Friday, September 13
Minnesota at Cleveland Friday, September 13
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