Tigers v. Twins Tiebreaker Playoff Game
October 6, 2009
The Minnesota Twins finally caught up to the Detroit Tigers on Saturday, and they did not back off on Sunday winning while the Tigers also won with Justin Verlander on the hill. Now it comes down to a tie breaker on Tuesday night between these two teams. The Twins won 11 of the 18 match ups this season and were 7-2 in Minnesota, which is where they will be on Tuesday. The Twins were 48-33 at home this year while the Tigers were 35-46 on the road. Clear advantage to the Twins on those terms and the sports betting line is confirming that with the odds listing the Twins at -163.
Pitching Match Up (Rick Porcello vs. Scott Baker)
Rick Porcello has not been the same pitcher on the road that he has been at home. It’s not a drastic difference with a 3.87 home ERA and an ERA of 4.20 on the road, but he has pitched significantly worse at Minnesota than he has at home against the Twins. In two road starts he is 0-3 giving up 7 ER in 10 IP while allowing 15 hits and 3 BB’s. Twins collectively own a .290 average against Porcello led by Jason Kubel who is 8-11 in his career. Kubel was a major reason why the Twins won on Sunday as he hit two home runs, both three run home runs and went 3-4 with 6 RBI’s! Porcello who is 6-6 on the road and the team was 7-8 in his road starts. Pitching on the turf was not good for Ricky as he had a 6.60 ERA in 3 starts this year on turf. It will be Porcello’s most challenging spot as a rookie in the biggest game of his life facing a Twins team that is 20-6 in their last 26 games vs. right handed starter.
Scott Baker will go for the Twins on Tuesday for the 5th time this year. The 28 year old veteran will go up against the Tigers who he has a 6.75 ERA. I do not believe that the Twins deserve to be at -163, but that’s the odds we roll with on Tuesday. Baker who is 6-5 at home with a 4.55 ERA pitches better on the road despite his team being 10-6 in his home starts. He will have to duplicate what he did against the Tigers in his last outing which was go 5 innings and give up 0 ER on 5 hits and 3 BB’s. The Tigers collectively have a .289 average against him led by Magglio Ordonez who is 18-39. Baker has identical numbers to what Porcello has on the road against the Twins as he has at home. He’s gone 10.2 IP giving up 9 ER on 15 hits.
You might think there is an advantage in the bullpen? However, looking at the match up both bullpens are pitching strong with the Twins having a 2.34 ERA in their last 10 and the Tigers having a 3.58 ERA in their last 10 games. This game is going to come down to one player stepping up and coming up with a big hit. I think both of these pitchers will come out like they did last week, and will pitch quality innings in the biggest game of the year for them. Will the Twins finally over come the Tigers for the division or will the Tigers jump on the plane again to face the New York Yankees?