The Minnesota Twins are among the top contenders in the American League, but the Chicago White Sox have a chance to steal two of three in Sunday's finale to these teams' season-opening series.
Chicago swatted four homers in Saturday's 10-3 romp after losing the prior contest 10-5. However, oddsmakers still have the hosts as underdogs, which makes sense, since abe's latest MLB futures list Minnesota with the fifth-shortest odds to win the World Series.
For more on the game at hand, continue reading for our betting preview, highlighted by the best odds available upon publication, a detailed, statistics-driven analysis of the matchup and projected wagers trends.
Date: Sunday, July 26
Time: 2:10 p.m. ET
TV: Fox Sports North; NBCS Chicago
Implied Probabilities: Twins 59%; White Sox 44%
Spread: MIN -1.5 (+110); CHW +1.5 (-130)
Moneyline: MIN -143; CHW +125
Kenta Maeda will make his debut on the mound for Minnesota after spending the first four seasons of his big-league tenure with the Dodgers. The Twins made a push to upgrade their pitching this past offseason, as they also acquired Homer Bailey and Rich Hill.
Maeda will face Reynaldo Lopez, who'll throw to Chicago's new catcher Yasmani Grandal after he had the day off Saturday. The Sox got double-digit run production with Grandal on the bench. Now, he's set to return behind the plate again and serve as cleanup hitter.
26.3 vs. 21.5: This head-to-head stat matchup compares the Weighted On-Base Average for these teams from a season ago. The Twins were far superior, ranking second in all of baseball, whereas Chicago slotted in at 24th.
9.60 vs. 5.12: These numbers are key 2019 ERA splits for Sunday's starters. The first figure is Lopez's mark versus Minnesota en route to an 0-3 record across three starts. Those latter digits are Maeda's road ERA, compared to a 3.13 home ERA.
7.4 vs. 2.7: Lastly, here are the WAR numbers from the prior season for the relievers on each of these clubs. Once again, this favors the Twins, who ranked third overall. Chicago closer Alex Colome logged 30 saves to match his Minnesota counterpart Taylor Rogers, yet the latter had a 1.5 individual WAR edge, per FanGraphs.
In Saturday's victory, the Sox got a combined six RBI from their Nos. 8 and 9 hitters in backup catcher James McCann and Leury Garcia. The latter hit two homers after totaling only 23 in 465 prior career games.
Those events certainly seem like statistical outliers — a common phenomenon over the course of any given day on the diamond, particularly in 162-game seasons. Odds are, that type of production from the bottom of the order isn't something Chicago can count on.
On the other hand, there's so much young talent on this Sox club. Shortstop Tim Anderson hit .335 last season, third baseman Yoan Moncada saw his OPS soar more than 200 points in 2019 and outfielders Eloy Jimenez (31 homers in Year 1) and rookie Luis Robert are just scratching the surface of their potential.
It's a nice lineup for Chicago on paper, with veteran sluggers Jose Abreu and Edwin Encarnacion in the third and fourth batting slots, yet it pales in comparison to Minnesota's.
Last year, the Twins set the single-season MLB record with 307 home runs. Their historic core remained largely intact — and added Josh Donaldson in free agency. The three-time All-Star is off a season in which he posted a cool 37 dingers.
Minnesota was an absolute buzz saw on the road during the 2019 campaign, logging a 34-12 record as the away favorite, per TeamRankings.com. Meanwhile, Chicago had the fifth-worst record covering the run line as home favorites.
Those trends don't necessarily reflect the improvements the White Sox made to their roster this winter. Nevertheless, bets are bound to skew toward the Twins' -143 moneyline and slightly plus-money -1.5 spread.
As of this writing, the odds are dead-even on either side of the total runs. That 10.5 figure is super high — greater than most Over/Unders you'll see across baseball. Since the clubs have combined to score 15 and 13 in games previous, look for the majority of bettors' action to move toward the Under 10.5 on Sunday.
Note: Odds current as of 10:05 a.m. ET on Sunday, July 26.
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