A crucial American League Central series concludes Thursday, September 17, 2020, when the Minnesota Twins (31-20) visit the Chicago White Sox (32-17) in their fourth and final game. Chicago leads the AL Central by two games over Minnesota and six games over the Cleveland Indians. If the playoffs started today, Chicago would be the top seed in the AL, and would face Cleveland in the playoffs, while Minnesota would be the fourth seed and face the New York Yankees. This game will air live on ESPN+ at 2:10 p.m. EST.
This series has been tight, and Chicago has taken two of the first three games. Chicago won game one 3-1 and game two 6-2, but Minnesota fought back to get a 5-1 win on Wednesday.
Below is my pick for the Minnesota Twins at Chicago White Sox. All odds are from BetMGM Sportsbook.
Odds: Minnesota Twins (-151) at Chicago White Sox (+139)
Pitching Matchup: Kenta Maeda (5-1, 2.43 ERA, 0.74 WHIP) vs Reynaldo Lopez (1-2, 5.52 ERA, 1.77 WHIP)
Kenta Maeda has been brilliant in 2020 and he will look to continue that as we head to the playoffs. In his nine starts this season, Maeda has given up two earned runs or less in six outings. Last time out, Maeda held the Cleveland Indians to four hits and zero runs in 7.0 innings pitched. For the season, Maeda has allowed 15 earned runs and 31 hits in 55.2 innings pitched.
Reynaldo Lopez is set to make his fifth start this season, and sixth of his career, as he will look to build off a strong last outing. Last time out, Lopez held the Detroit Tigers to zero runs and three hits in 5.0 innings pitched. In his four starts prior to that Tigers outing, Lopez allowed a combined 11 runs (nine earned) and 14 hits in just 9.2 innings.
Nelson Cruz is right in the thick of the AL MVP race, and may be the favorite, as the designated hitter has put up bonkers numbers during this strange season. Cruz leads the Twins with a .321 batting average, .409 on base percentage, .643 slugging, 1.052 OPS, and 16 home runs. Left fielder Eddie Rosario leads the team with 33 RBI’s.
One of the players Cruz is battling for that AL MVP is on the other side of the diamond as first baseman Jose Abreu is having a fantastic season for the White Sox. Abreu leads the team with a .629 slugging, 16 home runs and 49 RBI’s., The 49 RBI’s are top in the majors. Another player having a great season is shortstop Tim Anderson who leads the team with a .373 batting average, .410 on base percentage, and 1.006 OPS. The .373 batting average is tied with D.J LeMahieu for tops in the majors.
MLB Picks: Give me the Minnesota Twins in this one.
2020 Picks Record: 52-37