Minnesota and Tampa Bay open a three-game series at Tropicana Field on Friday, September 3, 2021, so we’ve prepared the best Twins vs. Rays betting pick and odds. These two American League foes already met once in August, and the Twins beat the Rays in a three-game set at Target Field in Minneapolis, 2-1, playing as home dogs in two of those three contests.
The Rays are -167 moneyline favorites for Friday’s clash at home, according to BetUs Sportsbook, while the totals sit at 9.0 runs.
The Twins start a seven-game road trip
The 58-75 Minnesota Twins are coming off a two-game home set against the Chicago Cubs. They suffered a couple of losses, failing to cope with the Cubbies’ pitching staff that has been one of the worst in baseball since the All-Star break.
The Twins have won just four of their previous 12 games overall. During that stretch, the Twins have scored only 42 runs on a poor .212/.287/.365 batting line while compiling a 5.88 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, and a .248 batting average against.
Randy Dobnak will get the starting call Friday, his first since June 19. The 26-year-old righty has been awful in the first half of the season, posting a 1-6 record with a 7.83 ERA and 1.65 WHIP in five starts and eight relief appearances (43.2 innings pitched). Dobnak has never met the Rays before.
The Rays are dominating the American League
The Tampa Bay Rays put an end to their nine-game winning streak last Wednesday, suffering a 3-2 home loss to the Boston Red Sox. They fell to 84-49 on the season, but the Rays were still topping the American League comfortably, six games ahead of their closest rivals. Also, they had a seven-game lead in the AL East.
Michael Wacha will toe the slab Friday at The Trop, and the 30-year-old right-hander is 2-4 with a disappointing 5.70 ERA and 1.49 WHIP in 18 starts and five relief appearances in 2021. Wacha has struggled a lot over his previous five starts, tallying a horrible 8.49 ERA and a .373 batting average against.
Back on August 14, Wacha met the Twins in Minneapolis and got pounded for seven earned runs on 11 hits and a walk across five innings of work in a heavy 12-0 defeat. That was his second career date with Minnesota and first since 2015.
- 4-8 in the last 12 games overall
- 2-5 in the last seven games on the road
- 1-4 in Randy Dobnak’s last five appearances
- 13-2 in the last 15 games overall
- 9-2 in the last 11 games at home
Minnesota Twins vs. Tampa Bay Rays Pick
Both teams will send wild cards to the mound, so the Rays’ offense should make the difference. Randy Dobnak has a big motive to prove his worth, but he’ll have a tall task against the Rays, who have scored 77 runs in the last 12 games while slashing .251/.325/.424.
I don’t trust Michael Wacha at all, but the Rays can lean on their bullpen that has registered a 3.23 ERA and 3.89 FIP over the last two weeks. On the other side, the Twins ‘pen has posted a 4.37 ERA and a poor 5.44 FIP in that span.
Pick: Take Tampa Bay Rays at -167
With Randy Dobnak and Michael Wacha getting the nods, I have to take the over on the totals. The Twins have destroyed Wacha a few weeks ago, so this is a nice opportunity for Minnesota’s offense to break out of its slump, while the Rays should easily score early in the game, as they are more dangerous when hitting the righties.
On the other hand, the Rays bullpen is always a huge factor and could easily shut down the Twins, while Tropicana Field is quite a pitcher-friendly environment. Betting on the hosts seems like the best move here.
Pick: Go over 9.0 runs at +100