Tonight, with each club eyeing their respective division lead, the Minnesota Twins and Milwaukee Brewers open a two-game interleague set. Milwaukee comes in hot, having won five-of-six. Conversely, the Twins have squandered an 11.5 game AL Central cushion. Minnesota is 1-5 since August 6 after a 7-3 Sunday afternoon loss vs. Cleveland.
Now, breathing life into one of MLB’s top current storylines, once discounted Cleveland is tied with Minnesota atop the AL Central. The Twins are on the wrong side of the headlines these days.
And as August settles and playoff races tighten, both teams realize what’s at stake this evening. Expect a palpable buzz tonight from Target Field as Chase Anderson and Martin Perez take the mound. The Twins and Brewers split a two-game May series.
Twins Mound Struggles Continue
During their 1-5 slump Minnesota is allowing just over seven runs per contest. The recent ineffectiveness of the Twins bullpen, however, was fully displayed Sunday. After a ninth-inning rally, Minnesota collapsed late as Carlos Santana’s tenth inning grand slam off Taylor Rogers ended matters.
Tonight, Martin Perez will try to reverse trends. Though, in his last six starts, Perez has allowed 26 runs and 11 home runs through 33 innings. Most recently, Atlanta touched Perez for 11 hits and five runs over six frames -Minnesota took that Aug. 7 loss 11-7.
It’s also worth noting Perez has given up 18 round-trippers this season and has a 6.47 ERA in his last 12 starts -Milwaukee’s 188 homers ranks second among all NL clubs. And a glance at the Brewers roster reveals seven everyday positional players with double-digit home run totals.
Minnesota will need to continue supplying Perez with outstanding run support today as collateral for an early Milwaukee blitz. The Twins are 11-9 when Perez starts.
Christian Yelich Sits as Brewers Scale NL Central
Milwaukee has defied a lax Pythagorean total by winning five-of-six even as Christian Yelich missed four of those games with back soreness. During the Brewers 1-0 Sunday loss vs. Texas Yelich pinch-hit, striking out in the eighth inning. Though, reports state the reigning NL MVP will likely resume his starting role for today’s interleague meeting.
The Brewers’ latest success has brought them within a half-game of the final National League Wildcard spot, and 2.5 games behind NL Central leader Chicago.
However, those wins come against middling Pittsburgh and Texas and follow a 1-6 stretch vs. quality opposition. Yes, Minnesota is struggling, but they also pose offensive concerns for any opponent.
Chase Anderson will try to blanket the Twins homer-heavy offense while winning his third consecutive decision. Over his last five starts, Anderson has allowed just seven runs through 26 innings. Minnesota is 3-2 in those contests with Anderson receiving minimal run support.
Offensively, the Brewers are just behind mid-pack overall as they rank #16 leaguewide with 4.8 runs per game. Defensively the Brew Crew is #17 while allowing 4.9 runs per game.
- 9-3 last 12 interleague home games.
- 5-1 last 6 overall.
- 7-1 last 8 vs. AL Central.
- 1-5 last 6 overall.
- 4-10 last 14 vs. NL Central.
- 1-4 last 5 vs. right-handed starter.