The San Diego Padres host the Minnesota Twins on Saturday in a battle of two playoff hopefuls. The Twins enter with a narrow two-game lead in the AL Central with both the Guardians and White Sox in hot pursuit. The Padres come in a daunting 12 games back of Los Angeles out west; however, they are firmly situated within the NL Wildcard race, currently occupying the second spot. We should be treated to a good pitching matchup here as the resurgent Sonny Gray gets the ball for the Twins and the Padres counter with their ace Joe Musgrove. First pitch is at 7:15 PM EST.
Twins Look to Recapture Winning FormulaMinnesota has maintained a first-place spot in the AL Central for most of the season however they have not managed to get much separation in what is shaping up to be a compelling three-team race down the stretch. The Twins will be looking to get back on track in a hurry after a rough stretch of play that has seen them go just 5-9 over their last 14 games. They rank 10th overall in offensive scoring averaging a respectable 4.65 runs per game. Byron Buxton has evaded injury to this point and leads the club with 24 home runs, while Luis Arraez is hitting a stellar .333.
Twins pitching has held up well to this point ranking 12th allowing 4.3 runs per contest. Home runs have been a bit of an issue with the staff conceding 1.22 dingers per game, ranking just 26th. Sonny Gray has put together a nice campaign so far, entering with a 5-3 mark and a 3.52 ERA. He is coming off a nice performance against Detroit in which he hurled six innings while allowing just one run and fanned seven.
Padres Leaning on Strong PitchingSan Diego has done a nice job in overcoming the loss of superstar Fernando Tatis Jr. The club finds themselves firmly in the playoff picture even if the division is beginning to look out of reach. Pitching has been the catalyst this year, with the staff holding opponents to just 4.1 runs per game, ranking 9th. They have allowed just a .231 opposing batting average (4th) and a .671 opposing OPS (5th). Joe Musgrove has been the anchor to this point with an excellent 8-3 record and an impressive 2.63 ERA. He will look to shake off a loss to the Mets in his last start, in which he was tagged for four runs over 5.1 innings.
The Padres have struggled at times offensively as they rank just 19th in runs per game at 4.35. They have struggled in the power department averaging just 0.84 home runs per contest which ranks 27th. Manny Machado has been their unquestioned best hitter leading the way with a .299 batting average, 16 home runs, and 54 RBIs. With Tatis Jr taking batting practice this week, the offense may be getting a huge shot in the arm just in time for the stretch run.
- The Padres are 1-5 in Musgrove's last six starts
- The over is 3-0-1 in the Padres' last four games
- The Twins are 6-1 in their last seven games at San Diego
- The over is 5-0 in the Twins last five games