Minnesota Clinging to Division Lead
The Minnesota Twins continue a trip out West on Friday with the opener of a three-game series against the host Arizona Diamondbacks. Minnesota has won two of three on the current road trip and is in first place in the American League Central by two games over the second-place Cleveland Guardians.
Arizona snapped a two-game losing streak with a win over the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday, but is still in fourth place in the National League West standings. This should be a very good series, so before you decide how to bet online on the series opener, read our in-depth preview of the contest.
Pitching Leads Twins
The Minnesota Twins have a potent offense, but they also have some solid pitching on their roster, which was shown off in a 5-0 win over the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday. Sonny Gray combined with five relievers to shut out the Mariners, giving Minnesota its first series win against Seattle since 2019.
“In a game like that you just want to put up as many zeros as you can, because you know how good and how lethal our offense is,” Gray said after Wednesday’s win. “You just want to keep the game where it is at, because you know eventually, they’re going to break through.”
Left-hander Devin Smeltzer will make his seventh start for the Twins. Smeltzer is 3-0 with a 2.38 ERA, striking out 16 and walking nine in 34 innings. He picked up a win in his last outing, going six innings against the Tampa Bay Rays on June 10 and allowing three runs on four hits, including three home runs, while striking out three and walking three.
Outfielder Byron Buxton leads Minnesota with 18 home runs, which is tied for second in baseball, but he’s coming off an 0-of-5 game on Wednesday in which he struck out two times. Buxton is batting .227 with eight doubles, 32 RBIs and 37 runs scored.
Second baseman Luis Arraez was 1-for-3 in Wednesday’s win and leads the majors with a .354 batting average. The 25-year-old has five doubles, three home runs, 21 RBIs and 34 runs scored.
Diamondbacks Looking for More at Home
The Arizona Diamondbacks dropped two of three to the visiting Cincinnati Reds in their last series, making them just 15-18 at Chase Field. The Diamondbacks have lost three of the last five series they’ve hosted this season but do play 15 of their next 21 games at home.
Shortstop Geraldo Perdomo had a big game in Wednesday’s win over the Reds, going 2-for-4 with a home run and three RBIs. The 22-year-old is batting .224 with four doubles, two triples, two home runs, 14 RBIs and 20 runs scored.
First baseman Christian Walker is one of the top hitters in baseball, leading the team with 16 home runs and 33 RBIs, but he’s in the middle of an 0-for-9 slump over the last two games. Walker is batting .201 with 10 doubles, a triple and 28 runs scored.
The Diamondbacks will have veteran left-hander Madison Bumgarner on the mound for the series opener. The 32-year-old is 2-6 with a 3.50 ERA in 13 starts in 2022, recording 45 strikeouts in 64.1 innings. He’s lost his last five decisions, including a Saturday start against the Philadelphia Phillies in which he went five innings and allowed three runs (one earned)
Twins at Diamondbacks Head-To-Head
The Minnesota Twins have the all-time edge over the Arizona Diamondbacks, 13-8, including a three-game sweep of the season series in their most recent encounters in 2017. The last time these two teams played in Arizona in 2011, however, it was the Diamondbacks coming away with a three-game sweep .
That was the first time in three series in Arizona that the Twins haven’t come out on top, having won series on the road in both 2004 and 2005. The MLB lines for the series opener are favoring that success to come back, with the Twins getting the edge.
Twins vs Diamondbacks Game Information
- Game: Twins (37-28) vs Diamondbacks (30-35)
- Location: Chase Field, Phoenix
- Day/Time: Friday, 9:40 p.m. ET
- Live Stream: MLB.TV
Twins vs Diamondbacks Betting Lines
D. Smeltzer -L
|-1½ +120||-127||9 -120o||4½ -125o
M. Bumgarner -L
|+1½ -140||+117||9 Evu||3½ -140o
Twins vs Diamondbacks Prediction
The Minnesota Twins are coming up with the clutch plays they need and they have an undefeated pitcher on the mound in Smeltzer. The Arizona Diamondbacks have had trouble putting together a consistent effort at home, and that should continue in this one.
When making your MLB picks, take Minnesota to win on the road.