It is yet another interleague battle that leads us into the night, as the St. Louis Cardinals and Minnesota Twins close out a brief two-game set. Last night, it was the Twins taking the lead early and never looking back en route to a 6-3 victory.
Tonight’s pitching matchup is the right-hander Daniel Ponce de Leon going against the 40-year-old southpaw Rich Hill of the Twins. Neither pitcher has yet to make a start yet this season, so it’ll be interesting to see how each guy comes out of the gate. Just as we’ve seen with numerous starting pitchers in their 2020 season debuts, expect there to be a short leash and the bullpens to be used for the second half of this game.
St. Louis Cardinals at Minnesota Twins
Target Field – Minneapolis, MN
8:10 p.m. EST (Watch: MLB Extra Innings)
STL: Daniel Ponce de Leon – R (1-2, 3.70 ERA/1.27 WHIP last season)
MIN: Rich Hill – L (4-1, 2.45 ERA/1.13 WHIP last season)
Odds & Betting lines (DraftKings)
Total: 10 runs | Over: -108 | Under: -113
STL | Moneyline: +155 | Run Line (+1.5): -124
MIN | Moneyline: -190 | Run Line (-1.5): +102
STL: Brad Miller -IF (IL)
MIN: Nick Gordon -IF (DTD)
Ponce de Leon to the Rescue
Miles Mikolas was supposed to be the starter for tonight’s game. However, things took an abrupt turn for the worst, as he was diagnosed with a forearm strain; he’ll undergo surgery and miss the rest of the 2020 season. How’s that for stepping into the starting role? Ponce de Leon has some great attributes, not just a fancy last name. In 82 innings of work at the MLB level, he has respectable 3.29 ERA/1.21 WHIP numbers with just over a strikeout per inning (83 Ks in 82 IP).
Over the Hill?
There’s no denying that Hill has some nasty stuff on the mound, as evidenced by a 4-1 record and 2.45 ERA in 13 games with the Los Angeles Dodgers. However, we all know that father time is undefeated. Not to mention, Hill is coming off left elbow surgery in October and already missed Saturday’s scheduled start with “minor soreness.” In seven career starts against St. Louis, Hill owns a 3-1 record and 5.03 ERA.
Cruz on the Loose
Four games in, Nelson Cruz is already 7-for-17 with two doubles, three homers and 10 RBI. Just like everyone else on the Twins, Cruz has yet to face Ponce de Leon in his career.
Twins Moneyline (-160)
It may not be the most profitable play for this game, but it is the one that makes the most sense to win. Last night, I took Twins -1.5 (+120) and that worked out against a dumpster-fire pitcher in Carlos Martinez. However, I could see this being a closer win than usual. Ponce de Leon is a guy that can limit damage, and this is really just playing it the safe route. If you feel like taking a slight risk, you’ll find comfort in knowing that all three Twins’ wins have come by at least three runs.