July 4 MLB Preview — Minnesota Twins at Oakland Athletics

Jose Berrios photo courtesy Jon Durr/USA TODAY Sports)

This is the full preview(s) as seen on the Winners and Whiners and Stat Salt websites. The confidence rating for all picks on a scale from 1 to 5 is in parentheses.

Note: The 5/5 does NOT represent the best overall pick of the day’s games when there are multiple games, simply the best pick(s) from each individual game.

When and Where: Thursday, July 4, Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, Calif., 4:07 p.m. EDT.

Tabbed as an injury replacement for his teammate at the All-Star game next week, Jose Berrios looks to get back to his winning ways Thursday when the Minnesota Twins wrap up their three-game series with the Oakland Athletics.

Twins keep two All-Star spots as Berrios replaces Odorizzi

Berrios (8-4, 2.89 ERA) was added to the AL squad Wednesday when Jake Odorizzi was put on the injured list with a blister on his pitching (right) hand.

This will be Berrios’ second straight All-Star game, navigating around a walk in a scoreless inning of work in last year’s Midsummer Classic. The right-hander, though, is coming off his worst start of the year after being reached for a season-worst six runs — three of them earned — and nine hits in 7 1-3 innings of a 6-4 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Friday.

“Obviously, you look at a line after the game and you have a feeling about it,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli told the team’s official website. “But if you were on the field and watched the way he executed tonight, he made almost every pitch he wanted to the whole night. I thought he was sharp; I thought his stuff was excellent. I don’t want to call it luck, but the results he got did not match the performance that we saw tonight.”

Berrios has gone 0-2 in four starts despite a 2.17 ERA in those games, partly because the Twins have backed him with just five runs in those contests.

He is making his third straight start on the road, where he has compiled a 3-2 record and 3.43 ERA in nine starts. Berrios’ two career starts against Oakland came last year, and he went 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA after yielding eight runs in 10 2-3 innings.

Both Matt Chapman and Khris Davis took him deep, and each hitter is 2 for 6 versus the righty.

Tanner Anderson again seeks first win of 2019

Rookie Tanner Anderson (0-3, 7.13) makes his fifth bid for a first victory with the Athletics after being acquired in the offseason from Pittsburgh.

The right-hander endured the worst of his four starts Thursday against the Los Angeles Angels, getting rocked for seven runs and eight hits in just 2 2-3 innings as the Athletics absorbed an 8-3 defeat. Anderson has also been starved of runs in his games, with Oakland offering just six in support in his four outings.

On the flip side, the righty has yet to last six innings and has not lasted more than four in his last two starts.

“He got off to a decent start, and then had a little trouble with their lefties,” manager Bob Melvin told the A’s official website after lifting Anderson during a five-run third by the Angels. “Good sinker into the righties and having trouble painting away or getting inside to the lefties. Everything happened in a hurry there in the third.”

This will be his first appearance against the Twins. Anderson is 0-1 with a 4.82 ERA in two home starts, giving up five runs and 10 hits in 9 1-3 innings.

Notable Trends

The Athletics are:

  • 0-4 in Anderson’s last four starts.
  • 6-13 in their last 19 home games vs. teams with an above-.600 road record.

The Twins are:

  • 6-1 in Berrios’ last seven road starts.
  • 13-5 in Berrios’ last 18 starts.
  • 4-1 in Berrios’ last five starts vs. above-.500 teams.

5-Star Pick!!!!!

Twins -1.5 runs (+105)

If Berrios pitched as well as Baldelli claimed last time out — and to be fair to Berrios, three of the six runs allowed were unearned — than the Twins right-hander should have enough to end his winless streak at four starts and help them wrap up this road swing on a positive note.

There is little reason to think Anderson is going to have a quality start in this contest, and while the Twins are scuffling somewhat, coming out of Wednesday night’s game with a win might be the perfect jump start to the end of the first half of the season.

4-Star Picks!!!!

Twins OVER 5 runs (-110)

This pick is more against Anderson than it is for the Twins, whose .244 (10 for 41) average with runners in scoring position the last six games is off their season mark of .280. Opponents have scored at least five runs in all four of Anderson’s starts for Oakland, which does lend confidence in the Twins “Bomba Squad” perhaps taking him deep once or twice.

Twins 3-way moneyline first 5 innings (-110)

Taking the Twins on the money line offers a slightly better return than laying the half-run at -115, so that is the play. Minnesota has trailed just twice after five innings in Berrios’ last 11 starts (6-2-3), and the righty has trailed after five in just one of his nine road starts (6-1-2).

3-Star Picks!!!

OVER 9.5 runs (-105)

There is plenty to like about this number provided it stays below 10. The over has gone 5-0-1 in Berrios’ last six starts against AL West teams, is 4-1-1 in his last six on the road against teams with winning records, and 9-1-2 in the righty’s last 12 when pitching on five days’ rest.

If the Twins get to Anderson as expected, Berrios will be able to pitch loose, which means a run here and a run there by Oakland will allow the over to hit.

OVER 5 runs first 5 innings (-125)

The lack of a hook makes the over the play given Anderson’s struggles. Opponents are tagging the right-hander at a .384 clip the second time facing him, which lends confidence to the Twins being able to string together hits to score enough runs to potentially carry the number themselves.

Twins OVER 2.5 runs first 5 innings (-115)

This feels like a favorable matchup for the Twins given Anderson’s struggles facing a lineup on the second go-round listed above but also with the A’s pitcher sporting a horrific 22.09 ERA in the third inning during which teams are hitting .500. Some of that is inflated by his last outing, but Anderson has yet to show much in the way of overall consistency by failing to make it to the fifth in two of his four starts.


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