Friday, June 21, 2024
Sports Gaming Monitor

MLB Preview: San Diego Padres (19-18) at Minnesota Twins (20-17)


Friars go 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position & fall 4-3 in extras, force today’s rubber match
• Juan Soto homered in the 7th inning and a Manny Machado sac fly made a 2-2 game in the 8th…in extras, Austin Nola’s sac bunt scored Rougned Odor, but the Twins were able to plate runs in the 10th and 11th innings.

• Starter Seth Lugo went 6.0 innings with 2 run on 5 hits…he allowed 1 walk with 5 punchouts.

• Josh Hader was saddled with a blown save after allowing the ghost runner at 2B to score in the 10th, and it is now the 2nd time in Hader’s career in which he’s had consecutive appearances with a blown save (had a streak of 3 straight from August 9-17, 2019 with Milwaukee).

• SD went 0-for-5 with RISP while the Twins went 4-for-10.

• It snapped a streak of 11 straight games the Padres had won in which they scored at least 3 runs.

100 mph from Tati
• In the 3rd inning last night, Fernando Tatis Jr. logged an outfield assist by throwing out Carlos Correa at home plate on a single to right…his throw to catcher Brett Sullivan was clocked at 100.0 mph, the fastest outfield assist in MLB this year, and it was the 2nd fastest OF assist by a Padre in the Statcast Era (Hunter Renfroe’s 100.3 mph in 2017).

Problems with runners in scoring position
• San Diego batters rank 30th in baseball so far when hitting with runners in scoring position (.205, 63- for-308)…in their last 7 games with RISP, the Padres have gone .133 (8-for-60).

• When the Padres don’t get a hit with RISP, they are 1-12 so far…when they get 2 or more hits with RISP, they’ve won 14 of their 17 games.

Happy Darvish Day
• Yu Darvish makes his 7th start of 2023 in search of his 3rd win…his .219 opponent average is the lowest among all Padre starters.

• Darvish entered his April 30 start in Mexico City vs. SF as is 1 of 6 Major League starters with 0 HR allowed across at least 4 starts…at Estadio Alfredo Harp Helú’s 7,349 feet of elevation, Darvish surrendered 3 homers as apart of his 9 hits allowed across his 6.0 IP in SD’s eventual 6-4 victory…but among all NL pitchers who have tossed at least 35.0 IP, his 0.74 HR.9 IP ratio is 13th-lowest in the NL

Up Next: Padres to face Dodgers for their 2nd series of ’23
• San Diego lost 2 of the 3 games last weekend vs. the Dodgers in their 1st meeting since the 2022 NLDS, and following today’s game, the Friars will fly to Los Angeles to take on the Dodgers for a new 3-game set in Chavez Ravine… the series defeat marked the Padres’ 10th straight regular season series they’ve lost against the Dodgers (SD’s last series win was on June 21-23, 2021, and they’ve gone 6-25 vs. LAD since then).

• In the 3 games vs. the Dodgers last weekend, Petco Park saw a total 131,512 fans through the gates.

Getting on base
• The Padres have logged 154 walks this year, the 2nd most in MLB behind just the Dodgers (171).

• They’ve left 265 runners on base, the 5th most LOB in the big leagues…their 1173 runners LOB last year were the most in the Majors

Darvish back in the Twin Cities
36-year-old right-hander Yu Darvish is set for his 5th career start vs. the Twins, his 2nd at Target Field and his first vs. MIN since the 2020 campaign with the Chicago Cubs…his lone start at Target Field came on April 14, 2012, when he made his 2nd big league start while with Texas, allowing 1 ER across 5.2 IP in TEX’s 6-2 victory.

Darvish collects 3rd straight win vs. LAD
Last Friday in Game 1 of the 3-game set vs. the Dodgers, Darvish made his 12th career start vs. LAD and collected his 3rd straight winning decision vs. the Dodgers (including Postseason)…Darvish didn’t face the Dodgers until the 2019 season, and now has posted 8 quality outings in his 12 career starts vs. LAD…among all active pitchers who have made at least 10 career starts vs. LAD, his .180 opp. AVG ranks 2nd, behind only rotation-mate Blake Snell (.175)…his 0.92 WHIP also ranks 2nd and his 2.57 ERA ranks 4th… after losing each of his first 3 starts, The Padres have won each of his last 3. Darvish’s only 3 long balls have come at 7,349 feet of elevation Darvish entered his Sun, April 30 start in Mexico City as is 1 of 6 ML starters and 1 of 3 in the NL with 0 HR allowed across at least 4 starts…at Estadio Alfredo Harp Helú’s 7,349 feet of elevation, Darvish surrendered 3 HR as apart of his 9 hits allowed across his 6.0 IP in SD’s eventual 6-4 victory…among all NL pitchers who have tossed at least 35.0 IP, his 0.74 HR.9 IP ratio is 13th-lowest in the NL.

Breaking bad
Since last season, Yu Darvish has thrown the 2nd-most breaking balls (1,898) in the Majors, trailing only CWS Dylan Cease’s 2,229 …he has the 4th-highest spin rate (2,756 rpm) on breaking balls among all NL pitchers (min. 1,000 pitches) since the start of ’22…rotation mate Joe Musgrove (2,721) has the 5th-highest spin rate on breaking balls among NL starters.

Stingy against the righties
So far this season, Darvish has limited righties to a .157 clip (8-for-51), the lowest opp. AVG vs. RHH in NL and 3rd-lowest in the Majors (min. 55 righties faced), trailing only Shohei Ohtani (.154) and Chris Bassitt (.156)…lefties are hitting .260 (20-for-77) against Darvish.

What’s the count?
On first pitches that get put in play, opponents are batting .462 (6-13)…on 0-1 counts, opponents are 1-8 (.125) and on 0-2 counts, opponents are 0-10…in 1-2 counts, they are 3-for-33 (.091) and in 2-2 counts, opponents are 7-24 (.333)…when Yu falls behind 1-0, opponents are 1-6 (.167) and he has only fallen behind 2-0 once (0-1)…he has feel behind 3-0 twice (0-1)…he’s faced 15 batters in full counts, and they are 0-7 with 7 BB.

Owner of the 7th-most double-digit SO games since 2012
Struck out a season-high 12 on April 16 vs. MIL…since his debut 2012 season, Yu has 50 double-digit SO performances, the 7th-most in MLB since his debut 2012 season…he trails Max Scherzer (104), Chris Sale (80), Jacob deGrom (60), Gerrit Cole (58), Clayton Kershaw (53) & Justin Verlander (52).


THE TWINS: After completing their six-game road-trip with a record of 2-4 (1-2 at Chicago-AL, and 1-2 at Cleveland), the Twins began their six-game Interleague homestand with a loss and a win against the Padres the last two nights…today, Minnesota will play the three-game series finale against San Diego…starting tomorrow night, they will welcome the Cubs for three games over the weekend…the Twins have gone 11-7 at Target Field and 9-10 on the road.

The Twins have gone 6-3 in their last nine home games.

The Twins are 1-3 in rubber games this season, their one win coming in the third game of the White Sox series at Target Field on April 12.

ANY WAY YOU CAN GET IT: The Twins beat the Padres last night by a score of 4-3 in 11 innings…Pablo López was the starter but did not factor into the decision, allowing one run on two hits in 6.1 innings pitched, with a season-high four walks and eight strikeouts…the offense recorded nine hits, two from both Max Kepler and Alex Kirilloff…Kepler hit his sixth home run of the season…Kirilloff drove in Kepler in the 11th inning with a walk-off single to rightfield, the first walk-off RBI of AK’s career…it marked the third walk-off hit for the Twins this season (Farmer single on 4/7 vs. HOU and Castro scoring on error on 4/11 vs. CWS).

ROTATIONAL PULL: Twins starters have combined to go 14-9, 3.09 ERA (210.0 IP, 72 ER) with 54 walks, 234 strikeouts and a .220 opponent batting average…below are Twins starting pitching ranks among all teams in all of baseball:

MIN – 210.0 TB – 2.90 TB – .217 SF – 43 TB – 3.15 MIN – 1.08 MIN – 234 TB – .617
TOR – 207.0 MIN – 3.09 MIN – .220 SEA – 48 MIN – 3.26 SEA – 1.11 CWS – 222 MIN – .627
SEA – 206.1 ATL – 3.35 SEA – .235 LAD – 53 SEA – 3.31 TB – 1.12 HOU – 209 SEA – .636
PIT – 206.1 CHC – 3.36 CHC – .235 MIN – 54 ATL – 3.56 CHC – 1.17 TOR – 206 CHC – .661
CWS – 205.1 HOU – 3.37 NYY – .237 CLE – 54 HOU – 3.70 TEX – 1.17 NYY – 206 ATL – .677
NOTE: In 2022, the Twins starters finished 27th in baseball in innings, 20th in ERA, 13th in BAA, 25th in walks allowed, 18th in fielding independent pitching, 12th in WHIP, 24th in strikeouts and 16th in OPS.

NATIONAL NEWS: The Twins have gone 3-5 in Interleague Play this season, going 1-2 at Miami from April 3-5, 1-2 vs. Washington from April 21-23 and 1-1 vs. San Diego…the Twins’ next IL series will be this weekend vs. the Chicago Cubs.

The Twins went 8-12 against the National League last season…for the first time in 2023, the Twins will play each of the 15 National League teams…Minnesota’s remaining 2023 Interleague home schedule includes Target Field visits from the Cubs (Friday-Sunday), Giants (May 22-24), Brewers (June 13-14), Diamondbacks (August 4-6), Pirates (August 18-20) and Mets (September 8-10)…the Twins will also play road games at the Dodgers (May 15-17), Braves (June 26-28), Cardinals (August 1-3), Phillies (August 11-13), Brewers (August 22-23), Reds (September 18-20) and Rockies (September 29-October 1).

YOU STAY CLASSY, SAN DIEGO: The Twins are 17-8 all-time against the Padres, posting a .680 winning percentage, their highest vs. any NL opponent…the Twins are 7-2 all-time against the Padres at Target Field, 7-3 at Petco Park, 2-1 at Qualcomm Stadium and 1-2 at Metrodome.

Twins are 14-5 against the Padres in their last 19 games, dating back to June of 2008.

LAND OF 10,000 RAKES: The Twins have homered 46 times on the season, the sixth most in the AL and ninth most in baseball…36 of their home runs have come in their last 25 games since April 13…since that date, their 36 homers are second most in the AL (Tampa Bay – 45) and fifth most in baseball, trailing Tampa (45), Atlanta (44), Los Angeles-NL (40) and San Francisco (37).

Byron Buxton ranks tied for seventh in the AL in homers with eight…Joey Gallo ranks tied for 16th in the AL in homers with seven…among AL players with a minimum of 80 plate appearances, Gallo ranks third in at-bats-per-home run ratio at 11.00, trailing Brent Rooker (10.40) and Luke Raley (10.50).

MAX STRENGTH: Max Kepler has reached safely in 11 of his last 12 games, posting a .919 OPS in that span, a .364 on-base percentage and a .556 slugging percentage…in those 12 games, he has 11 hits, four home runs, eight walks, eight RBI and nine runs scored.

Kepler ranks in the 88th percentile in baseball in hard hit percentage at 50.0% — a figure that is up 10.1% from his 39.9 mark in 2022…additionally, he ranks in the 89th percentile in xSLG (.534), in the 85th percentile in avg exit velo (91.7) and 88th percentile in barrel % (14.9).

Kepler is 2-for-4 with a home run and three RBI lifetime against Yu Darvish.

SERIES FINALE: The Twins are looking to win their sixth series of the season today, going 5-5-1 in series play in 2023 (results to the right)…their only series loss at home this season was dropping two of three to the Nationals from April 21-23…today would mark their first series win over an NL team since sweeping the Giants in three games from August 26-28, 2022.

DON’T STOP RELIEVIN’: Twins relievers have combined to post a .216 opponent batting aver- age, the fifth lowest in baseball, trailing Tampa Bay (.202), New York-AL (.205) Chicago-NL (.211) and Texas (.215)…they have allowed just 97 hits this season, the second fewest in baseball, trailing Texas (96).

The Twins’ ‘pen has held opponents to a .177 average on offspeed pitches (1st in baseball) a .248 average on fastballs (7th best in baseball) and .206 average on breaking balls (10th in baseball).

DAY MEN, FIGHTERS OF THE NIGHT MEN: The Twins are playing their 21st day game today…20 day games are tied with Chicago-AL and Detroit for the second most in baseball, trailing Miami (22)…they have gone 10-10 in day games.

Byron Buxton has five of his eight home runs this season in day games…Buck has a .907 OPS in 18 day games in 2023.

Twins pitchers have a 4.07 ERA (179.0 IP, 81 ER) in day games, compared to 2.39 ERA (154.1 IP, 41 ER) in night games.

TARGET FIELD TUNES: The Twins announced their second-ever postgame concert series at Target Field yesterday…hip-hop, R&B and cultural icon T-Pain will perform on Thursday, June 15 following the Twins’ 6:10 p.m. home game vs. the Detroit Tigers, while record-set- ting country music singer-songwriter Carly Pearce will take the stage after the 6:10 p.m. Twins vs. Texas Rangers contest on Thursday, August 24…both artists will perform full 75-minute sets, with their respective concerts beginning approximately 20 minutes after that evening’s game ends…admission to the T-Pain postgame concert on June 15 and the Carly Pearce postgame show on August 24 are free with a ticket to those respective Twins games.

2023: 2-0, 0.98 ERA CAREER: 7-6, 3.51 ERA

Making his fourth start of the season and third home start…also his 35th career start and appearance.

Facing the Padres for the first time in his career…is 1-2, 4.12 ERA (54.2 IP, 25 ER) with 14 walks and 54 strikeouts when facing an opponent for the first time.

Is 1-0, 3.86 ERA (14.0 IP, 6 ER) with six walks and 12 strikeouts in three career Interleague starts.

Selected by the Twins in the 12th round of the 2017 First-Year Player Draft out of the College of Charleston.

LAST START: Earned his second win of the season in a 2-0 Twins victory against the Cleveland Guardians at Progressive Field on May 5, opposite Peyton Battenfield…pitched 7.0 scoreless innings, allowed three hits, walked one batter and struck out six…marked Ober’s second longest outing of his career and his longest outing since September 27, 2022 vs. Chicago-AL when he tossed 7.1 innings… received two runs of support via a two-run homer by Max Kepler in the top of the sixth inning…relieved by Jorge López in the eighth inning as he combined with Jhoan Duran to pitch two scoreless innings… Duran earned his seventh save of the season.

Has allowed one-or-fewer runs in all three of his starts…currently holds the second-longest streak in the Twins rotation this season of starts with one run or less, trailing Sonny Gray’s six-game streak from April 1 to April 30.

TWO STARTS AGO: Did not factor into the decision in a 3-2 Twins defeat against the Kansas City Royals at Target Field on April 29, opposite Brad Keller…pitched 5.2 innings, allowed one run, walked two batters, and fanned six…marked Ober’s most strikeouts since September 27, 2022 when he fanned a career-high 10 batters against Chicago-AL…his lone blemish came in the fifth inning when he yielded a game-tying RBI single to Nicky Lopez…lifted from the game in the sixth inning with two outs after allowing a single to Nick Pratto…relieved by Caleb Thielbar, followed by Griffin Jax, Jorge López and Jhoan Duran…López allowed a RBI single to the first batter he faced, Salvador Perez, in the eighth inning…the winning run scored on Duran’s first wild pitch of the season in the ninth.

OBER VS. SAN DIEGO: Facing the Padres for the first time in his career…making his fourth career Interleague start, second this season…is 1-0, 3.86 ERA (14.0 IP, 6 ER) with six walks and 12 strikeouts in three career Interleague starts…San Diego will be the 13th team he has faced since his major league debut on May 18, 2021…in 12 career starts when facing an opponent for the first time, Ober is 1-2, 4.12 ERA (54.2 IP, 25 ER) with 14 walks and 54 strikeouts…San Diego outfielder Adam Engel and infielder Xander Bogaerts are the only active Padres hitters to previously face Ober… Bogaerts went 2-for-5 across two games as a member of the Boston Red Sox while Engel went 0-for-3 as a member of the Chicago White Sox.

COMING HOME: Ober is making his third home start of the season, 18th of his career…he is 1-0, 1.59 ERA (11.1 IP, 2 ER) with five walks and 10 strikeouts in his first two home games this season… last season, he went 2-0, 3.38 ERA (24.0 IP, 9 ER) with six walks and 28 strikeouts in five starts at Target Field.

Ober is 5-1, 3.56 ERA (83.1 IP, 33 ER) with 22 walks and 87 strikeouts in 17 career starts at Target Field…Twins have gone 11-6 in his home starts…ranks third for the most strikeouts in their first 17 home starts with the Twins, fifth in lowest ERA and third in lowest earned runs allowed (min. 80.0 IP).

Tied for 14th in the American League for lowest home ERA this season (min. 10.0 IP)…his .180 opponent batting average at home is tied for 20th in the AL.

Currently has a four-game win streak at home, dating back to September 24, 2021…is 4-0, 2.66 ERA (40.2 IP, 12 ER) with 11 walks and 44 strikeouts in the eight-game span…took his last loss at home on August 17, 2021 vs. Cleveland.

THE RIGHT WAY: Right-handed hitters are batting just .111 (3-for-27) with 11 strikeouts against Ober after his first three starts of the season…left-handed hitters are hitting .200 (7-for-35) with five strikeouts…Ober issued his first walk to a left-handed hitter this season in his last start on May 5 at Cleveland…in his career, right-handed hitters are batting .217/.237/.411 with 12 doubles and 96 strikeouts against Ober…lefties are hitting .268/.332/.430 with 17 doubles and 63 strikeouts off him.

Tied for ninth in lowest opponent batting average against righties, tied for fifth in the AL (min. 8.0 IP)…his .291 opponent OPS ranks seventh lowest in all of baseball.

ARSENAL: Ober used a four-pitch mix in his first three starts of the 2023 season, per Baseball Savant…three of Ober’s six strikeouts in his last start on May 5 came from his slider and recorded his first two strikeouts from his curveball this season…also threw 40 fastballs in his last start… mostly uses his slider against righties while relying on his changeup and curveball against lefties… here’s a look at his repertoire:

4-Seam Fastball (91.4)…..48.5% (130 pitches, 55/75) ……………………… .148 (4-for-27), 2 2B, 5 K
Slider (81.7)……………………20.5% (54 pitches, 52/3) ………………………………… .125 (2-for-16), 8 K
Changeup (84.1)……………..18.7% (50 pitches, 3/47) ………………………………… .250 (3-for-12), 1 K
Curveball (78.2)………………12.3% (33 pitches, 4/29) ………………………… . .143 (1-for-7). 1 2B, 2 K

Ober ranks 15th for the lowest opponent batting average against a slider in the American League, tied for 13th against a curveball and is tied for 11th against a fastball (min. 250 pitches).

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