BettorIQ’s MLB Betting Preview: Minnesota Twins
BettorIQ continues with its 2020 MLB betting previews. Over the course of the next few months, we will be breaking down all 30 teams from a betting perspective.
2019 Record: 101-61
2019 Profits: +17.9 units
2020 Win Total: 92.5 (based on 162-game season)
2020 Odds to Win AL Central: -165
2020 Odds to Win AL Pennant: +800
2020 Odds to Win World Series: +1800
Betting Positives: The Twins are on an upward trajectory after a 23-win improvement from 2018 saw last season result in 101 wins and a division title. The Twins have invested heavily into an organizational restructuring, and first year manager Rocco Baldelli helped usher in a new era for Minnesota. The Twins offense did a terrific job last season of minimizing strikeouts (4th in K%) while setting record for most home runs in a single season, as the Twins jacked 307 homers. The Twins finished 1st in the MLB with a .347 xwOBA, Expected Weighted On-Base Average, which measures the quality of contact put on the ball. The Twins offense is loaded from top to bottom, as every single Twins starter is projected to produce a WAR of 1.9 or greater. That quality depth is hard to find across the league. That’s especially the case in the AL Central, while the Indians take a step back and the White Sox are still perhaps a year away.
Betting Negatives: The Twins will be faced with trying to match the results of last season, and that could prove challenging. The Twins 55-26 road record is unlikely to be replicated, as is their 23-12 record in one-run games. While the Twins do appear loaded again offensively, their reliance on hitting the ball out of the park could be hindered by what the MLB elects to do with the baseball this season behind closed doors. On the field, the Twins starting rotation has questions marks. Michael Pineda will remain suspended when the season starts. New addition Kenta Maeda will be leaving the friendly pitching confines of Chavez Ravine and into the American League. Starter Homer Bailey will also be leaving pitcher-friendly Oakland Coliseum to Target Field, while Rich Hill will not be available until at least mid-June due to injury. In a shortened season where starting pitches will likely need more time to get stretched out, the Twins questions are amplified.
Handicapper’s Take: How the shortened MLB season shakes out will be interesting for the Twins. The slugging Twins lineup will be happy to skip the colder months of the season at home. Last April, the Twins saw their lowest totals in R’s, HR’s, BA and OBP. A late season start for a power-hitting team like Minnesota with warmer weather could offer the opportunity for more games to go OVER the total early on involving the Twins, as could playing away from home. Last season, games away from Minnesota went OVER by a rate of 55.0%, and did so by +1.3 runs per game. The Twins will be competing in an AL Central that is again theirs for the taking. There should be real optimism that the new Twins infrastructure has this franchise on the correct path after banking +17.9 units in 2019. As we’ve come to learn, bettors should not be deterred from backing a Minnesota team that will be a sizable favorite in many meetings this season.