Postseason hopefuls collide in a rare interleague showdown as the San Diego Padres take on the Minnesota Twins in the first game of a three-game set on Tuesday, May 9. First pitch is scheduled for 7:40 p.m from Target Field. ET. Michael Wacha (2-1, 5.46 ERA) will pitch for the Padres while rookie Louie Varland (0-0, 5.91 ERA) is set to take the mound for the Twins.
Minnesota is a -115 moneyline favorite over at DraftKings Sportsbook, with the Padres coming in at -105. The total is set at 9.
Padres-Twins picks: Tuesday, May 9
Out: C Luis Campusano (thumb), OF David Dahl (quad), RP Drew Pomeranz (neck), OF Jose Azocar (neck), LHP Jose Castillo (shoulder), RHP Nabil Crismatt (hip)
Out: RP Caleb Thielbar (oblique), RP Ronny Henriquez (elbow), INF Kyle Farmer (facial laceration), SP Tyler Mahle (elbow), SS Royce Lewis (knee)
Michael Wacha vs. Louie Varland
Wacha’s roller coaster year hit a high point last time out, as he allowed zero runs in six innings against the Cincinnati Reds. He’s been very up-and-down otherwise, though: He allowed three, five, and seven runs in his last three trips to the mound before that, all in five innings or less. He has struck out five or fewer batters in five of his six starts.
Varland makes just his third start of the season here. In his first start, he allowed three earned runs — all home runs — in six innings against the New York Yankees, striking out eight batters. In his second, he allowed four earned runs and struck out six batters over 4.2 innings against the Chicago White Sox. His fastball velocity will be something to watch, as he’s heavily reliant on a four-seamer that sat 95-96 against New York but was back down in the 93-94 range last time out.
San Diego and Minnesota both rank in the lower half of runs per game in MLB, with San Diego coming in at a particularly disappointing 23rd. Their pitching has largely been their savior this year, so I’m going to go ahead and pick the under here after Wacha’s no-run appearance last week.
Pick: Under 9
The Padres come into this matchup with a lot more momentum than the Twins have. Wacha may be finally hitting his stride after a rough April, and San Diego has won five of their last eight compared to the Twins winning three of their last eight. The Padres have not been affected much by road conditions, and I like them to take this one with a less experienced pitcher on the opposing mound.