If the season ended today, both the Baltimore Orioles and Minnesota Twins would be in the playoffs and on Saturday, there might be postseason preview between these two teams in Minnesota.
Baltimore Orioles vs. Minnesota Twins (-130, 8.5)
The Orioles give Tyler Wells the start, who leads qualifying American League pitchers in WHIP at 0.902, getting nine strikeouts to two walks per nine innings while posting a 3.19 ERA.
Wells enters having allowed two runs or fewer in six of his first seven starts in a game where both starting pitchers figure to be supported well by their bullpen.
The Orioles entered the series ninth in the league in bullpen ERA with the lone duo in the league in Yennier Cano and Felix Bautista both having thrown at least 15 innings with ERAs both below 1.40 while the Twins are fifth in the league in bullpen ERA and turn to Sonny Gray for a good start.
Gray has allowed three runs or fewer in all 17 of his starts this year with an ERA of 2.50 overall, which drops to 2.29 at home.
The Baltimore offense also won’t be able to rely on home runs on Friday with Gray having allowed just three in 93 2/3 innings this season, the best home runs allowed per at-bat and per nine innings rate among all qualifying MLB pitchers.
Though the Orioles entered the series averaging 5.4 runs per game on the road, the second-most among American League teams, they tend to be an all-or-nothing offense with three runs or fewer in 21 of their last 37 games.
With Minnesota having their own scoring issues, entering the series 21st in the league in runs per game and Gray entering with his most recent start being six innings of scoreless baseball against this same Orioles team, Saturday sets up to be a good day for the pitchers.
The Play: Orioles vs. Twins Under 8.5