After finally busting out at the plate in a 12-1 win on Saturday night, the Minnesota Twins (58-54) will look to make it four in a row in their series finale against the fading Arizona Diamondbacks (57-55). Zac Gallen (11-5, 3.41 ERA) will take the mound for the visitors, while Minnesota is calling up 35-year-old former Cy Young winner Dallas Keuchel for his first start of the season.
The D-backs’ dream first half has become a nightmare, with Saturday’s loss making it five defeats in a row and eight of their last 10. Arizona is now 1.5 games out of the third and final NL Wild Card spot, dropping behind both the Marlins and Cubs in the standings. The schedule will only get tougher next week as they head back home to take on the division rival Dodgers.
After exasperatingly nonexistent offense and a very quiet trade deadline, the Twins are finally showing some signs of life, having won three in a row after Saturday’s outburst. With the Guardians dropping fast, Minnesota is now firmly in command of the weak AL Central, and they’ll look to keep things rolling in a series against the Tigers in Detroit next week.
Arizona enters as -155 favorites on the moneyline at DraftKings Sportsbook, with the Twins at +130. The run total is set at 8.5.
Diamondbacks-Twins picks: Sunday, August 6
Out: 3B Evan Longoria (back), C Gabriel Moreno (shoulder), SP Zach Davies (back), SP Tommy Henry (elbow), RP Mark Melancon (shoulder)
Out: 1B/OF Alex Kirilloff (shoulder), DH/OF Byron Buxton (hamstring), SP Joe Ryan (groin), 3B Royce Lewis (oblique), 1B/3B Jose Miranda (shoulder), RP Brock Stewart (elbow)
Zac Gallen vs. Dallas Keuchel
Gallen was arguably the NL Cy Young frontrunner after the season’s first half, but he’s struggled a bit of late: The righty has allowed three or more runs in five of his last six starts, with a 4.46 ERA over that span. His curveball and changeup remain elite options, but his fastball and cutter have been a little spottier than usual — the righty doesn’t throw particularly hard, so his margin for error is a bit smaller than most other aces.
With Joe Ryan landing on the IL with a groin injury, the Twins will now turn to Keuchel, the former AL Cy Young winner who signed with the team back in June. The lefty pitched very well at Triple-A St. Paul, posting a 1.13 ERA over six starts. Still, the last time we saw him in the Majors, things were ugly: Keuchel posted a 9.20 ERA with three different teams in 2022.
The Twins finally appeared to find something at the plate on Saturday night, and with Gallen not quite his typical self, I think Minnesota won’t be fully shut down on Sunday. The real reason to take the over, however, is obviously Keuchel: Good Minor League numbers or not, he simply hasn’t been an effective big-league pitcher since the pandemic-shortened season in 2020. If Arizona puts up a handful of runs early, this number should hit easily.
Pick: Over 8.5
As good as Minnesota looked yesterday — and as bad as the D-backs have been playing recently — this is easily Arizona’s best chance to snap their current losing streak. Gallen is still an infinitely more trustworthy option on the mound than Keuchel, and I think he leads his team to a much-needed win.