Minnesota Twins (1-3) AT New York Yankees (3-1) April 5, 2011 at 7:05 PM EST SP: Minnesota – B. Duensing / NYY – C.C. Sabathia Opening runline: NYY -1.5 Moneyline: NYY -210 / MIN +180 Opening Total: 9 Current Total: 8.5
American League division leaders square off in the second game of a crucial series at the Ballpark in Arlington.
Minnesota Twins at Texas Rangers
Minnesota was nearly no-hit in a 4-0 road loss to the Rangers at the Ballpark in Arlington last night, but the team has still won eight of 11 and 21 of 28 games. The Twins carry a 4 1/2-game lead into tonight’s contest and hopes for a better offensive performance in the second game of the series, as they were one-hit for the 24th time in club history on Monday. “You definitely don’t want to get no-hit,” All-Star catcher Joe Mauer said. “It’s nice to get a hit up there but we want runs.” The club is now 17-7 against the AL West division and will look to improve upon its 11-7 mark on Tuesdays this evening. The staff ERA of 2.76 against the division is the lowest of any American League team and the team was 19-21 versus the division in 2009. Minnesota is a solid 14-7 in August (+610) and the total is 10-11 O/U in those contests. The Twins have played six games after being shutout this season, posting an even 3-3 mark (-210) and a 9-9 record over the last three years (-160).
The Rays will look to regain sole possession of first place in the AL East standings in the series finale against the Twins.
Minnesota Twins at Tampa Bay Rays
Minnesota captured a 2-1 victory in the third game of this four-game series against the Rays at Tropicana Field, overcoming a blown save in the ninth from new closer Matt Capps. “An exciting baseball game,” manager Ron Gardenhire said. “Well pitched by both sides.” Catcher Joe Mauer was back in the lineup for a second straight day, after missing two games with a shoulder injury. The win last night snapped a four-game losing streak for the Twins against the Rays, which was their longest losing streak against Tampa Bay since August 2001. The club is 21-18 in day games this season (-50) and the total is 17-18 O/U in those contests. Minnesota has also played just three games this season in domes due to moving into Target Field from the Metrodome this year, posting a 1-2 mark in this series thus far (-40). The Twins are still a dismal 13-18 against AL East opponents.
We’ll talk about the tournament lots more this week of course, but for now we’ll use the break in the action as an excuse to look elsewhere to see what’s been going on:
I was very intrigued by the comments coming from Mike Tomlin that he is worried about Ben Roethlisberger – both personally and because of the potential impact on the team. He obviously should be concerned, but that doesn’t always translate to what coaches say publicly. There are a couple of reasons to be concerned. First, the current legal problems could evolve into a situation that keeps him out of games for an extended time, and that would leave the Steelers in a big hole. Second, the fact that he keeps getting himself into bad situations is a pretty good sign that the guy just doesn’t think. It’s hard to know if he’s just a moron or if he has an attitude problem, but the Steelers are unquestionably built around the guy, and it’s scary to be built around a guy who is too stupid to keep himself out of trouble. Just ask the Falcons.
Big Ten – ACC update – The Challenge is at 3-3 after six games, so things are looking decent for my Big Ten. The bad news is that Michigan State lost the coin flip game. The good news is that Northwestern won one of the games I had penciled in for the ACC. If everything else went according to expectations, then, Big Ten would win 6-5 and finally break the ACC curse. Here’s hoping.
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