Two division leaders will clash on Monday night when the Minnesota Twins visit the Atlanta Braves for the opener of a three-game interleague set.
The Twins have won four of their last five games and are coming off a 6-3 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Sunday, while the Braves have just one loss in their last 11 contests.
Bet on Twins vs. Braves
With only six games on Monday’s MLB slate, this is the most intriguing matchup that will feature two elite starting pitchers.
Atlanta enters as a sizable -200 home favourite and the total is set at 8.5 runs.
Twins vs. Braves odds
|Twins Moneyline Odds||+170|
|Braves Moneyline Odds||-200|
|Runline odds||Braves -1.5 (-105), Twins +1.5 (-115)|
|Over/Under||8.5 runs (-125 over, +105 under)|
|Time/Date||Monday, June 26, 7:20 p.m. ET|
|TV||Broadcast: MLB Network, MLBTV|
About the Twins (40-39 SU, 39-40 ATS, 35-41-3 o/u)
The Twins may just have what it takes to cool off the red-hot bats of the Braves.
Minnesota’s pitching staff has been one of the best in the majors this season, ranking in the top five in team ERA (3.66 – third), WHIP (1.16 – first), K/9 (9.56 – fourth), and opponents batting average (.230 – second). Twins pitchers have coughed up just 77 homers to this point, which ranks fifth in the bigs.
Despite the overall success of the pitching staff as a whole, the Twins have had issues closing games out this season. The team has only converted 17 of its 32 save opportunities (53%). Only the Kansas City Royals, Chicago White Sox, and Oakland Athletics worse save percentages.
The Twins and the Braves haven’t met since 2019, when the Braves took two of three in Minneapolis.
About the Braves (50-27 SU, 36-41 ATS, 44-31-2 o/u)
The Braves, who ended the Cincinnati Reds’ longest winning streak in 66 years at 12 games with a 7-6 win on Saturday, have won 17 of their last 20 and are fresh off yet another series win. In fact, Atlanta has won seven straight series since losing two of three to the lowly Athletics at the end of May.
Atlanta enters play with a six-game lead over the Miami Marlins for top spot in the National League East. Braves hitters are confident heading into this series after producing 89 runs (average of 8.1 per game) on 125 hits with 30 homers over their last 11 games.
Perhaps more impressive is that the Braves are succeeding without two of their top arms in the rotation. Max Fried has missed time with a forearm strain and Kyle Wright won’t be back until August due to a shoulder problem.
Minnesota: RHP Sonny Gray (4-1, 2.56 ERA, 9.33 K/9, 1.30 WHIP)
Gray is having a fine season for the Twins, but is coming off a mediocre performance last time out against the Boston Red Sox. The righty allowed three runs on six hits while racking up five strikeouts over a five-inning no-decision. He’s winless in five career starts against Atlanta, posting a 0-2 record with a very respectable 3.23 ERA. Gray hasn’t faced the Braves since August 2021.
Atlanta: RHP Spencer Strider (8-2, 3.93 ERA, 14.46 K/9, 1.15 WHIP)
Strider leads the bigs with 136 strikeouts and is coming off a solid outing against the Philadelphia Phillies last Tuesday. He allowed a single run over six innings of work and struck out nine. After flying out of the gate with a 3-0 record and 1.80 ERA in April, Strider’s numbers in June are awful. Opponents are hitting .306 off him this month and he sports a lofty 6.86 ERA across 21 innings. However, his amazing 14.46 K/9 is the best in the majors. Strider has never faced the Twins and he still has the third-shortest NL Cy Young Award odds at +750 despite his recent struggles.
Temperatures will be 30C with a 40% chance of thunderstorms for first pitch at Truist Park. Winds will blow from right field to left field at 16 km/h.
- The under is 6-2 in Minnesota’s last eight road games.
- The over is 9-3 in Atlanta’s last 12 games.
- The Twins are 23-47 in their past 70 road games.
- Atlanta is 5-2 in its last seven interleague games.
Player prop trends
- Atlanta first baseman Matt Olson hit his 25th homer on Sunday and has seven homers in his last nine games. Five of his last six hits have left the ballpark and he’s +265 to go deep again on Monday. Olson is 2-for-5 (.400) in his career against Gray.
- Minnesota third baseman Royce Lewis is taking a seven-game hitting streak into this one. During the streak, Lewis is batting .462 (12-for-26) with a double, two homers and five RBIs. He has reached base safely in a career-best 10 straight games. Lewis is -165 to record a hit, +675 to homer, and +230 drive in a run.
- Braves outfielder Marcell Ozuna has hits in six straight games and seven of his last eight. He’s -230 to get a hit, but has a career .200 batting average in 10 at-bats against Gray.
- Braves third baseman Austin Riley has scored a run in five straight games. He boasts a .440 on-base percentage over his last 21 at-bats and is -115 to plate in this game.
Wagers to consider
- Ronald Acuna Jr has stolen a base in five straight games and is +210 to do it again. He’s first in the NL with 35 stolen bases and has only been caught stealing six times this season. Gray is one of the easier starting pitchers to steal on in the league as base-stealers have a 91.3% success rate against him since 2019.
- Strider over 9.5 strikeouts: +105. He’s failed to record more than nine strikeouts in each of his last five starts and he hasn’t thrown more than six innings in any of those outings. However, the Twins lead the league with a 27% strikeout rate and the Atlanta right-hander has the element of surprise as many of the players on Minnesota’s roster have never faced him before. Strider should rebound in this spot and post some big numbers.