Major League Baseball: Los Angeles Angels vs. Minnesota Twins Preview, Odds and Prediction - 04/17/2021

by Big Al Staff

Saturday MLB FS1 Preview: Minnesota versus LA Angels.

Minnesota plays at Los Angeles against the Angels on FS1 at 9:07 PM ET in the second game of their three-game series. Los Angeles won the opener last night by a 10-3 score. Justin Upton knocked a grand slam, and Jared Walsh added another homer with three RBIs in the win.

The Angels’ 8-5 record has them 1/2 game behind Seattle for first place in the American League West. After five straight losing seasons, new general manager Perry Minasian hopes he has assembled a roster that can earn the team their first postseason victory in the Mike Trout era. Their superstar centerfielder has a .386 batting average this season with four home runs and 10 RBIs. Shohei Ohtani has .333 batting average with four homers and 12 RBIs.

Manager Joe Maddon’s team is scoring 5.5 runs-per-game with a .263 batting average, a .325 on-base percentage, and an OPS of .743. Third basemen Anthony Rendon is on the disabled list with a groin injury.

Jose Quintana makes his third start of the season after lasting only 1 2/3 innings in his last appearance at Toronto last Saturday. The left-hander allowed seven runs, with five of them being earned. He is 0-1 with a 16.20 ERA and a 3.40 WHIP for the Angels. The veteran was 0-0 with a 4.50 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP in just 10 innings last season for the Chicago Cubs. The Los Angeles bullpen has a 4.06 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP in 51 innings.

Minnesota has lost six of seven games to fall to 6-8 on the season. They are tied with Detroit for last place in the American League Central, 2 1/2 games behind Kansas City, who begins the day in first place.

The Twins returned the core of the team that has won two straight AL Central titles. The albatross of losing an MLB record 18 straight postseason games hangs from the head of the organization. Manager Rocco Baldelli’s team is scoring 4.8 runs per game with a .252 batting average, a .326 on-base percentage, and an OPS of .727. Nelson Cruz is hitting .390 with four home runs and 10 RBIs. Bryon Buxton has a .469 batting average with five homers and 9 RBIs.

Buxton has missed four straight games with a hamstring strain. Shortstop Andrelton Simmons, a free agent acquisition in the offseason, is out indefinitely in COVID quarantine.

Matt Shoemaker makes his third start of the season tonight. The 34-year-old right-hander allowed four runs in five innings in his previous start at home against Seattle last Sunday. Shoemaker is 1-0 with a 4.09 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP in 11 innings. He has struck out 12 batters with only one walk. He posted an 0-1 record with a 4.71 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP in six starts with Toronto last year. The Minnesota bullpen has a 5.18 ERA with a 1.39 WHIP in 50 1/3 innings.

BetAnySports lists Minnesota as a -105 money line road favorite with the total set at 9.

Computer prediction:  Minnesota Twins 5 Los Angeles Angels 3

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