The Boston Red Sox travel to Minnesota tonight for the first of a three-game series with the Twins at Target Field. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. (ET) and the game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN.
Boston comes into this series fresh off a dramatic 3-2 walk-off victory over the Yankees as a 159 home favorite on Sunday to regain the lead in the AL East by a game. The Red Sox also became the first team in the AL this season to post 70 wins (70-43). They are 37-22 at home and 33-21 on the road this year.
Hitting the ball all over the park and scoring a ton of runs remains the primary M.O. of this team as it leads the Majors with a .280 team batting average and 617 runs, which averages out to be 5.46 runs a game.
Tim Wakefield is expected to be on the mound tonight for Boston. Last Wednesday against Cleveland, he pitched 6.2 innings and gave up three earned runs on five hits, but did not get the decision. Wakefield is 6-4 this season with a 4.99 ERA in 24 appearances including 15 starts. He is 9-6 against the Twins with an ERA of 4.65.
Minnesota was shutout 7-0 on Sunday by Chicago as 108 home underdog. It was its fourth straight loss and eighth in the last 10 games. The Twins are now 51-63 on the year and 10 games in back of Detroit in the AL Central. They are 25-35 on the road and 26-28 at home.
They managed to score 11 runs in a win over the Angels last Wednesday, but in their other five games in August the Twins have combined to score a total of six runs. They are now ranked 10th in the AL in hitting with a .250 team batting average and 11th in scoring with an average of 3.89 runs per game.
Scott Baker is slated to get the start for Minnesota. He is coming off his shortest outing of the season; lasting just three innings after giving up four runs on five hits. He is 8-6 overall with a 3.01 ERA in 20 starts. Baker is 1-2 against the Red Sox with a 3.77 ERA.
These two last met in early May in Boston, with the Red Sox taking three straight after losing Game 1. The total was evenly split 2-2 in the four-game series.
Stick with Boston to extend its streak over the Twins to four games in Game 1 of this series with another big night at the plate.
DJ is a freelance writer that concentrates on his true passion in life; the world of sports. He produces a number of articles each week for BangTheBook.com as well as a select group of other websites that specialize in providing the most up-to-date information for the sports gaming industry. His goal is to write insightful articles on a wide variety of sporting topics that can provide an edge to today's sophisticated online player.