By Charles Jay
The Minnesota Twins have provided one of the bigger surprises in Major League Baseball this season, as they are leading their division more than one- third of the way through the campaign. Considering where they were last season, to be ahead of the defending American League champions Cleveland Indians in the standings is a major coup on their part. Can they stay there? Well, one of the keys to that is pitcher Ervin Santana, who will take the mound on Saturday night against the Los Angeles Angels in a game that begins at 10:05 PM ET at Angel Stadium. BetDNA customers can place wagers on this game as it is in progress, as they utilize the best live betting software on the planet. They also have the best parlay odds and the best teaser odds available in the pre-game phase.
Minnesota is 1.5 games ahead of Cleveland in the American League Central, while the Angels are 12.5 games behind the Houston Astros in the American League West. And things are going to be rather difficult for Los Angeles over about the next month and a half. That's because they lost Mike Trout to a thumb injury. Trout, as you probably know, has won two American League Most Valuable Player awards, and in every other full season, he has finished second in the balloting. So his absence leaves a big hole in the lineup. The Angels managed to win a couple of games against the Atlanta Braves after he was put on the disabled list, but they have faltered in these first two games of the series against the Twins.
In the MLB betting lines posted on this game by the folks at BetDNA, home of the best live betting software on the planet, the Twins are a -117 favorite, with a total of eight runs.
Trout was again a leading candidate for MVP, and he may still wind up that way, but his numbers won't be the same. He has never gone on the disabled list before, so this is something new. He had a .461 on-base percentage, which tied him with Freddie Freeman of the Braves for the major league lead. And he was hitting .337. To give you an idea of what the Angels have without him, at the time of his injury, they were batting .226 aside from him. So is going to be time for Albert Pujols and the rest of this crew to step up and do some additional things at the plate.
And this is going to be very difficult against Santana on Saturday. He pitched for the Angels at one time, and back in 2008 he was an All-Star, not to mention sixth in the Cy Young balloting. But this season he's going to get a lot more votes, if he continues the way he's been going. Santana has put up some unbelievable numbers, comparable to any other pitcher in the major leagues. For example, he is second in ERA and 1.75, right behind Dallas Keuchel of the Houston Astros. And he has given up only 4.21 hits per nine innings. That is almost inconceivable, and the next man down the list, Keuchel, has allowed 5.7. That gives you an idea of how much better Santana is pitching than anyone else, at least by one metric, and it doesn't stop there.
The Twins are 16-5 on the road, which is the best record in all of baseball as the visitor, and the principal reason they are legitimate pennant contenders at the moment. Santana has been a big part of that; in 29 innings of work on the road, he has given up just ONE run, with the opposition compiling just a 109 batting average and a .141 slugging percentage. These numbers do boggle the mind, and they also give us a lot of support as we move with Minnesota at what we think is a very reasonable price on Saturday night.
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