MLB Interleague Prediction: Twins vs. Cubs

Chicago Cubs v Minnesota Twins
Chicago Cubs v Minnesota Twins / David Berding/Getty Images

An interleague matchup between two disappointing teams deserves our attention due to a beneficial pitching advantage. The Minnesota Twins sit in last place in the AL Central with a dismal 66-85 record. The Chicago Cubs are one game better at 67-84 and are fourth in the NL Central. This Wednesday night interleague battle focuses on significant advantages to determine who wins this Twins vs. Cubs prediction.

Wednesday Night Baseball: Twins vs. Cubs Prediction

While both teams have struggled this season, the Cubs completely sold their entire team and are 2-8 over their last ten games. The Twins, on the other hand, field a decent lineup (they are second in the AL in home runs), yet their pitching has been horrendous.

Chicago was a consistent bet against the spread this season yet has fallen apart since the trade deadline dumping. Their starting pitching is a clear weak point on the team, with a 5.22 ERA. 

Twins’ potential

Minnesota will send out rookie Joe Ryan, who has been stunning in his first three starts. The Twins acquired Ryan in exchange for Nelson Cruz from the highly talented Tampa Bay Rays farm system. He has a 2.12 ERA with a 0.53 WHIP and 14:2 K:BB ratio through 17 innings. With pitching being one of the most significant issues within the Twins organization, Ryan presents a breath of fresh air to help Minnesota look towards brighter days.

Offensively, the Twins handle business. They are second in the American League in home runs and rank top-10 against RHP in multiple offensive categories, including SLG, OPS, wOBA, and wRC+. They also capitalize when runners are in scoring position as they have the third-best batting average at .283.

With a starting pitcher in Ryan who can limit Chicago’s potential threats plus a stout offense, the Twins should likely come away with a victory in this one.

Cubs’ rebuild-mode

Chicago remains one of the most inconsistent teams in the majors this year. They rank in the bottom third in MLB in nearly every offensive category, including batting average with RISP. They are eighth-worst in wRC+ (87) versus right-handed pitchers, likely presenting problems when facing Ryan.  

Going toe to toe with Ryan will be Cubs’ pitcher Kyle Hendricks. He got roughed up in his last appearance against the Philadelphia Phillies, allowing seven earned in 3.2 innings while only striking out one batter. He has a 6.47 ERA over his previous 12 starts and should be exposed by the potent Minnesota lineup.

With an overall lack of firepower offensively, plus a subpar starting pitcher in Hendricks, it seems highly unlikely Chicago will be able to remain competitive in this matchup for long.

Twins vs. Cubs prediction and pick

Twins’ pitcher Joe Ryan already faced the Cubs on September 1st, limiting them to three runs on three hits over five innings. Although he notched a loss in that outing, going up against Hendricks should prove fruitful for the rookie pitcher.

Kyle Hendricks has given up 4+ runs in four of his last five appearances since August 23rd and will likely surrender another 3-4 runs in tonight’s game against the Twins.

According to my model, take the Twins moneyline (-120 on FanDuel Sportsbook) in a game that should see an offensive explosion by Minnesota leading to a 6.52 to 4.01 victory.

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