Twins sluggers can capitalize vs. Tigers' bullpen
We hope you’re not tired of seeing the Minnesota Twins hit home runs (but, seriously, how could you be?). This weekend’s opponent, the Detroit Tigers, presents another good opportunity for the Twins to send baseballs flying over fences.
The Twins own the best home run differential in the major leagues at plus-40 – the next-best American League team is Tampa Bay at plus-27, and that’s mainly because the Rays don’t serve them up (just a league-low 51 homers allowed). Only two other teams – the Cubs (plus-35) and Dodgers (plus-26) are above a plus-20.
On the other end of the spectrum are the Tigers. Detroit has the second-worst HR differential of any MLB club at minus-39. Only Baltimore (minus-45) is worse and only one other team, the Giants (minus-35) is at minus-30 or worse.
Twins fans might want to particularly be on the lookout for longballs when Detroit summons pitchers from the bullpen. Of the Tigers’ active relievers, the best home runs per nine innings rate is by closer Shane Greene, and he’s at 1.1 HR/9. The rest … well …
Nick Ramirez: 19 IP, 1.3 HR/9
Buck Farmer: 23.1 IP, 1.5 HR/9
Blaine Hardy: 22.2 IP, 1.6 HR/9
Joe Jimenez: 24.1 IP, 1.8 HR/9
Daniel Stumpf: 15 IP, 1.8 HR/9
Victor Alcantara: 27 IP, 2.0 HR/9
Austin Adams: 3 IP, 3.0 HR/9
Zach Reininger: 17.2 IP, 3.1 HR/9
Sounds like it’s a good weekend to be sitting in the bleachers at Comerica Park. Or, you know, be a Twins hitter.
-- Since 2017, the Twins are 27-17 against the Tigers compiling a .273 batting average, 5.73 runs per game, 57 home runs and a 3.89 ERA. Detroit is hitting .238, averaging 4.14 runs per game with a 5.65 ERA.
-- The Twins even make loud outs. Jorge Polanco is tied with Boston’s J.D. Martinez for the most hard outs in the American League this season with 28. Eddie Rosario is tied for fifth with 23.
-- Marwin Gonzalez batted just .167 in March and April. He’s hitting.296 in May and June. That .129 difference is tied for the second best over that span. He has an .859 OPS, 20 runs and five homers since May 1.
Statistics courtesy Sportradar and baseball-reference.com