Pittsburgh Pirates at Minnesota Twins odds, picks and prediction

Apr 11, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher JT Brubaker (34) delivers a pitch against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Pirates (9-10) visit the Minnesota Twins (6-11) at Target Field Friday for Game 1 of a three-game set. First pitch is scheduled for 8:10 p.m. ET. Let’s analyze BetMGM Sportsbook‘s lines around the Pirates vs. Twins odds with MLB picks and predictions.

Pittsburgh has been a bit of a surprise given how low the expectations were for this team heading into the year; however, the Pirates have tied or won three straight series over San Diego Padres, Milwaukee Brewers and Detroit Tigers.

Minnesota was just swept 3-0 in its previous series against the Oakland Athletics and is just 1-9 over its last 10 games which includes three series losses to the Seattle Mariners, Boston Red Sox, and A’s.

RHP JT Brubaker makes his fourth start for the Pirates. He is 2-0 with a 1.76 ERA (15 1/3 IP, 3 ER), 1.04 WHIP, 2.9 BB/9 and 10.6 K/9 this season.

  • Last outing: Win in 6 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 0 BB and 8 K in Pittsburgh’s 6-1 victory over Milwaukee last Friday.
  • Career vs. Twins: 0-0 with a 9.00 ERA (3 IP, 3 ER), 2 BB and 2 K in 1 start.

LHP J.A. Happ takes the mound for the Twins. Happ is 0-0 with a 3.12 ERA (8 2/3 IP, 3 ER), 1.27 WHIP, 4.2 BB/9 and 7.3 K/9 in 2 starts.

  • Last outing: No-decision in 4 2/3 IP with 2 ER, 4 H, 1 BB and 3 K in Minnesota’s 4-2 loss to the Red Sox April 13.
  • Career vs. Pirates: 4-3 with a 2.95 ERA (61 IP, 20 ER), 1.23 WHIP and 7.8 K/9 in 10 starts (the last start was in 2017).

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Pirates at Twins odds, lines, picks and prediction

MLB odds courtesy of BetMGM; access USA TODAY Sports for a full list. Odds last updated at 10:05 a.m. ET.

  • Money line: Pirates +140 (bet $100 to win $140) | Twins -165 (bet $165 to win $100)
  • Against the spread/ATS: Pirates +1.5 (-140) | Twins -1.5 (+115)
  • Over/Under: 8 (O: -105 | U: -115)


Pirates 5, Twins 3

Money line (ML)

Pittsburgh has a significant advantage in the starting pitcher’s matchup and its bullpen has a lower FIP and higher left on-base percentage than Minnesota’s.

Statcast grades Brubaker in the 70th percentile of chase rate, 67th percentile of whiff% and 65th percentile of K% while Happ is in the 5th-percentile of whiff%, 9th-percentile of barrel% and 13th percentile of chase rate.

Since I’m more confident in Brubaker than Pittsburgh’s bullpen and envision there is a good chance the Pirates lineup can get to Happ, I prefer the PIRATES (+125) in the FIRST 5 INNINGS for a half unit, but Pittsburgh is the right side.

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Run line/Against the spread (ATS)

BET PIRATES +0.5 (-115) for 1 unit on the FIRST 5 INNINGS line.

Not only does Brubaker have an edge in the starting pitching duel, but the Twins are 15-19 on the run line as a home favorite since the beginning of last season and the Pirates are 21-19 RL as road underdogs.

Over/Under (O/U)

PASS with a slight “lean” to the Over 8 (-105) because more than 90% of the money wagered has been on the Under so we have the “fade the market” angle, but that’s pretty much where my handicap on the Pirates-Twins total ends.

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