Monkey Knife Fight Home Run Derby:
Detroit Tigers at Minnesota Twins (Double Header Game Two)
Mitch Moreland of the Boston Red Sox pulled through for the Monkey Knife Fight lineup last night. Tonight, let’s travel to Minnesota where the 24-year-old Gregory Soto is scheduled to make his MLB debut for the Detroit Tigers. Soto pitched 13 innings in Double A. He never pitched Triple A. Obviously, statistics are basically irrelevant. Soto will likely be returned immediately to Double A after the Tigers use him to fill a starting pitching vacancy during tonight’s double-header. Vegas has the Minnesota Twins as -189 favorites to win this game, which has an O/U of 9.5 runs, suggesting a 5.6 implied run total for Minnesota. Continuing to target the Boston Red Sox and Houston Astros is a possibility tonight, but the Twins are more interesting. Nelson Cruz is the obvious recommendation. He enters tonight’s contest with a 0.064 ISO differential against left-handed pitchers, and he is hitting 0.07 home runs per at-bat. Over the last 15 days, he has an average batted ball distance of 209 feet, an average exit velocity on those batted balls of 96 MPH, a 33% fly ball rate, and a 51% hard hit rate. He is a lock. Next, look toward C.J. Cron, who is currently sporting 0.062 HR/AB. He also has positive splits against left-handed pitching with 0.029 ISO and 0.054 wOBA differentials. Most importantly, his advanced statistics have been solid. Over the last 15 days, he has an average batted ball distance of 223 feet, an average exit velocity on those batted balls of 89 MPH, a 38% fly ball rate, and a 35% hard hit rate. His recent batted ball luck indicator suggests he has been unlucky at the plate, as well. Finally, pass on Eddie Rosario for Max Kepler. Both Rosario and Kepler are worse against left-handed pitching, but Kepler despite hitting less home runs on average, has slightly better advanced metrics. His average batted ball distance over the last 15 days is 230 feet. His exit velocity on those batted balls is 92 MPH. His fly ball rate is just under 50%, and his hard hit rate is just over 40%. His distance is up 14 feet from his 12-month average, as is his hard hit rate, which is up 6%. The Twins do not have players that stand out as home run hitters, but in a hitter-friendly ballpark against a Double A pitcher, the ball will likely leave the field quite a few times in the forward direction.
Recommended Batters: Nelson Cruz, C.J. Cron, Max Kepler
Home Run Prop Bet:
Nelson Cruz (TBA) – Minnesota Twins – OF (Double Header Game Two)
Nelson Cruz in a positive power splits matchup against a 24-year-old, left-handed pitcher that recently got called up from the Double A, and never pitched in the Triple A? Yes, please.
Currently, the Twins first game is listed on PrizePicks. The second game will likely be available after that game is completed, or at least, starts. Until then, there is no recommendation here.
*Odds are from MyBookie. They continually update available prop bets on their prop builder, so odds should be released closer to the start of the contests. If you do not see the recommended player available, he will likely become available later in the day, and odds will be updated in the article when that happens.*
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