Stephen Nover Free Sunday MLB Play

On June 11, 2017, in Free Picks, MLB, by Stephen

Giants minus $1.15 hosting Twins

It’s strange to write this but the Twins are in a rare spot – fat and happy. Minnesota is 6-3 on its road trip and has won three in a row. The Twins fly back to Minnesota following this game for an 11-game homestand.

The key question is can the struggling Giants take advantage of this situation? They certainly won’t lack motivation in danger of being swept at AT&T Park by Minnesota having lost the first two games of this series.

The Twins needed a fill-in starter for Hector Santiago, a bottom-of-the-rotation type who was put on the DL this week with a shoulder strain. The call went out to Nik Turley, who took an early Saturday morning flight from the East Coast to join the Twins in San Francisco. That leaves me to wonder if his body will have enough time to adjust to the time difference? This is a day game.

Turley is 27, which is a great age unless you’re a baseball player trying to make the majors and have spent your entire career in the minors. That’s the story with Turley. He’s been in the minors for 10 seasons pitching for 11 different minor league clubs. The total rises to 12 if you count an independent league team. The Twins signed Turley to give them pitching depth in Class AA. That’s not exactly high expectations.

But suddenly Turley, with better command of his fastball, has become a strikeout machine fanning 84 hitters in 52 innings. So the Twins – a bit desperate for pitching and with nothing to lose – are giving him a shot.

Turley is an unknown. Giants starter Matt Cain isn’t. We know the 32-year-old Cain is past his prime having thrown more than 2,000 innings. Cain is a near auto-fade on the road with an 0-3 away mark and 8.40 ERA. However, Cain is a much different pitcher at spacious AT&T Park where his flyball tendenices don’t hurt him nearly as much. Cain is 3-2 with a 1.82 ERA in six home starts. The Twins have never faced him.

The Giants have a number of veterans due to start playing better. I put Hunter Pence, Brandon Crawford and Brandon Belt at the top of this list.

Given the circumstanes, I trust Cain more than Turley. Although the Giants’ offense has been a huge disappointment they do have professional hitters who know how to work counts and take advantage of rookie pitchers. So I believe it’s worth backing the Giants at home laying low juice.

(Editor’s note: Stephen Nover is 47-27-1 on his last 75 premium/free plays.)


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