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MLB Interleague Betting - Pirates at Twins

June 18, 2009
MLB Interleague Betting Preview - Pittsburgh Pirates at Minnesota Twins 1:10 ET

By Robbie Gainous

Nick Blackburn, pitcher for the TwinsThursday's Interleague Matinee will decide this three-game set as each team has won a game by the score of 8 to 2, wonder the odds on game three with the same final score?

The Pirates will send Zack Duke to the bump with his 2-2 W/L road record and ERA of 3.51 but in his six starts on the highway this season his team has only managed a record of 2-4 W/L when he takes bump.

Over his last three outings he has posted a record of 2-1 W/L with an ERA of 4.29 with the two wins coming at home and the one loss coming on the road.

The Pirates are 14-22 W/L on the highway this season and 18-37 W/L as a road underdog. Their record is much the same when facing teams from the American League during interleague play going 18-41 W/L their last 59 games.

When Duke takes the hill on the road and is installed as an underdog of 150 or less the Pirates have only won three times out of their last twenty-one in this situation and Duke is only 3-11 W/L his last 14 when pitching on four days rest.

We expect the Twins to bounce back against the Pirates and Duke on Thursday afternoon at the Metrodome and take game three as well as the series.

The Twins have been a formidable opponent during interleague play posting a record of 45-13 W/L their last 58 interleague games.

Much of that winning record was built facing foes from the National League Central with the Twins going 24-7 W/L their last 31 against those teams.

Minnesota will hang their hopes on right-hander Nick Blackburn who is 2-0 W/L at home this season with an ERA of 3.06 the Twins are 4-1 in his five home starts this year.

In Blackburn's last three trips to the bump he is 1-0 W/L with an ERA of 2.57 and the Twins are only 1-2 W/L in those three starts but all three came on the road.

The Twins are 49-16 W/L installed as home favorite and a perfect 5-0 W/L the last five with Blackburn on the hill. Minnesota has also found success when facing lefthanders during interleague play posting a record of 12-4 W/L their last 16 in this situation.

The Twins are 8-1 W/L (+8.5) versus an NL starting pitcher whose ERA is 3.50 or better over the last 2 seasons while Pittsburgh is 7-28 W/L (-18.8) versus an AL starting pitcher whose ERA is 3.50 or better since 1997.

Our TPR (Team Performance Ratings) Index projects a Twins win over the Pirates in today's matchup by 1.8 runs and we also find support with our Pitcher Efficiency Ratings Index that has the Twins starter and bullpen 0.9 runs better than the Pirates starter and bullpen.

Finally we have a MLB System that is active for today's contest and it tells us to Play On MLB AL home teams with a batting average of .265 to .279 against a NL starting pitcher whose ERA is 3.70 or better during the month of June, 34-12 W/L +22.0 Units for 73.9 percent winners over the last five seasons and 4-2 W/L (+1.9 units) already this season.

With significant fundamental, situational and technical support we will lay the chalk with the host here as the Twins take game three and the series from the Pirates on Thursday afternoon at the Metrodome.

Pick: Minnesota Twins (-155) available at Bodog.com.

Be sure to check out the free predictions and mlb baseball betting forum for more picks, trends and information for Thursday.


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