Twins Have Become Every Bettor's Fantasy
by Mike Hayes - 07/26/2006
Less than two months ago the underachieving Minnesota Twins looked as if they were headed nowhere, buried deep beneath the world champion White Sox and upstart Tigers, but a 33-8 run has catapulted them into the American League playoff picture and in the process has made them one of the most profitable plays in all of baseball.
The reason for the Twins sudden success? Pitching. Plain and simple. Pitching not only wins championships but it turns a profit. Over the last 28 games started by young studs Francisco Liriano, Johan Santana and veteran Brad Radke, the Twins are 25-3, with a record of 9-1 behind Liriano and 8-1 with Santana or Radke on the hill. Overall the Twins starting pitching ranks fifth best in all of baseball and the bullpen, with an ERA of 3.24, is tops.
The surge has put the Twins at 58-41, and while they still remain 8.5 games behind the first-place Tigers, they are just a single game behind the reeling White Sox for the wild card. The turnaround has made the Twins the second most profitable moneyline team in baseball at +$1,703, behind the aforementioned Tigers who remain tops and are currently at +$2,947.
Even though they are No. 2 overall, the Twins remarkably have been a money loser on the road. With a 21-30 mark, the Twins have posted a road deficit of $864. Even here things are improving, as the Twins have won three of four on the road entering Wednesday's series finale against the Pale Hose. The Twins have been virtually automatic at home where they are 21-2 during their surge and 37-11 on the year - good for an overall profit of $2,567.
Minnesota has a runline record of 53-46, showing a profit of $714, which is also among the best in MLB. On the run total front the Twins are about even with a mark of 49-46.
For the season Minnesota has been a particularly good play with either Santana or Liriano on the Hill, as both are among the 10 most profitable starters in baseball. The Twins are 16-5 in games started by Santana, good for a profit of $1068. If history is an indication this trend should continue as Santana's post All-Star break record is an unbelievable 33-3 since 2003. When Liriano toes the rubber, the Twins are 11-2 for a profit of better than $800. Astute parlay players are doing even better as 11 of the 16 wins started by Santana have gone over the run total and eight of the 11 wins started by Liriano have been unders.
Radke has been a huge part of the Twins resurgence. On June 1, the 33-year-old righty was 4-6 with a 7.01 ERA and the Twins were 4-8 in his starts. Radke has improved his record to 9-7 and has lowered his ERA to 4.74 for the season, improving the Twins record to 12-9 in his starts, good for a profit of $370.
If the Twins are able to complete their turnaround (they were languishing at 25-33 before their tear) and actually make the playoffs, they could prove a very dangerous team as a better 1-2-3 at the top of the rotation cannot be found in baseball and they can still be had at generous odds.
Nine Sportsbook has the Twins at 17/1 to win the American League Pennant and 33/1 to win the World Series. Pinnacle Sportsbook, which is not currently offering odds on the pennant winners, has Minnesota at 19/1 to win the series.
This won't last much longer as evidenced by Bodog offering just 7/1 on the Twins to win the American League and 9/1 to win the series, especially in the event the Twins make a deadline move to upgrade their offense like has been rumored.
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