The Minnesota Twins are looking to finish off a four-game sweep of their home-and-home interleague series with the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday afternoon. The Twins won both home games and improved to 10-2 this season when they broke out late in a 5-2 win on Wednesday night at PNC Park. Minnesota has a powerful lineup led by Nelson Cruz, and starter Kenta Maeda will try to keep the Pirates off balance with a top-notch slider. The Pirates (2-10) are off to a dismal start, but they are hoping for a spark from prospect JT Brubaker, who will make his first start in the big leagues.

First pitch is scheduled for 1:35 p.m. ET. Minnesota is the -213 favorite on the money line in the latest Pirates vs. Twins odds from William Hill, while the over-under for total runs scored is 8.5. Before making any Twins vs. Pirates picks, check out the latest MLB predictions from the SportsLine Projection Model.

The model, which simulates every MLB game 10,000 times, is coming off a banner 2019 season. The model returned more than $1,400 on its top-rated money-line and run-line MLB picks, and anyone who followed it saw huge rewards. 

Now, the model has dialed in on Pirates vs. Twins. You can visit SportsLine now to see the picks. Here are the MLB odds from William Hill and trends for Twins vs. Pirates:

  • Pirates vs. Twins money line: Pittsburgh +190, Minnesota -213
  • Pirates vs. Twins run line: Minnesota -1.5
  • Pirates vs. Twins over-under: 8.5 runs
  • PIT: Five of the Pirates’ 10 losses have been by one run, two of them in extra innings.
  • MIN: DH Nelson Cruz is 14-for-19 (.737) with runners on base this season.

Why you should back the Twins

Minnesota has won the fourth game of a series four straight times, and Maeda has been a strong presence. He is 2-0 with a 1.64 ERA, allowing two earned runs and striking out 12 in 11 innings this season. The 32-year-old has taken on the No. 2 role with Jake Odorizzi out. His nasty slider helped make him a top pitcher in Japan for eight seasons, and he has a 3.83 career ERA after pitching for the Dodgers for four seasons. He went 10-8 in L.A. last season.

The defending AL Central champion Twins are 8-3 in their last 11 meetings in Pittsburgh and can hit with the best of them. Cruz is hitting .391 this season with three home runs and 15 RBIs. The 40-year-old hit 41 homers and drove in 108 runs last year, and he is second in MLB in hits (17) and RBIs in 2020. Opposing pitchers also have to be concerned about outfielder Max Kepler, who hit his fourth home run Wednesday, a three-run shot to give him 10 RBIs.  

Why you should back the Pirates

Pittsburgh has struggled in the early going, but Brubaker will make his first start in place of the injured Mitch Keller, and he has been a real bright spot out of the bullpen. The 27-year-old has allowed four hits and no earned runs with seven strikeouts in five innings over two relief appearances. The former sixth-round pick is one of the team’s top prospects and had a 3.60 ERA over 101 appearances (99 starts) in the minor leagues.

The Pirates offense is built around first baseman Josh Bell, who is off to a slow start but has plenty of power. The 6-foot-4, 240-pounder is hitting a team-best .222 and hit his second home run Wednesday after hitting 37 and driving in 116 runs in 2019. Third baseman Colin Moran has tried to pick up the slack, and he leads the team with five homers. Second baseman Adam Frazier also can do damage, coming off a 33-homer season, but is hitting .175.  

How to make Pirates vs. Twins picks

SportsLine’s model is leaning over on the total, as the simulation has both starters each giving up around three runs in under six innings, and it also says one side of the money line has the value. Head to SportsLine now to see the pick. 

So who wins Pirates vs. Twins? And which side of the money line has all the value? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Twins vs. Pirates spread to jump on Thursday, all from the advanced model that returned over $1,400 on MLB picks last year. 

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