The Minnesota Twins have had no problem hitting home runs and scoring runs in 2019. They have 687 runs scored, which is second most in the American League, behind only the New York Yankees at 729 runs.
The Twins have also done a respectable job in terms of their pitching too. At 559 runs against, they have given up the fifth fewest runs in the American League. The Twins are only behind the Tampa Bay Rays (475 runs), the Cleveland Indians (479 runs), the Houston Astros (488 runs) and the Oakland Athletics (514 runs).
All season long the Twins have won games via the home run, where they lead Major League Baseball with 233 dingers. However as the season progresses, and if the Twins are fortunate to qualify for the postseason, the club must realize they will see much more difficult pitching against elite teams in October. The Twins will have to find different ways to win games.
That is where the Twins pitching staff comes in, and on Thursday night against the Texas Rangers, the Twins will have starting pitcher Michael Pineda take the start. Pineda is coming off the 10 day injury list where he had been with a right triceps strain.
In 21 starts for the Twins in 2019, Pineda has a record of seven wins and five losses with an earned run average of 4.15 and WHIP of 1.19. In 117 innings pitched, Pineda has given up 116 hits, 54 earned runs, and had 103 strikeouts compared to 23 walks.
After a difficult start to the season, where Pineda had an earned run average of 6.21 at the end of April, the native of Yaguate, Dominican Republic has lowered his ERA by just over two runs ever since at 4.15. Since June 18, Pineda has had eight starts for the Twins, and had a quality start in six of them. In his last two appearances, Pineda only gave up two earned runs in seven innings to the Chicago White Sox and one earned run in six innings to the Miami Marlins.
The Twins are currently in first place in the American League Central. However it is by the narrowest of margins. They only lead the Cleveland Indians by half a game. A healthy and productive Michael Pineda will go a long way for Minnesota in capturing a division title.