Twins vs Tigers MLB Odds, Picks and Predictions April 5

Updated: April 4, 2021

Nelson Cruz, who was limited to pinch-hitting duties in the Twins’ season-opening series in Milwaukee, has hit .308/.394/.626 with 57 homers (the fifth most in baseball) since 2019.

Photo By – USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Tigers will kick off their second series of the year Monday afternoon at Comerica Park against the division-rival Minnesota Twins. 

Detroit was unable to complete a three-game sweep of Cleveland, losing Sunday’s series finale 9-3, while the Twins took two out of three from the Brewers after losing in extra innings on Opening Day. 

Here are our best free MLB betting picks and predictions for Twins vs. Tigers on April 5, with first pitch in Detroit scheduled for 1:10 p.m. ET.

Twins vs Tigers odds

The line opened at Minnesota -136, with the total at 8.5. Early action favored the Twins and the Over/Under held firm. Check back later for a full report from Patrick!

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Twins vs Tigers betting preview

Starting pitchers

Matt Shoemaker (2020: 0-1, 4.71 ERA): Shoemaker will make his Twins debut after a pair of injury-plagued years with the Blue Jays. The 34-year-old right-hander has been limited to 18 starts and under 100 innings over the last three seasons due to various injuries but was a solid option for the Angels prior to that. With not much mileage on his arm in recent years, Shoemaker could prove to be a solid one-year investment for the Twins and, at the very least, provides the club with veteran depth. In 11 starts with Toronto in 2019 and 2020, Shoemaker posted a 3.14 ERA and impressive 0.97 WHIP. 

Jose Urena (2020: 0-3, 5.40 ERA): Urena joined the Tigers on a one-year deal after six inconsistent seasons with the Marlins, who non-tendered him this offseason. The hard-throwing righty flashed some promise with Miami and started two consecutive Opening Days while with the franchise, but his live fastball hasn’t been able to propel him to strong results. He simply doesn’t miss enough bats to be anything more than a backend arm, at best, but will probably get a chance to soak up innings on a rebuilding Tigers team.


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Key injuries

Twins: Josh Donaldson 3B (Out), Byron Buxton OF (Questionable).
Tigers: Miguel Cabrera 1B (Questionable).
Find our latest MLB injury reports.

Betting trend to know

Minnesota is 12-5 in the last 17 meetings in Detroit. Find more MLB betting trends for Twins vs. Tigers.

Runline pick

The Tigers, who are expected to compete for last place in the Central Division, took the first two games of the season from Cleveland and handed 2020 American League Cy Young winner Shane Bieber a loss on Opening Day. They were unable to complete the sweep, however, and got pummeled in Sunday’s series finale. Detroit was held to two hits in the loss and was without Miguel Cabrera, who sat out due to cramping. 

Now the Tigers kick off a series with the Twins, who entered the year with back-to-back postseason appearances and should be in the mix again this season. After losing their first game in extras, the Twins took the next two from Milwaukee and got a strong start from Michael Pineda in the series finale after Jose Berrios dominated the Brewers over six no-hit innings before turning it over to the bullpen on Saturday in an eventual 2-0 win. Berrios notched 12 strikeouts to outduel Corbin Burnes, who was nearly as good, and then the Twins’ offense came to life Sunday to win the series. 

But the series wasn’t without setbacks. As good as Minnesota’s pitching was, it lost key pieces Josh Donaldson and Byron Buxton. Donaldson injured himself rounding the bases after his first at-bat of the season and was placed on the IL with a hamstring strain, while Buxton was forced to leave Sunday’s game with a non-COVID illness. 

Even without them on Monday (Buxton is considered day-to-day), the Twins’ lineup should feast on Urena, who posted a 5.40 ERA in five starts last season and a 5.21 ERA in 24 appearances the year before. The sinkerballer had one of the lowest strikeout rates among pitchers who threw at least 100 innings over the last two seasons, so the Twins should put plenty of balls in play against Urena in his Tigers debut.

Shoemaker finds himself in a good spot against Detroit’s uninspiring offense that is unlikely to match the production of his Twins. Even if the Twins play it on the conservative side with the oft-injured Shoemaker, they have a good enough bullpen to limit the Tigers once they turn to their relief corps and pull away with a multi-run victory. 

PREDICTION: Twins -1.5 (+110)

Covers MLB betting analysis

Over/Under pick

Urena is always susceptible to a crooked number with his limited swing-and-miss stuff and although the Twins will be down Donaldson’s power bat, they will have Nelson Cruz available to DH throughout the series. 

Since Minnesota started off the season in Milwaukee and played without a designated hitter, Cruz was limited to pinch-hit duties and one plate appearance in each game. He singled Saturday and delivered a sacrifice fly Sunday, and is probably chomping at the bit to return to the middle of the lineup and see a full game’s worth of at-bats.

Cruz might be 40 but the power is still there and he remains a big threat in the middle of the Twins’ lineup. His 57 homers since the start of the 2019 season – his first year with the Twins – ranks fifth in all of baseball and he’s slashing .308/.394/.626 during that span. He can change a game with one swing of the bat, and the Twins as a whole have proven to do that quite a bit over the last couple of years. Minnesota hit the sixth most homers in baseball last year after setting an MLB record with 307 in 2019. 

The Twins scored an early season-high eight runs in Sunday’s win and they should continue to keep the offense going in this matchup. Urena on the mound is a good enough reason to take the Over in this one.

PREDICTION: Over 8.5 (-120)

Twins vs Tigers betting card

  • Twins -1.5 (+110)
  • Over 8.5 (-120)

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