Twins vs. Diamondbacks Prediction and Odds for Friday, June 17 (Root for Runs in Sneaky Bad Pitching Matchup)

Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner
Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner / Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY

Minnesota continues to sit atop the AL Central at 37-28, but all of the sudden, the Cleveland Guardians have vaulted themselves to just two games back; erasing what once seemed like a comfortable lead. The Twins need to keep winning, especially against teams like Arizona if they want to keep Cleveland at arm's length. 

The Diamondbacks (30-35) must go on a run if they want to enter the playoff picture, but have not won a series in June. They split a four-gamer with the Reds and dropped multiple series to Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and Cincinnati over that stretch. 

Arizona turns to Madison Bumgarner as they try to get back to their winning ways. Bumgarner is 2-6 with a 3.50 ERA, while Minnesota relies on Devin Smeltzer to start this three game set off right. Smeltzer sports a 2.38 ERA and is 3-0. 

Odds are available in the WynnBET Sportsbook

Twins vs. Diamondbacks Odds, Run Line and Total

Run Line

  • Twins -1.5 (+125)
  • Diamondbacks +1.5 (-150)


  • Twins -123
  • Diamondbacks +113


9 (Over -115 / Under -105)

Twins vs. Diamondbacks Prediction and Pick

Bumgarner is winless in three starts in June, and while his ERA is still a solid 3.50, his FIP has jumped to 5.03 and he has been buoyed by a good defense in Arizona. The Diamondbacks rank fourth in Team DEF according to Fangraphs

DEF stands for Defensive Runs Above Average and is a value metric that calculates a player's defensive value, but also includes positional adjustment. By that metric, Arizona has been one of the best defensive teams in the league relative to the average defender at each position. Minnesota ranks 20th in this metric with a -5.4 compared to Arizona’s 11.5. 

That number from the Diamondbacks is surprising considering they are 28th in the league in fielding percentage and allowed two unearned runs last time Bumgarner pitched.

Defense might be the difference because Smeltzer also has a much higher Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) 4.90 than his ERA of 2.38. That means that both pitchers have been helped by their defense to make them look better than they have actually pitched.

Neither pitcher has good indicators and the defensive statistics seem all over the place, they aren't convincing enough for me to ride with the Diamondbacks even though DEF rates them so highly.

The safe play to me is to take the over and hope that both pitchers start to give up the runs that their statistics say they should.

Pick: Over 9 (-115)

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