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Ivan Nova takes on the Twins on a frigid night in the ‘Burgh.

MLB: Spring Training-Tampa Bay Rays at Pittsburgh Pirates Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

The Twins’ Twitter feed says they aren’t afraid of a little Minnesota spring weather, and I’d say neither are a few thousand Pirates’ faithful, as the Bucs put their undefeated record on the line against Twin’s 28 year old right-hander Jake Odorizzi. With a game time temp of 38 and high winds expected blowing out to left-center, it could be quite an adventure for those hardy enough to be outside.

Odorizzi will make his second start of the year after coming over from Tampa Bay, where he was a mainstay in the rotation for the last four years and has a 3.80 career ERA. In his first start of this year he threw six scoreless innings, with a pairs of walks and seven strikeouts. Odorizzi leans heavily on his mixture of fastballs which top out at 91.9 mph. To left-handers he throws 46% 4-seam, 29% sinker and 8% curve, while against right-handers it 40% 4-seam, 20% cutters, 16% sinkers and 13% sliders. He had a pronounced reverse split in 2017, limiting left-handed batters to a 208/282/398 mark while righties were more able to tee off ofd at a 230/312/466 clip. While successfully limiting BABIP, primarily through miniscule ground-ball rates on his 4-seamer (14% yo LHB, 26% to RBH) all those fly balls come with some extra-base damage on the hits he does allow. Also expect a lot of swings and misses as he gets a 25% whiff rate on the 4-seam fastball.

The Twins will send five left-handed hitters up to face Ivan Nova. as last year they put up a .858 OPS vs Nova, compared to .713 by right-handed batters.

For the Pirates, Sean Rodriguez starts at shortstop in place of Jordy Mercer, who is day-to-day with a jammed pinky on his throwing hand.


1 R 2B Brian Dozier

2 L LF Eddie Rosario

3 R 3B Miguel Sano

4 L 1B Logan Morrison

5 S SS Eduardo Escobar

6 L RF Max Kepler

7 R CF Byron Buxton

8 L C Jason Castro

9 R P Jake Odorizzi


1 R 2B Josh Harrison

2 L RF Gregory Polanco

3 R CF Starling Marte

4 S 1B Josh Bell

5 L LF Corey Dickerson

6 R C Francisco Cervelli

7 L 3B Colin Moran

8 R SS Sean Rodriguez

9 R P Ivan Nova