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Minnesota Twins vs. Cleveland Indians Where and when: Progressive Field, Cleveland, Ohio, Friday, 7:10 pm EST After hosting the All-Star game this year, the Cleveland Indians will remain home for a three-game AL Central series versus the division leader in the Minnesota Twins beginning on Friday night at Progressive Field.
These two teams met on opening weekend 2019 with the Twins opening up a low-scoring set to post nine runs in the 9-3 finale to take the three-game set on March 31st. However, at Progressive Park in early June, the Indians took a three-game set while coming short of the sweep due to a 5-4 finale win by the Twins thanks to three homers by Max Kepler.
Cleveland finds itself only five and a half games out of the top spot in their division. They entered the All-Star break on a tear in winning six straight, with their offense averaging close to seven runs per game during this time. Carlos Santana continued to show and prove at the plate during their streak in increasing his batting average to .297 on the year with nine hits along with two doubles.
Regardless, the Indians have been very inconsistent on the mound in 2019 in batting just .244 after eighty-eight games. Their pitching has certainly held down the fort, however, as they are ranked as one of the best in the league in ERA (3.95, 5th), WHIP (1.22, 4th), along with strikeouts (828, 7th). With Trevor Bauer along with Shane Beiber each leading the rotation with eight wins, they have provided the fuel for a staff that is minus the services of Corey Kluber (forearm), Danny Salazaar (shoulder), and for the moment, Carlos Carrasco, who is currently out with an illness.
The Minnesota Twins ended the first half of their season dropping six of ten games. However, they were able to pick up a series victory over the Texas Rangers at Target Park in their last time out. And despite dropping the finale by a 4-1 score, the highest-scoring team in the MLB was able to post twenty-two runs in games one and two of the set. However, homerun leader Max Kepler is probable for the opener with the Indians due to a knee injury while Eddie Rosario is not expected to be back from an ankle injury until late July.
Clevinger seeks to remain dominant over Twins lineup
Nonetheless, the Twins will have to face Mike Clevinger (2-2) in the opener on Friday as he will take the mound for the Indians after battling an ankle injury after a horrible outing versus the Baltimore Orioles to where he allowed seven earned in just 1 ⅔ innings of pitching in a 13-0 defeat. Nonetheless, he atoned for this with a strong, six-inning performance versus the Kansas City Royals on the road as he allowed just four hits while recording nine strikeouts. In all, aside from two shaky outings, Clevinger is only allowing an average of just over two runs per game in his five starts during 2019.
Clevinger has given up one earned run in over thirteen innings of pitching in his last two meetings at Progressive versus the Indians. Furthermore, Miguel Sano has seven strikeouts versus Clevinger while batting .214, lifetime. In addition to this, Byron Buxton along with hitting leader Jorge Polanco has gone only a combined 2-15 versus the right-hander. The veteran has only dropped two of his last eleven games when toeing the mound at Progressive Park.
No pitcher assigned for Twins
The Minnesota Twins pitching staff has certainly gotten the most out of their rotation during the first half of the season as they possess forty-two quality starts, good for fifth in the MLB. Even with their only double-digit winner in Jake Odorizzi being out of the rotation, temporarily, the Twins continue to get top performances from Jose Berrios, Kyle Gibson along with Martin Perez, who all have eight wins on the year. Even Michael Pineda has provided strong innings for the Twins, despite the right-hander surrendering sixteen runs in seventeen starts.
Minnesota has not been very successful as a team at Progressive Park in recent matchups, their pitching has kept their matchups interesting as eleven of their last sixteen matchups were decided by two runs or less.
- CLE is 19-7 in their last 26 overall.
- CLE is 19-7 in their last 26 games on grass.
- CLE is 8-1 in Clevinger’s last 9 home starts.
- MIN is 2-6 in the last 8 meetings in Cleveland.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
While the Twins remain the top offensive team in the MLB, they continue to struggle at Progressive versus the Indians. With that being the case, look for Clevinger to continue his dominance over the lineup for the Twins (who may be without Kepler) in the opener to pick up a low-scoring victory. The Indians have been winning magnets with Clevinger on the mound in recent starts at home.
Prediction: Pick: Cleveland Indians
Full-Game Total Pick
As stated earlier, these teams are very familiar with each other. With that being the case, look for the score to remain low in this contest. Besides, the Twins experienced huge decrease in scoring just before the break while the Indians have struggled at the plate all season long. Take the under as the strong play.
Prediction: Pick: Under