The Minnesota Twins are set to face off against the Cleveland Guardians in a Thursday day-time ball game. Minnesota dominated the first game on Monday, winning by a score of 11-1 before the teams split a doubleheader Tuesday. Yesterday’s game saw the Guardians come out on top thanks to a bottom of the 10th walk-off homerun by Josh Naylor. Can the Twins respond? Here is my complete prediction and breakdown.
Archer to Face Guardians for First Time Since 2017
The Minnesota Twins are having a nice season. They are currently sitting with a record of 43-35 and are atop of the AL Central. They are an all-round solid ball club posting offensive numbers of; 4.5 runs per game (11th in the league), batting a respectable .253 (good for 7th) with a OBP of .325 (good for 4th).
The Twins have a total of five players with 30+ RBI’s including Byron Buxton and Jorge Polanco who are tied for 36. Buxton is also leading the team with 20 homers on the season. Luis Arraez is batting an incredible .337 to lead the team in batting average.
The pitching staff for the Twins is just as solid as the offense. For the season they are posting a combined ERA of 3.69 (7th in the Majors) and WHIP of 1.21 (8th) and allowing just 3.9 runs per game (6th).
For this game Chris Archer is set to make his 15thstart of the season. In his seven road starts this season Archer is just 0-1 but with an impressive 2.76 ERA. Archer hasn’t faced Cleveland since 2017 but has struggled in the past, going 0-7 with a 5.87 ERA. Besides his expected nerves, this shouldn’t be too much of concern for the Twins, as Archer is looking solid this season and has improved much of his game since 2017. So far this season he is throwing a respectable 3.14 ERA, 1.22 WHIP over 57.1 innings of work all accumulating to a 2-3 record. He has allowed 1 run or less in each of his last 5 starts.
Guardians Look Bring Back Strong Play
The Cleveland Guardians were a money machine for much of June, winning 15 of their first 19 games, but have since dropped six of their last eight games. The major reason for the Guardians struggles as of late is their offense. Just looking at their last 5 games the team is batting a combined .194 averaging just 1.84 runs per game. Yikes. Before their extra-inning win over the Twins, the Guardians had to fail to hit a home-run in five straight games.
Jose Ramirez leads the Guardians with 16 home runs, a staggering 63 RBI’s and 12 stolen basses, batting at .299. Against the Twins this season Ramirez is batting just .220, with 9 hits, 1 home run and 3 RBIS’s in 10 games.
The Guardians have probably their best starter on the mound for this one in Shane Bieber. This season Bieber is posting a 3-4 record over 85 innings of work, with a 3.07 ERA and 1.16 WHIP. He has also struck out 88 batters. At home this season he is just 1-3 with a 4.23 ERA. He has allowed 3 runs on each of his last 3 starts (all over 6+ innings of work), what is surprising is how much he actually gets hit. Bieber has given up: 6, 7 and 9 hits in his last 3 starts. The reason more runs aren’t scored is most likely the Guardians elite defence, which ranks 2nd in the MLB with +41 defensive runs saved.
No Run Support
Although the Guardians have the pitching edge in this one I am rolling with the Twins. Chris Archer has been solid for the Twins and should have no issues putting up at least 5 solid innings against this struggling Cleveland line-up. Pair this with the fact that the Twins are batting at .298 over their last 5 games and they should be in good shape here. I am taking advantage of the Twins as underdogs and betting they at least keep it within a run if not win outright.
FREE PICK: Minnesota Twins +1.5 (1 Unit)