Cleveland Back in Action after COVID-Forced Postponement
After an unexpected day off due to positive COVID-19 tests within the Cleveland Guardians organization, they are set to return to action with a three-game weekend series in Minnesota. Cleveland will be without seven members of its coaching staff, including manager Terry Francona. Pitching coach Carl Willis will serve as the Cleveland manager in the series. Keep an eye out for how Francona’s absence will impact the Guardians vs Twins series odds.
Cleveland is second in the American League with 145 runs scored. The Guardians have scored 118 runs in their 15 wins and only 27 in the 15 games they lost. Minnesota has the seventh-best team ERA at home this season.
Sonny Gray threw four scoreless innings in his only other start in May and he is set to take the ball for the Twins in Friday’s opener. For Cleveland, Aaron Civale and Shane Bieber are the probable starters for the first two games in the series. They have combined to allow 14 hits and 11 runs in nine innings of work in May.
The MLB World Series odds have been slow to respond to Minnesota’s strong start. The Twins (+2800) are just 14th when it comes to the odds to win the World Series while the Guardians (+8000) are well back.
- Team records: Cleveland Guardians (15-15 3rd, AL Central), Minnesota Twins 18-14 (1st, AL Central)
- Date: Friday, 8:10 p.m. ET (teams also play on Saturday 7:10 p.m. and Sunday 2:10 p.m.)
- Location: Target Field
Guardians vs Twins Probable Starting Pitchers
Friday: Aaron Civale (Guardians) vs Sonny Gray (Twins)
Saturday: Shane Bieber (Guardians) vs TBA
Sunday: Triston McKenzie (Guardians) vs Joe Ryan (Twins)
Indians Need the Pitching Staff to Get Going
Coming into the season, the team formerly known as the Cleveland Guardians planned on leaning on a rotation led by their 20-something-aged hurlers.
What changed in May? 27-year-olds Cal Quantrill and Zach Plesac as well as 26-year-olds Shane Bieber and Aaron Civale are 1-3 with an earned runs average of 7.09. If not for the 24-year-old Triston McKenzie, the youngest of Cleveland’s starting pitchers, the Guardians would be in serious trouble.
McKenzie has allowed two runs or less in five of his six starts this season. He is 2-0 with a 1.46 ERA in two starts in May. He is set to pitch in Sunday’s finale. Four relievers, including closer Emmanuel Clase have yet to allow an earned run in the month of May so, if the starters can get the bullpen the lead, there is a chance for success. The Guardians vs Twins series odds are impacted by Cleveland’s struggles to get quality outings from its starting pitchers.
Twins Trying to Shake off Tough Series
The good news for the Minnesota Twins – they are still in first place in the AL Central standings despite being swept in a series for just the second time this season.
Minnesota was outscored 21-3 in dropping all three games at home to the Houston Astros. It didn’t help that shortstop Carlos Correa, signed to a huge deal in the offseason after spending the first seven years of his MLB career with the Astros, is currently sidelined with a finger injury.
Minnesota was 3 for 22 with runners in scoring position in those three games as the Twins were shut out twice. It helps that Minnesota is playing in arguably the weakest division in the American League. The Twins are batting .261 against AL Central teams and .226 against the other teams. Minnesota has a 7-2 record against AL Central teams and that is indicated in the Guardians vs Twins series odds.
Emmanuel Clase, Guardians P: Clase hasn’t allowed an earned run in his last eight appearances. He has allowed three hits with seven strikeouts in 7.2 innings during that stretch.
Josh Naylor, Guardians OF: Naylor is 6 for 12 with a double, three home runs and nine RBIs in the last three games.
Jorge Polanco, Twins IF: Polanco has hits in 10 of his last 11 games. He is batting .344 with nine RBIs in 10 games during the month of May.
Joe Smith, Twins P: Smith hasn’t allowed a run in his last five appearances. He has allowed one hit in the last 14 batters that he has faced.
Aaron Civale, Guardians P: Civale has allowed 20 hits and 18 runs in 12.2 innings in his last three outings. He has allowed a home run in each of his last four starts.
Joe Ryan, Twins P: Ryan allowed four hits and four runs in his last start. Ryan walked five of the 21 batters he faced.
Myles Straw, Guardians OF: Straw is 0 for 14 with three strikeouts in his last four games as his batting average dropped from .283 to .248.
Gio Urshela, Twins IF: Urshela is 2 for 20 with one extra-base hit and three strikeouts in his last six games.
Cleveland infielder Yu Chang is on the COVID-19 list. Pitchers James Karinchak (back), Cody Morris (shoulder) and Carlos Vargas (elbow) remain sidelined.
For Minnesota, shortstop Carlos Correa (finger), outfielders Kyle Garlick (calf) and Trevor Larnach (groin) and designated hitter Miguel Sano (knee) are all on the injured list. Pitchers Jorge Alcala (elbow), Dylan Bundy (COVID-19 list), Danny Coulombe (hip), Randy Dodnak (finger), Kenta Maeda (elbow), Jhon Romero (bicep), Bailey Ober (groin) and Chris Paddack (elbow) are all sidelined.
Guardians vs Twins Betting Guide
Minnesota is 18-11 against Cleveland over the last two seasons. The Twins have won 11 of their last 15 games at home against Cleveland with six of the last nine games featuring at least nine combined runs.
Minnesota’s Joe Ryan had an ERA of 0.75 in two starts against Cleveland in 2021 allowing four hits in 12 innings of work.
Cleveland’s scheduled starters were 2-3 with a 4.36 team ERA against Minnesota last season.
The total has gone over in seven of Cleveland’s last nine games as well as in five of the last seven games for Minnesota.
With all the Minnesota injuries, the Twins are leading the way when it comes to having players making their Major League debuts with pitcher Yennier Cano debuting on Wednesday and outfielder Mark Contreras also getting into the lineup on Wednesday.Follow us on Twitter