This series in Cleveland between the Indians and Minnesota Twins figured to be a crucial meeting. Maybe back in April this looked like an important series between two AL Central hopefuls. However, the divisional race has been a sleepwalk for the Indians who will walk to the AL Central crown. The Twins weren’t able to build on their success from a season ago. There weren’t any expectations for the Twins last season and they exceeded projects.
This season when they had all of the expectations, they regressed and never hit their target mark. No complaints from the Indians, as they got to cruise without any pressure. Much like the bigger picture in the AL Central, the Indians bypassed the Twins with ease last night to advance to 75-56.
Last night was the season in a nutshell for the Twins, who are looking at a porous record of 61-70 at the moment. That puts them well out of contention, with the signings of Lance Lynn and Jake Odorizzi going to waste. Especially Lynn who isn’t even on the team anymore. What they thought was going to put them over the top, was just a waste of time and money on Lynn.
The Indians might be a dark horse in the postseason, but we’ll see. They went to Fenway and played great baseball not too long ago, probably catching the Red Sox a little bit off-guard. It’s kind of silly to call a divisional champion a dark horse, but they certainly aren’t mentioned in the same breath as the other American League front runners. We’ll see if the lack of pressure on them helps or hurts them in the postseason. Head below for our free Twins vs. Indians pick for Wednesday in the majors.
Minnesota Twins vs. Cleveland Indians Pick
Kohl Stewart (0-1, 6.94 ERA) vs. Adam Plutko (4-4, 5.09 ERA)
Kohl Stewart was thrown into the fire for the Twins a few weeks ago. With Ervin Santana getting sent back to the disabled list and Lynn getting traded to the Yankees, there was an opening for a minor leaguer to make the leap to the majors. That guy was Stewart who is doing his best during the audition process. That’s essentially what this is for him and the Twins. If this were America’s Got Talent, the guy would be down to his final X, though.
Stewart has had some difficulties to say the least. He enters with an ERA of 6.94 in three outings. Stewart made is 4.2 innings against the Athletics in his last start, the longest he’s gone this season. Note that he also brings a 2.14 WHIP and .450 OBA to the party tonight. In three starts he’s only played two teams, the Tigers and A’s. The Tigers should be a number booster, not a team to hurt the numbers. The Indians are the best offense Stewart will have played thus far. The Tribe are 3rd with 5.08 runs per game and 5.62 runs at home. Conversely, the Tigers are 27th.
Adam Plutko is up in the starting rotation to replace Trevor Bauer. Plutko has made some spot starts this season, which isn’t ideal for the Indians who would rather see him in the minors. It would hurt the Indians if they don’t get Bauer back at full strength for the postseason. Plutko enters with an ERA of 5.09 and 5.82 ERA in his last three starts. I don’t have much faith in either pitcher tonight, so a play on the OVER looks solid.