The Cleveland Indians put forth a lifeless effort last night, getting blanked by the Twins for a final score of 5-0. Despite the loss, the Indians have been playing good baseball of late and are asserting themselves as the best team in the AL Central.
The Tribe have been on a nice romp, with a 8-2 record in their last ten games. The 5-0 loss last night was only their second loss in their last ten games. During this run by the Indians, the Twins watched their lead in the division go out the window. The Twins were able to get a game back last night, though, and are now 1.5 games behind the Indians.
Minnesota needed the win to stay within arms reach of the Indians who may just be delaying the inevitable in the AL Central. It would appear that the Indians have the inside track to winning the division. They only have a 1.5 game lead, but it feels like so much more than that. Am I confident in them repeating what they did last season and get back to the World Series? Not quite, but there isn’t much to get excited about in this division elsewhere, either.
The Twins have gone 3-5 in their last eight, so the win was needed. They have a lot more to be thankful about than say the Detroit Tigers who are now last in the division. 7.5 games back, the Tigers are getting absolutely nowhere. Sad for a team with the kind of payroll they do, but when you look at where a lot of their money is going it makes sense.
Nearly $40 million is going towards Anibal Sanchez and Jordan Zimmermann, so yeah, no explanation is needed there. Corey Kluber will get the start for the Indians today, while the Twins will counter with Kyle Gibson. Get our free MLB betting pick, featuring the Twins and Indians below.
Minnesota Twins vs. Cleveland Indians Pick
Kyle Gibson (4-5, 6.56 ERA) vs. Corey Kluber (6-2, 3.58 ERA)
Kluber is separating himself from the rest of the pitchers in this division. He is not only playing on a winning team, but he has some nice numbers to back it up. Kluber hasn’t been spectacular, but with Justin Verlander sliding, he’s becoming the face of the pitching staff in the AL Central. He put together his best outing of the year in his last start against the Orioles. Kluber allowed just 3 hits with 0 runs scored. With an ERA of 3.58, I expect him to improve on that and improve on that as the season progresses. In his last two starts, he’s allowed only 7 hits in total.
Kluber had a similar start against the Twins in his last start, as he allowed no runs and 4 hits across 7 innings last September. The current Twins’ lineup has a measly .198 batting average against Kluber. Brian Dozier is 6 for 40 with a .150 BA. Gibson must be great today, but he hasn’t been great too often. He owns a 6.56 ERA with a 1.84 WHIP and .389 OBA overall. He’s had a ton of issues keeping runners off the bases. I like the Indians to bounce back in a big way on Saturday, and secure an easy win over the Twins.
PICK: INDIANS -1.5 (-110)