If you’re the Cleveland Indians, how do you think you get back on track and playing baseball worthy of the postseason? Pitch and hit better, well yeah, but a series against the Minnesota Twins doesn’t hurt either. The Tribe were 1-5 before meeting the Twins. Now they have two wins in a row. The Rangers got the better of them in their prior series, beating them in three out of four games. However, back at home in Cleveland against a struggling Twins team has proven to be an effective formula. It’s perfecting time to find a team like the Twins on the schedule, because the Tigers were starting to creep up on their backs. If you want to talk about bad streaks, the Twins cannot go unnoticed.
They currently have the longest losing streak in baseball, with twelve losses in a row. A blind squirrel finds a nut every once in a while, but the Twins have been unable to find anything. They fought until the end last night, as it looked like for a minute that they might comeback in the 9th inning. The Twins were able to get the lead-off runner on base, but it didn’t amount to any runs, as they lost the contest, 5-4. I suppose the Twins should get a little bit of credit losing by only 1 run. They’ve been getting blasted out of the park more often than not across this twelve-game disaster.
Is it just because the Twins aren’t putting in much effort or what? There is the notion that the Twins have checked out and their mindset is focused on vacation. They had a brief glimmer of success in the second-half of the season, but any good they had going has gone in the toilet. For Joe Mauer, his career is winding down in unfortunate fashion. Mauer isn’t retiring following this season; however, his expiry date is getting closer, and I don’t foresee the Twins turning into a good baseball team within the next few years.
He’s been one of the more underrated players, certainly catchers, in baseball but Mauer doesn’t have the team accolades to back his career up with. The Tigers, albeit, underachievers will have more firepower over that time. The Royals will be a quality team in the coming years, and then the surging Indians have captivated the American League Central. That leaves the Twins at the bottom of the basement playing alongside the Chicago White Sox. Corey Kluber steps up to the mound this evening, a guy who has reasserted himself as one of the best hurlers in baseball. Pat Dean will try and step in the Indians’ way tonight.
Minnesota Twins vs. Cleveland Indians
Pat Dean (1-4, 6.24 ERA) vs. Corey Kluber (14-8, 3.07 ERA)
The Twins are seeing what they have with Pat Dean near the end of the year. All teams do this, well, teams that are not in postseason contention. They will pull up a rather unknown player from the minors to see if he is ready for the next season, or needs some more work. The Twins really have nothing to lose. The rest of their schedule is about as important as NFL teams playing in the preseason.
These are essentially “show me what you got” games, for the guys who are looking to stick on the roster next season. But there is more to it than that. The Twins simply don’t have enough quality pitching and need to go with him. He’s been making appearances throughout the season. Dean hasn’t really shown much. He’s coming in against the Indians with a 6.24 ERA and 1.59 WHIP. He didn’t make it past three innings in any of his last three outings, where he posted an ERA of 10.80 and 2.31 WHIP. He allowed 9 runs in only 7 innings pitched.
Kluber has found his groove, and it might be difficult to push him out of it. There have been terrific numbers across the board for Kluber. He hasn’t allowed more than 3 runs since July 3rd. In six of his last nine games he allowed 1 or no runs. His last three starts produced a 1.93 ERA. Note, two of those games were against some hefty hitters: the Rangers and Blue Jays. The Indians barely escaped last night. I think tonight they open things up on the scoreboard and don’t look back. Blow out alert in Cleveland.
PICK: INDIANS -1.5 (-125)