The Minnesota Twins and Cleveland Indians meet in a weekend matchup featuring two hopefuls in the AL Central. I think hope is a good work to use, as I think that’s about all they have to win the division. The Tigers, Royals, and White Sox I would say have a better chance of that happening, even though the Tigers and Royals have gotten off to rather slow starts. The White Sox have been the team to beat, starting the season off in a big way, currently with a record of 23-12. The White Sox are in New York at Yankee Stadium this weekend. The Twins are way behind the rest of the pack. Their effort on the road has been appalling.
They’ll have the opportunity to improve on their brutal mark of 2-15 tonight in Cleveland. It’s a little bit about pride not losing against the Twins at home for the Indians. Last night was an easy one for us, as the Red Sox blew the Astros out and we collected a winner on the OVER 8. David Price looked much better, while Dallas Keuchel continues to struggle. I knew one pitcher was going to pitch relatively well, with the other getting bombed again. Well, unfortunately for Keuchel he was the one to get bombed.
The Indians hope to get the weekend started off well against Ricky Nolasco. Nolasco has been one of those guys that you know the end is in sight. Nolasco is trying to hold onto his career, but it’s evident the door is closing on him. He’s been pitching at the Major League level since 2007 and hasn’t had a respectable year since 2013. That was the last year he held an ERA below 4.00. Since then he has just been attempting to stay afloat. Nothing has suggested lately that he is going to stay afloat in the Twins’ rotation. When you’re a team that is 8-25, it is pretty clear that the pitching staff isn’t in the best shape. The Tribe will counter with Josh Tomlin tonight. Let’s get right to the pick.
Minnesota Twins vs. Cleveland Indians
Ricky Nolasco (1-1, 4.70 ERA) vs. Josh Tomlin (5-0, 3.72 ERA)
The Twins are simply hoping to get to a point of respectability. Competing and winning anything is way out of the equation. We’re not even at the halfway mark of May, but 8-25 is some kind of hole to manage yourself out of. Even if they were .500, like the Indians, the talent level is not up to par on the roster. Nolasco has been getting rocked lately, as he has allowed 14 earned runs in the last three games and 16 in total. It equates to a 7.00 ERA. It isn’t just the starting pitching, the bullpen has been awful as well. Note that the Twins have given up an average of 8.3 runs in their last six games. So, it makes sense that they’ve gone 1-9 in their last ten games and 8-25 overall.
Josh Tomlin came on last season momentarily, finishing with a 3.02 ERA in ten starts. The problem there is that it was his first season with an ERA under 4.00. He also only had ten starts. Needless to say the larger sample size, over his career, would suggest perhaps those ten games were a fluke of sorts. Tomlin has been pitching since 2010 and in only one year did he have a quality year, and again, that was only ten starts. He’s posted an ERA of 5.19 in the last three games. Matching his productive level of 2015 is going to be difficult in my opinion. The Twins and Indians have played competitive baseball against one another. The last three games have been decided by 1 run. The Twins have to eventually win again, but I don’t trust the pitching at all. The OVER has gone 7-2-1 in their last ten games for good reason. In any event, there should be some runs scored, so I like a play on the OVER 8.5.
PICK: OVER 8.5 RUNS (-105)