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Cleveland Guardians vs. Minnesota Twins May 13 Betting Preview
Friday starts an AL Central showdown for the Cleveland Guardians (15-15) as they take on the division-leading Minnesota Twins (18-14) for the first of a three-game series. The Twins will host this one at Target Field with first pitch scheduled for 8:10 p.m.
After splitting the first two games of their series with the White Sox, the Guardians had their finale canceled on Wednesday due to a small COVID outbreak on Cleveland’s coaching staff.
With manager Terry Francona and others testing positive, it will be pitching coach Carl Willis serving as manager for the series against the Twins. To this point, no players have tested positive.
While Cleveland has had a rough week off the field, the Twins had a rough start to the week on the field. They were swept by the Houston Astros in a three-game series including a 5-0 loss in the finale Thursday.
Minnesota is the favorite playing at home Friday. They are -168 to win while the Guardians’ moneyline sits at +142. The runline features Cleveland +1.5 (-130), and the over/under for total runs is 8.5.
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Cleveland will send righty Aaron Civale to the mound Wednesday for the finale. This season, he is 1-2 with a 9.45 ERA, 1.70 WHIP, and has 22 strikeouts in 20 innings. In his last start, he picked up the win despite giving up four runs in 5.2 innings.
The Twins will counter with righty Sonny Gray. In three starts, Gray is 0-1 with a 3.48 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, and he has struck out 12 in 10.1 innings of work. He took a no-decision in his last start as he gave up no earned runs in four innings of work.
By The Numbers
Cleveland has the fifth-best offense in baseball currently as they are averaging 4.83 runs per game (5.06 on the road). The Twins rank 20th averaging 3.90 runs per game.
Defensively, the Twins have the advantage. They rank fourth in scoring defense allowing opponents an average of just 3.23 runs per game (2.81 at home). The Guardians rank 25th allowing 4.50 runs (4.78 on the road).
Guardians Trying To Chip Away At Division Deficit
Entering play Friday, the Guardians sit just two games back of the Twins for first in the division. Cleveland will hope to win on the road, where they are just 8-10, and try to chip away at the division deficit.
Leading the offense is third baseman Jose Ramirez. The 29-year-old is currently hitting .297/.402/.595 with a team-leading seven home runs, 30 runs batted in, and three stolen bases.
Keep an eye on Josh Naylor and Andres Gimenez in this one. Not only have they had good starts to the season, but they are a combined four for six with two home runs off of Gray in their careers.
Twins Look To Get Back On Track
After sweeping the Oakland A’s last weekend, the Twins faced a bit of a reality check as they watched the Astros celebrate three straight wins at Target Field. Now, with the division rival Guardians coming to town, the Twins will look to get back on track and back into the win column.
Unfortunately for Minnesota, prized free agent acquisition Carlos Correa is currently on the injured list. Despite a somewhat slow start to the season by Correa, the Twins miss his bat in the middle of the lineup.
They do have to be encouraged that Byron Buxton seems to be getting over his hip injury as he played in the finale Thursday. This season, Buxton is hitting .256/.318/.667 with nine home runs, 17 runs batted in, and 17 runs scored.
Buxton has also had success against Civale going two for four with a home run.
With Good Pitching, Guardians Can Have Success
Thus far, the Twins offense has been pedestrian at best. With that being said, Cleveland has a real shot at taking the opener if they can get a decent start from Aaron Civale.
The problem thus far is that Civale has seemed lost on the mound. In fact, he has given up a combined 16 earned runs in his last 12.2 innings combined.
This could be an opportunity to get his season back on track as he faces a Twins team that scored a combined three runs over three games against the Astros to start the week.
If Civale can find his groove, this should be a game that Cleveland can take. If he continues to struggle, though, the Guardians’ offense will have to try to bail him out against a tough Sonny Gray.
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