Cleveland Guardians vs. Minnesota Twins September 9 Betting Preview
The fight for the American League Central continues Friday as the Cleveland Guardians (70-65) square off with the Minnesota Twins (69-67) in the first of a pivotal three-game series. The Twins will host this one at Target Field with first pitch scheduled for 8:10 p.m.
After taking two of three from the Kansas City Royals, the Guardians enjoyed a much-needed day off on Thursday. While they won the first two games of their series with the Royals, they did drop the finale 2-1.
Emmanuel Clase took the loss after blowing just his third save of the season. He gave up two runs in two-thirds of an inning. Offensively, the Guardians had just a single run on eight hits.
Minnesota dropped three of four to the New York Yankees in their last series, although they did salvage the finale 4-3 on Thursday. Sonny Gray was fantastic in his start, allowing just two runs on seven hits over six innings of work.
Carlos Correa led the offense in the win with a home run and two runs batted in. Gary Sanchez also had a nice night going three for four with a run batted in and a run scored.
The Guardians are slight favorites playing on the road Friday. They are (-113) to win, while the Twins moneyline sits at (-105). The runline features Minnestoa +1.5 (-193), and the over/under for total runs is 7.5.
Trying to pick up the first game of the series, manager Terry Francona will hand the ball to righty Cal Quantrill. In 26 games, he is 11-5 with a 3.55 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, and he has 101 strikeouts in 152 innings.
Minnesota will counter with 29-year-old right Dylan Bundy. He is 8-6 in 24 games with a 4.34 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, and he has 84 strikeouts in 118.1 innings.
Guardians Looking For Breathing Room
At 70-65, the Guardians come into this series with a slim 1.5 game lead in the AL Central over both the Twins and the White Sox. With just 27 games left to play, every win matters and creating some breathing room in the standings would be huge for Cleveland right now.
Unfortunately, Cleveland is just not playing good ball right now. While they are 37-35 on the road this season, they are just 3-7 in their last 10 games overall.
Collectively, the Guardians don’t have great numbers against Dylan Bundy, albeit in a limited sample. They are just 10 for 43 against the righty.
The Guardians best hitter as of late has been Josh Naylor. In the last week, he is hitting .300/.364/.500 with a home run and two runs batted in.
Make Or Break Time For The Twins
To some extent, the Twins control their own destiny. With three teams separated by just 1.5 games, the Twins have every opportunity to move themselves to the front of the pack as 14 of their last 26 games are against either the Guardians or the White Sox.
In what could be his only year with the Twins if he opts out after the season, star shortstop Carlos Correa is trying to push his team to a playoff spot. He is currently hitting .271/.351/.445 with 18 home runs, 50 runs batted in and 59 runs scored.
Against Quantrill, both Max Kepler and Gio Urshela have homered off of the righty, but the overall success has still been limited for the Twins against him.
Huge Opportunity For Cleveland
The Guardians have a huge opportunity to help their chances of winning the division, but they are going to have to buck some trends to do so. Not only have they gone just 2-6 in their last eight games, but the Guardians are also just 7-13 in their last 20 games at Target Field.
Furthermore, the Twins have played well as of late at home, winning five of their last six games there. Overall, they are 40-29 when playing at home.
Still, if Cal Quantrill can stay sharp (he has given up just three runs in his last 16 innings), the Guardians should have a chance of stealing this first game on the road.
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