Who would’ve thought- a little over a month into the season, it’s the Guardians looking up in the standings at the Twins, the only AL Central team currently over .500. It’s still early, but this matchup could provide us a preview of the division title race so let’s dig into my prediction, which is for the Twins to win and secure the moneyline of -120 while u8 runs hits as well.
Twins Vs. Guardians Prediction
The Twins are off to a really solid start this year. They’ve already broken their two-decade long streak of losing the season series to the Yankees, and are perched comfortably atop the always-competitive AL Central.
Sonny Gray, the man on the mound for this matchup, has been a huge part of that success. After a strong first year in Minnesota, he’s taken it to the next level this year as he has the best ERA in the league at 0.77, a K/9 of over 10, and has already amassed 2 WAR.
Truly, in a feature contrary to the identity of some of the franchise’s best teams, the entire pitching staff has been part of Minnesota’s hot start, as they have the third best ERA and second best WHIP to this point.
He’ll be facing off against rookie Logan Allen, who has impressed across his first couple of starts, as he’s unfortunate to be just 1-1 despite putting up an ERA of 2.45 thus far. After being tabbed by most as a preseason division favorite, Cleveland has had one of the worst offenses in the entire MLB, and has been forced to lean heavily on their stable of arms. So, Allen will need to continue to perform well to help his team pick up a win in this one.
With the high-quality pitching matchup, and two below-average offenses, the under is not a particularly hard call in this one and is outstanding value at just -120. The moneyline is a bit tougher, only because this game is in Cleveland; Minnesota has the better starter, perhaps the best in baseball over the past month, and while not a juggernaut, their offense is much more lively than Cleveland’s positively anemic unit.
Twins Vs. Guardians Prediction: Twins ML (-120), u8 runs (-120)
Twins Vs. Guardians Odds
The Twins are road favorites, with a moneyline of -120 compared to even money for the Guardians. They’re +140 to cover a spread of -1.5, while the Guards’ cover is -165. For a run scoring total of 8, the over is even money while the under is -120.
A quick breakdown of the odds text – can be as simple as stating out what the odds are.
Twins Vs. Guardians Key Matchups
Logan Allen Vs. Twins Righties
Minnesota has a very righty-heavy lineup, which could be a challenge for the left-handed Allen. He hasn’t displayed a significant platoon split just yet, but of course the sample size is still small, and any young lefty could definitely have a tough time with strong right-handed bats.
Outfielders Max Kepler and Joey Gallo, the two lefties in the lineup, may get the day off against Allen, something their teams have done in the past against left-handers. That being said, Minnesota does not have a lot of outfield options with Byron Buxton set as a DH for now, so one or both will probably still crack the lineup.
Jorge Polanco is a switch-hitter but actually struggles with lefties, so he could be someone for Allen to go after. Beyond those options, however, it’s all righties, including the aforementioned Buxton who is off to a ripping-hot start after making his first All Star game appearance last year.
Carlos Correa has struggled a bit so far with an OPS well below .700, after an offseason of turmoil regarding his long-term fitness and future team. Still, he’s as dangerous a hitter as any, and could provide tough at bats against the left-hander.
Sonny Gray Vs. Cleveland’s Stars
It’s worth noting that Gray should have the advantage here- he’s off to a much better start than even the Guardians’ best bats. That being said, there’s still some great hitters here, and with a good starter on the other side too, one wrong pitch to a solid hitter could be problematic.
Here’s a non-shocker; José Ramirez has been more or less the sole bright spot in the Cleveland lineup, he hasn’t been up to his usual MVP-level standard quite yet but he has a very respectable OPS of .828, and comfortably leads the team in total bases.
Mike Zunino has been pretty solid at the plate to start his first season in Cleveland, as he’s behind only Ramirez in OPS amongst Guardians full-time starters. Conversely, they’ve gotten less than they may have hoped out of Josh Naylor and newcomer Josh Bell thus far, as both have struggled at the plate. Steven Kwan continues to get on base pretty well, but he offers basically no power, as he has just four extra base hits, none of which are homers.
On top of all of the offensive struggles, Gray has been one of the best in the business this far, and my belief that he can mow down even the top of the Guardians lineup is a big reason I’m a fan of both the Twins -120 moneyline and under 8 runs in my Twins vs. Guardians prediction.
Twins Vs. Guardians Starting Lineups
Twins Starting Lineup
RF M. Kepler L
SS C. Correa R
DH B. Buxton R
2B J. Polanco S
1B D. Solano R
3B J. Miranda R
LF J. Gallo L
C C. Vazquez R
CF M. Taylor R
Guardians Starting Lineup
LF S. Kwan L
SS A. Rosario R
3B J. Ramirez S
1B J. Naylor L
DH J. Bell S
2B A. Gimenez L
C M. Zunino R
RF W. Brennan L
CF M. Straw R