The Cleveland Guardians (25-30) visit the Minnesota Twins (29-27) for the first of a four-game series between the division rivals. First pitch commences Thursday at 7:40 p.m. ET. The Guardians lead the regular season series after taking two of three in Cleveland last month. Below we continue our MLB odds series with a Guardians-Twins prediction, pick, and how to watch.
Here are the Guardians-Twins MLB odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
MLB Odds: Guardians-Twins Odds
Cleveland Guardians: +1.5 (-170)
Minnesota Twins: -1.5 (+140)
Over: 8 (-114)
Under: 8 (-106)
How To Watch Guardians vs. Twins
TV: Bally Sports
Time: 7:40 p.m. ET/ 4:40 p.m. PT
*See how to watch Guardians-Twins LIVE with fuboTV (click for a free trial)*
Why The Guardians Could Cover The Spread
Last 10: 5-5 (Third in the AL Central)
Run Line Record: 24-31 (44%)
Over Record: 19-34-2 (36%)
Cleveland has been a relative disappointment thus far after breaking onto the scene with a division title last season. However, they may finally be hitting their stride after winning back-to-back series against the Cardinals and Orioles. Considering how poor the Central division has been, the Guardians still sit firmly in the mix just 3.5 games back of the Twins. The Guardians' biggest issues lie on the offensive end where they average the second-fewest runs per game. They continue to lack power (last in home run rate and isolated power) but their lack of base runners is the biggest difference from last year to this season. While a matchup with Minnesota's second-ranked team ERA and WHIP won't help their cause, the Guardians showed signs of life in their most recent series – scoring 22 runs in three games against the Orioles.
Top prospect Tanner Bibee (1-1) makes his seventh career big-league start for the Guardians tonight. The 24-year-old flamethrower has been as-advertised through six starts thanks to a 2.88 ERA and 1.08 WHIP. Aside from a rough start against the Tigers, Bibee has been just what the Cleveland doctors ordered. The righty carries a ton of positive momentum into tonight's start given his last three outings. Since the aforementioned blow-up against Detroit, Bibee has gone at least six innings and hasn't allowed more than two runs in any of his subsequent three starts. With Minnesota striking out at the highest rate in the majors, Bibee is in line for a strong outing again tonight.
Despite their offensive struggles, Cleveland's corner infielders enter tonight red-hot. Over their last six games, Jose Ramirez holds a .345 average while Josh Naylor is batting .450 with a team-leading 15 total bases. Naylor is coming off a monster performance in yesterday's win over the Orioles where he finished 4/5 with a home run, two doubles, and six RBI.
Why The Twins Could Cover The Spread
Last 10: 4-6 (First in the AL Central)
Run Line Record: 29-27 (52%)
Over Record: 24-29-3 (45%)
Minnesota fell off after a strong April that saw them go 16-12. Despite a 12-15 record in May, the Twins maintain a slim lead in the division. Their underlying numbers remain solid despite the lack of recent wins as they hold the fourth-highest run differential in the American League. The Twins feature one of the best rotations in baseball that ranks second in both ERA and WHIP. Although their offense fell off slightly in May, they still average the 14th-most runs per game, walk at the fifth-highest rate, and homer at the eighth-highest rate. That said, Minnesota struggled to generate any sort of offense in their earlier bout with the Guardians – scoring just five runs in three games. Consequently, they'll need their offense to regain its early-season form if they want to cover as 1.5-run favorites tonight.
Righty Pablo Lopez (3-3) makes his 12th start of the season for the Twins tonight. The 27-year-old parlayed a stellar final season in Miami into a $73.5 million dollar contract with Minnesota this offseason but the results have been mixed thus far. He started the season strong with four starts allowing fewer than three runs but since has given up at least four runs in four of his last seven outings. However, Lopez still holds a solid expected ERA of 3.53, and his 1.13 WHIP is an improvement from last year. Coupled with a career-high 11.1 K/9, Lopez could enjoy a strong outing tonight if he can cut down on the walks.
Despite recent struggles from Byron Buxton and Carlos Correa, the Twins still pose a threat to put up runs thanks to their outfield production. Both Willi Castro and Alex Kirilloff have been red-hot over the last week. Both mid-20-year-olds are hitting over .410 over the last week – with Castro pacing the squad with 14 total bases. Kirilloff, in particular, could be in line for a big night considering he owns a .328 average against righties.
Final Guardians-Twins Prediction & Pick
Tonight has all the makings of a Tanner Bibee gem considering his nasty stuff and Minnesota's abysmal strikeout rate. Ride the recently-surging Cleveland offense against a struggling Pablo Lopez.
Final Guardians-Twins Prediction & Pick: Cleveland Guardians +1.5 (-170)