In the tough AL Central division, no game can be taken for granted. The Cleveland Indians sit just 2.5 games out of the division lead and know that this four game series against the Minnesota Twins is a huge opportunity. It’s time to continue our MLB odds series and make an Indians-Twins prediction and pick.
Minnesota has been massively disappointing this year, residing in the basement of the AL Central in a year that they had postseason expectations. Cleveland knows this is a great series to gain some ground in the division race while the Twins would love to play spoiler.
First, let’s see how the sportsbooks have set the odds for tonight’s game.
MLB Odds: Indians-Twins Odds
Cleveland Indians ML (+166)
Minnesota Twins ML (-180)
Over 9 runs (-117)
Under 9 runs (-103)
Why The Indians Could Cover The Spread
In order for the Indians to take home a win tonight, the bats will have to come alive. That’s a big ask with Jose Berrios on the mound for the Twins, but it is certainly a possibility. Cleveland sports an undeniably talented lineup, at least in some spots. The offense has been ice cold as of late and a breakout is absolutely due. Tagging Berrios is a tough ask, but a couple early runs to stay afloat until the late innings isn’t a crazy expectation.
While the Twins clearly have the pitching advantage in this game, there is still hope in that area for Cleveland. Indians starter JC Mejia does not work deep into games, so the bullpen will get plenty of work. The Cleveland bullpen has been great as of late, so going to the relievers will almost certainly provide an upgrade over Mejia.
Why The Twins Could Cover The Spread
There are plenty of reasons why Minnesota can take home a win tonight, but it starts with the pitching staff. Ace Jose Berrios will take the hill for the Twins, something that usually works out well.
Berrios has been as solid as a rock lately. He’s worked deep into each of his last three games, pitching well in all of them. The Cleveland batters who have faced him over the course of his career have struggled mightily. He is a far superior pitcher to Mejia, and should provide a solid performance at the very least.
The Twins bullpen is another encouraging element to this. Berrios tends to get through six or seven innings, and the Minnesota bullpen improves with every spot up to the closer. If Berrios can make it through seven, the Indians will be forced to face the best bullpen arms from Minnesota, both of whom have been reliable pitchers.
Another factor working in Berrios’ favor is the incompetence of the Cleveland offense when playing on the road. The Indians strike out more and score less when they aren’t at home.
With everything in the pitching category going Minnesota’s way, let’s not forget about the bats. Third baseman Josh Donaldson is questionable to return to the lineup tonight, but his presence probably isn’t necessary. Opposing pitcher JC Mejia is extremely inexperienced as a starter and is yet to have a solid start in the MLB. The Twins have been scorching hot at the plate lately, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see Mejia make an early exit.
Final Indians-Twins Prediction & Pick
This one is a pretty open and shut case. The Twins have the advantage in almost every category for tonight’s game, and there’s no sense in picking against them. Berrios is a reliable starter on the hill, and with a hot lineup behind him, this game is the Twins’ to lose.
FINAL PICK: Minnesota Twins ML (-180)