With the Chicago White Sox being hit hard by injuries and struggling mightily of late, it’s a good time for the Cleveland Guardians and Minnesota Twins to gain ground in the AL Central Division. They open a series in the Twin Cities on Thursday with the Twins favored on the MLB odds.
How to Bet Indians at Twins MLB Odds & TV Info
- When: Thursday, 8:10 PM ET
- Where: Target Field
- Probable pitchers (away/home): Jean Carlos Mejia/Jose Berrios
- TV: MLB Extra Innings
- Stream/gameday audio: ESPN+; https://www.mlb.com/live-stream-games/
Why Bet on Cleveland?
Cleveland opened this week splitting two at the Cubs and was off Wednesday. Eddie Rosario is riding a 10-game hit streak, batting .352 in that stretch. He has raised his average from .203 to .254 over the last 29 games overall. Rosario is traditionally a slow starter and hit just .241 in April but .294 in May and over .300 in June.
Outfielder/DH Franmil Reyes began a minor league rehab assignment with Triple-A Columbus earlier this week. The 25-year-old was originally slated to miss about 5-7 weeks with an internal oblique strain, but could dramatically beat that timetable. He suffered the injury back on May 22. Catcher Roberto Perez began a rehab assignment at Triple-A on Wednesday.
It’s Jean Carlos Mejia (1-2) on the mound for the Indians. Mejia took the loss in last Friday’s 11-10 defeat at the hands of the Pirates, coughing up six runs on seven hits over five innings. He allowed five runs before getting his second out in the first inning but struck out the final two batters of that inning and limited the Pirates to one run over the next four frames, giving the Indians a chance to get back into the game.
It ended up being the rookie right-hander’s longest outing so far in the majors. Mejia’s has 6.11 ERA, 3.67 FIP, 1.25 WHIP and 16:5 K:BB through 17.2 innings. Injuries elsewhere will keep him in the rotation for now. The latest injury to a top Indians starter happened this week with Aaron Civale, who was lifted from Monday’s start against the Cubs in the fifth inning. He will see a hand specialist. Fellow starters Shane Bieber (reigning AL Cy Young winner) and Zach Plesac are also hurt.
Why Bet on Minnesota?Minnesota slugger Nelson Cruz has reached base safely in 17-straight games, batting .400 (24-for-60) with a .486 on-base percentage in that span. His last longer on-base streak was a 24-game run from April 9-May 6, 2017. Alex Kirilloff has a hit in 13 of his last 15 games, batting .315 (17-for-54) in that span. He also has five RBI in his last five games, after recording just one in his previous five.
The Twins got terrible injury news this week when dynamic outfielder Byron Buxton was hit by a pitch Monday and fractured his left hand. He will miss several weeks. In just his third game since being activated from the injured list following his recovery from a hip strain, Buxton was struck on the left hand by a 93.7 mph fastball from Reds right-hander Tyler Mahle during the fourth inning. Buxton is hitting .369/.409/.767 with 10 homers, 11 doubles and five steals in 27 games so far this season.
The Twins have cycled through various options in Buxton’s absence this year, although two in-house alternatives — Jake Cave and Rob Refsnyder — are on the injured list themselves at the moment. Prospect Gilberto Celestino was called up to take Buxton’s roster spot and could play every day in center field for the time being.
It’s former All-Star right-hander Jose Berrios (7-2) on the mound here. Berrios pitched six innings and allowed three runs last Friday in a no-decision versus the Rangers. Berrios got off to a shaky start, allowing three hits and a walk as Texas scored two runs in the first inning. He settled in well after that, although he wasn’t able to pick up a win, which has now been the case for his last three starts.
Berrios has a 3.56 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and 87:21 K:BB across 83.1 innings this year. He’s gone 4-0 with a 3.13 ERA in five starts over the past month, striking out 32 batters while walking just six in 31 2/3 innings. If the Twins become sellers ahead of the trade deadline, Berrios could bring back a nice haul if they were to make him available. Berrios has one final year of arbitration eligibility remaining before hitting free agency in the 2022-23 offseason.
Berrios has faced the Indians once this season, on April 26 at Progressive Field. He took a no-decision, yielding two runs on five hits, with one walk and three strikeouts in 5.2 innings of work; Twins lost, 5-3, in 10 innings. He is 5-3 with a 3.91 ERA in 14 career starts vs. Cleveland.
- Indians are 7-1 in their last 8 games following a loss.
- Twins are 4-9 in their last 13 games following an off day.
- Indians are 0-6 in the last 6 meetings in Minnesota.
- Under is 35-14-2 in the last 51 meetings in Minnesota.
- Over is 7-0-1 in the last 8 meetings.
Expert MLB Prediction
Twins 5, Indians 3
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