Corey Kluber (8-14, 3.44 ERA), attemping to pick up his 200th strikeout of the season, starts for the Cleveland Indians (74-75) as they square off against Phil Hughes (10-9, 4.58 ERA) and the Minnesota Twins (77-73) in the second of a three-game series at Target Field. The Twins won the last game 3-1 and Minnesota leads the series 1-0. Action begins at 8:10 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Sep. 23 and can be seen on STOh and FSN.
Hughes pitched 2.0 innings in his last outing, surrendering one run and striking out one in a 5-2 defeat to the Angels. Brian Dozier (.238, 98 Rs, 27 HRs, 71 RBIs, 11 SBs) had another good game yesterday, going 2 for 4 with one run and one RBI. Kluber went 4.0 innings, surrendering two runs (one unearned) and striking out five in an 8-4 defeat to the Royals in his most recent start. Francisco Lindor (.315, 43 Rs, 10 HRs, 44 RBIs, 8 SBs) went 1 for 4 yesterday.
Cleveland takes on Minnesota as a -128 favorite. The Over/Under (O/U) for the matchup is sitting at seven runs. The Twins have an overall money line of +1,854 and a record as the underdog of 58-58. Within its division, Minnesota has a 9-6 as the underdog and a 33-30 SU.
In games where it is the favorite, Cleveland has a 50-45 record and an overall money line of -1,250. They have played poorly as the favorite with an 18-27 record against fellow AL Central members, and a 6-4 record SU. Offensively, the Indians have really picked up the pace in the last 10 games. They have exceeded their season average of 4.2 runs per game by averaging 5.4 during that stretch. The Indians are tough outs for opponents, ranking fifth in the AL with 8.7 hits per game. Cleveland is excellent at not striking out with just 7.1 per game, ranking fifth in the AL. Cleveland's pitching staff has set the standard for its league, with an AL-low 3.41 ERA on the road. When it comes to preventing batters from getting on base, the Indians are one of the best in the league with a WHIP of 1.20 for the season. The Indians have established a reputation of overwhelming hitters with an AL-best 8.8 strikeouts per game.
The Twins lead the season series, 8-5. The Twins have a 49-47 record against right-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when Kluber takes the mound. Hughes (RHP) will be on the hill against the Indians, who have a 52-44 record against right-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - Cle, O/U - Over
The Twins hold a 34-30 record this season against teams in the AL Central Division. The Indians' record in these matchups is 28-38.
The Twins are coming into this game after allowing one walk during their last outing. The Indians have a 9-19 record when opponents give up that many walks or fewer.
When they are outhit, the Indians are 10-55. The Twins have a 15-61 record when opponents outhit them.
Cleveland ranks near the bottom of the league at 25th when it comes to home runs, hitting 127 this season. Minnesota ranks in the bottom half at 16th with 146.
Ranking 13th, Minnesota is in the top half of the league in hits, notching 8.40 per game. Cleveland ranks in the top five at fifth with 8.72.
Ranking 23rd, Minnesota is near the bottom of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.710). Cleveland ranks in the top half at 15th with an OPS of .727.
When the Indians allow at least one home run, they are 43-59, well-matched with the Twins who are 41-55 when allowing at least one homer.