Bruce Chen (0-0, 0.00 ERA) and Phil Hughes (1-4, 5.02 ERA) are on the hill in the second of a three-game series between the Cleveland Indians (10-18) and the Minnesota Twins (17-13) at Progressive Field. The Twins won the last game 9-3 and Minnesota leads the series 1-0. Action begins at 4:10 p.m. ET on Saturday, May. 9 and can be seen on FSN-N and STO.
Chen is 5-8 with a 5.62 ERA in his appearances against the Twins, and goes up against a quality Minnesota offense which is batting .261 this season. Michael Brantley (.337, 14 Rs, 3 HRs, 15 RBIs, 4 SBs) went 1 for 4 yesterday with one run, one home run, and one RBI. Against the Indians, Hughes is 4-2 with a 3.14 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, and 42 strikeouts. Torii Hunter (.280, 14 Rs, 4 HRs, 18 RBIs, 1 SB) has been successful at the plate, going 4 for 4 yesterday with two runs, one home run, and four RBIs.
Minnesota is a narrow -106 favorite over Cleveland. The Over/Under (O/U) is sitting at nine runs for this matchup. The Indians have recorded an overall money line of -1,003 and have shown a weak performance as an underdog this season with a record of 4-7. Cleveland has had a discouraging season against division opponents, earning records of 3-5 and 6-14 as the underdog and SU respectively. Cleveland leads the whole AL in walks at home, earning an average of 4.1 per game. Cleveland's pitching staff has been doing poorly against opposing offenses during the last 10 games, allowing an average of 6.4 runs per game, well above its season average of 5.0. Opponents have consistently been struck out by the Indians, who lead the AL in strikeouts per game with 9.3.
In the other locker room, Minnesota is coming in with an overall money line of +612 and an impressive record of 4-2 as the favorite. They played solid baseball as the favorite over their last 10 games with a 4-1 record, and an 8-2 record SU. Offensively, the Twins have really picked up the pace in the last 10 games. They have exceeded their season average of 4.6 runs per game by averaging 6.9 during that stretch. The Twins are tough outs for opponents, ranking fifth in the AL with 8.8 hits per game.
The Twins lead the season series, 3-1. The Indians have a 7-8 record against right-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when Hughes takes the mound. Chen (LHP) will be on the hill against the Twins, who have a very good 9-5 record against left-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - MIN, O/U - Over
The Indians currently sit below .500 against the AL Central Division at 6-15, and the Twins have a 12-11 record.
The Twins are 2-0 in games that go into extra innings. Meanwhile, the Indians are 0-1 in such matchups.
The Minnesota batters brought in a solid 13 hits last game. Cleveland has a record of 0-8 when their opponents get that many hits or more.
When they are outhit, the Indians are 2-14. The Twins have a 3-12 record when opponents outhit them.
Ranking 21st in home runs, Minnesota has hit 21 this season. Cleveland ranks 11th with 28 home runs.
Ranking ninth, Cleveland is in the top 10 of the league in hits, notching 8.19 per game. Minnesota ranks in the top five at fifth with 8.76.
Ranking 18th, Minnesota is in the bottom half of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.697). Cleveland ranks in the top half at 15th with an OPS of .704.
The Twins are 8-10 in games where they allow one or more home runs. The Indians are 8-13 when they allow at least one homer.