Trevor Bauer (2-0, 3.38 ERA) and Mike Pelfrey (2-0, 2.63 ERA) take the hill in the first of a three-game series between the Cleveland Indians (10-17) and the Minnesota Twins (16-13) at Progressive Field. Action begins at 7:10 p.m. ET on Friday, May. 8 and can be seen on FSN-N and STO.
Bauer is 0-2 with a 5.47 ERA in his appearances against the Twins, and goes up against a quality Minnesota offense which is batting .258 this season. Michael Brantley (.341, 13 Rs, 2 HRs, 14 RBIs, 4 SBs) went 1 for 4 yesterday with one run and one stolen base. Against the Indians, Pelfrey is 1-1 with a 2.67 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, and 20 strikeouts. Trevor Plouffe (.269, 14 Rs, 5 HRs, 17 RBIs) went 1 for 3 yesterday with one run.
Cleveland is a -145 favorite against Minnesota and the Over/Under (O/U) for this game is sitting at eight runs. The Indians have recorded an overall money line of -890 and have shown a weak performance as a favorite this season with a record of 6-9. Cleveland has had a discouraging season against division opponents, earning records of 3-8 and 6-13 as the favorite and SU respectively. The Indians have seen an uptick in scoring as of late, averaging 5.7 runs during the last 10 games compared to their season average of 4.4 runs per game. 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 6.5 runs per game, well above its season average of 4.9. Opponents have consistently been struck out by the Indians, who lead the AL in strikeouts per game with 9.3.
In games where it is the underdog, Minnesota has a 12-11 record and an overall money line of +612. They played solid baseball as the underdog 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 8.9 hits per game.
The Twins lead the season series, 2-1. The Indians have a 7-7 record against right-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when Pelfrey takes the mound. Bauer (RHP) will be on the hill against the Twins, who have a 7-8 record against right-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - CLE, O/U - Over
The Twins hold a split 11-11 record against AL Central teams, but the Indians are 6-14 in such matchups.
For the third time this season, the Indians registered at least two errors in a game.
When the Twins play into extra innings, they have a 2-0 record. The Indians are 0-1 when their games exceed nine innings.
The Twins are coming into this game after allowing two walks during their last outing. The Indians have a 3-4 record when opponents give up that many walks or fewer.
When they outhit their opponents, the Indians are 8-2. The Twins have a 12-0 record when outhitting opponents.
Ranking 15th in runs, Cleveland has earned 119 this season. Minnesota ranks sixth with 133 runs.
Ranking 19th, Minnesota is in the bottom half of the league in walks, notching 78 this season. Cleveland ranks in the top 10 at eighth with 95.
The Indians are 9-8 in games where they hit one or more home runs. The Twins are 11-3 when they hit at least one homer.