Mike Pelfrey (0-0, 7.20 ERA) and Corey Kluber (0-1, 2.63 ERA) take the hill in the first of a three-game series between the Minnesota Twins (3-6) and the Cleveland Indians (3-5) at Target Field. Action begins at 8:10 p.m. ET on Friday, Apr. 17 and can be seen on STO and FSN-N.
Pelfrey pitched 5.0 innings in his last outing, surrendering four runs, striking out two and walking one in a 5-4 defeat to the White Sox. Brian Dozier (.229 ) went 1 for 4 yesterday with one run. Against the Twins, Kluber is 4-2 with a 4.01 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, and 62 strikeouts. Jerry Sands (.412 ) has been successful at the plate to the start the season for the Indians, going 2 for 4 Wednesday with one run.
Cleveland takes on Minnesota as a -135 favorite. The Over/Under (O/U) for the matchup is sitting at seven runs. The Twins have an overall money line of -388 and a record as the underdog of 2-6.
In games where it is the favorite, Cleveland has a 2-3 record and an overall money line of -253. They have played poorly as the favorite with a 1-3 record against AL Central opponents, and a 3-5 record SU. Offensively, the Indians have really picked up the pace in division games. They have exceeded their season average of 3.4 runs per game by averaging 4.0 in those contests. Cleveland is excellent at not striking out n the road with just 7.3 per game, ranking fourth in the AL. Cleveland's pitching staff has set the standard for its league, with an AL-low 1.04 ERA on the road. When it comes to preventing batters from getting hits, the Indians are the best in the AL on the road with an average of 2.7 hits allowed per away game. The Indians have established a reputation of overwhelming hitters with an AL-best 10.2 strikeouts per game.
Predictions: SU Winner - CLE, O/U - Under
The Twins and Indians both hold losing records against teams in the AL Central. The Twins sit at 3-6 in these matchups and the Indians have a 1-4 record.
Minnesota has lost all of its games (0-3) when leading after 7 innings. However, Cleveland has won 33% (1-2) of its games when taking a late lead.
When they are outhit, the Indians are 0-4. The Twins have a 1-6 record when opponents outhit them.
Minnesota and Cleveland both rank near the bottom of the league in home runs. Minnesota sits at 25th with five home runs this season and Cleveland ranks 27th with four.
Ranking 15th, Minnesota is in the top half of the league in hits, notching 6.38 per game. Cleveland ranks in the top 10 at 10th with 7.38.
Ranking 30th, Minnesota is at the bottom of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.584). Cleveland ranks near the bottom at 27th with an OPS of .611.
When the Indians allow at least one home run, they are 1-4, well-matched with the Twins who are 1-5 when allowing at least one homer.