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Series preview: Cleveland Indians at Minnesota Twins

Team Jekyll and Hyde concludes their road schedule in 2014 with a trip to Minnesota to take on the Twins for the final time this year.

Brian Dozier turning two
Brian Dozier turning two
Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The Tribe tries to salvage a winning record on this road trip as they visit Minnesota to take on the Twins. They will need to win two of three to achieve a .500 record on this trip and sweep the Twins to finish the trip at 6-4. The sweep would also likely keep their faint, faint, faint playoff hopes alive.

  • Friday's game is at 8:10 PM (Bauer vs. Hughes)
  • Saturday's game is at 7:10 PM (House vs. May)
  • Sunday's game is at 2:10 PM (Kluber vs. Milone)

The season ending home stand starts on Monday as the Kansas City Royals visit for three. After a day off on Thursday, the final 2014 foe will visit, the Tampa Bay Rays next weekend.

Playoff Watch: Tigers at Royals, Phillies at A's, Mariners at Astros, Blue Jays at Yankees.

Team in a Box

Minnesota Twins

Offense

AL Rank

Pitching

AL Rank

2013 Record

65-87

Runs/Game

4.4

5th

Runs/Game

4.8

14th

AL Central

5th

OBP

323

4th

H/9

10.0

15th

Last 10

4-6

SLG

390

7th

BB/9

2.6

2nd

Last 30

10-20

Steals

95

6th

SO/9

6.5

15th

The Indians played the Twins just over a week ago, taking two of three, outscoring them 13-6, with Kluber and House notching the wins and Bauer taking the loss in the opener.

The Twins then lost two of three in Chicago, but just took two of three from the Tigers at home. Their offense awoke in the last two series, scoring 31 runs in the process. Of course, the Achilles heel of the team, the pitching staff, also allowed 31 runs.

On the season, the Tribe has taken nine of the sixteen matchups, scoring 72, while allowing just 53, good enough for a 0.637 Pythag.

Projected Roster

Pos

Player

Bats

PA

BA

OPS

C

Kurt Suzuki

R

477

292

737

1B

Joe Mauer

L

486

274

728

2B

Brian Dozier

R

561

237

749

3B

Trevor Plouffe

R

558

252

747

SS

Eduardo Escobar

S

440

273

716

LF

Jordan Schafer

L

114

298

751

CF

Danny Santana

S

388

324

844

RF

Oswaldo Arcia

L

369

231

760

DH

Kennys Vargas

S

195

292

789

C

Eric Fryer

R

76

214

591

OF

Chris Parmelee

L

262

255

692

OF

Eduardo Nunez

R

204

251

658

C

Josmil Pinto

R

181

218

719

IF

Doug Bernier*

R

466

280

744

OF

Chris Herrmann

L

55

173

391

OF

Aaron Hicks

S

193

214

617

*Stats in AAA

Both Escobar and Arcia are day to day, so Nunez and Parmalee likely will get some burn. Schafer also played for the Braves for the early part of this season and was awful, like 468 OPS in 93 PA awful. I've only listed his Twins stats above as he has played very well since coming over.

That offensive outburst in the past week includes a nice 285/339/480 hitting line. The guys doing the most damage are Arcia, Suzuki, Santana and Plouffe, who all have an OPS over 1000 in the past week. Arcia and Plouufe both have two homers in that span, out of the six they hit in those six games. Dozier and Vargas have been the coldest regulars, but Dozier awoke a bit against the Tigers in his last game.

Projected Staff

Player

Throws

ERA

IP

WHIP

K/9

Phil Hughes

R

3.56

194.2

1.140

8.1

Kyle Gibson

R

4.64

165.0

1.339

5.1

Ricky Nolasco

R

5.34

148.1

1.510

6.3

Tommy Milone#

L

4.23

117.0

1.402

5.6

Trevor May

R

7.71

35.0

1.857

8.7

Glen Perkins

L

3.65

61.2

1.184

9.6

Jared Burton

R

4.55

61.1

1.304

6.3

Brian Duensing

L

3.46

52.0

1.365

5.5

Casey Fien

R

3.94

61.2

1.151

7.3

Anthony Swarzak

R

4.42

77.1

1.422

5.1

Casey Thielbar

L

3.45

47.0

1.404

6.5

Ryan Pressly

R

2.52

25.0

1.360

5.0

Aaron Thompson*

L

3.98

52.0

1.442

8.8

Logan Darnell

L

8.14

21.0

1.667

8.6

Michael Tonkin

R

4.76

17.0

1.471

7.9

A.J. Achter*

R

2.38

72.0

0.944

8.6

Lestor Oliveros**

R

1.64

65.2

1.081

3.7

#includes stats with A's; *stats in AAA; **combined stats from AA/AAA

Hughes has been very effective in his past five starts. He has a 2.70 ERA, 0.845 WHIP (only 1 walk) and 8.8 K/9. He beat the Indians in one of those starts, back on August 21, allowing just one run in seven innings and fanning eight. That is his lone start against the Tribe this year.

May beat the Indians in the last series on September 9, giving up two runs in five innings, walking four and striking out three. He struck out 10 in his last start against the White Sox.

Milone hasn't pitched since September 2 when he didn't get out of the fourth against the White Sox. He has a 7.40 ERA since coming over from the A's. He had two excellent starts versus the Tribe last year.

It looks like we will miss closer Perkins as he had an MRI on his forearm/elbow/biceps yesterday. Burton or Fien likely will get the ninth inning duties. Swarzak and Perkins have given up 12 of the Twins past 31 runs.

On the Shelf

  • SP Mike Pelfrey [60 day DL], out for season

Almanac

W

L

Pct

RS

RA

Pythag

2014

9

7

563

72

53

637

2013

13

6

684

96

67

659

Last 5*

44

47

484

378

425

447

Last 10*

91

93

495

789

814

486

All-Time

1108

968

534

9552

8905

532

*Does not include 2014 stats