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Series preview: Cleveland Indians at Minnesota Twins

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After enjoying a thoroughly enjoyable run explosion last weekend, the Indians take on the Twins again, this time at Target Field in Minnesota.

Career Tribe killer Torii Hunter
Career Tribe killer Torii Hunter
Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports

After winning their past two series, including the bats finally waking up last weekend, the Indians go on the road for their longest trip of the year. The first stop on this four city tour will be in Minnesota to take on the Twins and their pitching staff they bludgeoned last weekend.

  • Friday 8:10 PM: Corey Kluber (R) (R) vs. Trevor May (R)
  • Saturday 7:10 PM: Josh Tomlin (R) vs. Tyler Duffey (R)
  • Sunday 2:10 PM: Carlos Carrasco (R) vs. Kyle Gibson (R)

The Upcoming Schedule: After departing Minnesota, the Indians will continue this road trip by playing three in Fenway, four in Yankee Stadium and then the makeup game in Wrigley before coming home to play the Brewers.

Division Watch: Angels at Royals, Tigers at Astros, Cubs at White Sox.

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Editor's Note: SB Nation's partner FanDuel is running a $1,000,000 fantasy football league for week 1. It's $5 to enter and first place wins $100,000. Click here to join.

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Team in a Box

Minnesota Twins

Offense

AL Rank

Pitching

AL Rank

2014 Record

57-57

Runs/Game

4.2

8th

Runs/Game

4.5

12th

AL Central

2nd

OBP

303

13th

H/9

9.6

15th

Last 10

3-7

SLG

399

8th

BB/9

2.5

1st

Last 30

13-17

Steals

52

9th

SO/9

6.1

15th

After last week's visit to Progressive, the Twins went home and took two of three from the Rangers to reach 0.500 again. They had a walkoff on Tuesday, an 11-1 thrashing on Wednesday, but lost 6-5 yesterday.

Projected Roster

Pos

Player

Bats

PA

BA

OPS

wRC+

C

Kurt Suzuki

R

343

231

598

62

1B

Joe Mauer

L

464

269

713

93

2B

Brian Dozier

R

499

245

808

121

3B

Trevor Plouffe

R

446

248

757

108

SS

Eduardo Escobar

S

276

243

665

81

LF

Eddie Rosario

L

299

276

744

101

CF

Aaron Hicks

S

242

290

777

114

RF

Torii Hunter

R

415

242

723

98

DH

Miguel Sano

R

141

284

949

162

OF

Shane Robinson

R

156

254

643

78

IF

Eduardo Nunez

R

149

264

704

92

C

Chris Herrmann

L

79

155

512

40

The only change from the start of the last series was to add backup catcher Chris Herrmann to the roster.

The Twins offense also did some damage last weekend against Tribe pitching, scoring 15 runs, including hitting five homers. Hicks was 5-12, Hunter was 3-7 and Rosario 4-9. The home runs came from Dozier, Hunter, Mauer, Suzuki and Rosario.

Projected Staff

Player

Throws

ERA

FIP

IP

WHIP

K/9

Kyle Gibson

R

3.75

4.11

141.2

1.31

6.5

Mike Pelfrey

R

3.70

3.94

129.0

1.40

4.3

Trevor May

R

4.09

3.17

94.2

1.35

8.1

Ervin Santana

R

5.66

5.58

47.2

1.47

5.3

Tyler Duffey

R

27.00

18.11

2.0

3.5

4.5

Glen Perkins

L

2.40

3.44

45.0

1.02

8.4

Blaine Boyer

R

2.98

4.35

48.1

1.32

4.7

Casey Fien

R

4.05

3.86

40.0

1.13

5.0

Brian Duensing

L

4.88

4.19

31.1

1.40

4.3

J.R. Graham

R

4.19

4.69

53.2

1.29

7.2

Ryan O'Rourke

L

3.38

3.18

13.1

0.98

12.2

Kevin Jepsen#

R

2.91

4.14

46.1

1.27

7.4

A.J. Achter

R

16.2

9.11

3.1

2.40

16.2

#includes stats with Rays

Phil Hughes landed on the DL after the Sunday start, so Tyler Duffey will be taking his place in the rotation this weekend. They also activated A.J. Achter during our last series. That means the Tribe won't face any of the starters from last week.

May was in the rotation until the first of July when he moved back into the pen. This will be his first start since then, he pitched two scoreless innings in Cleveland last weekend. He won his April 19 start but was ripped in his May 10 start against the Tribe. Duffey made his MLB debut in a spot start on August 5 and was hammered by the Blue Jays. He is a fifth round pick from 2012 who has a 2.53 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and 7.2 K/9 in 14 starts with Rochester (AAA) this year. Gibson has not been good lately, 7.39 ERA, 1.68 WHIP and 8.0 K/9 in last 5 starts, covering 28 innings. He has not faced Cleveland this season and has a 5.61 ERA, 1.48 WHIP and 3.9 K/9 in five career starts.

Both Achter and O'Rourke were the main sources of fanning the flames last weekend as the Tribe scored 6 runs off Achter and 3 off O'Rourke.

On the Shelf

  • SP Phil Hughes [15 day DL], possible late August return
  • SP Tom Milone [15 day DL], possible mid-August return
  • SP Ricky Nolasco [60 day DL], possible September return
  • P Ryan Pressley [60 day DL], possible late August return

Almanac

W

L

Pct

RS

RA

Pythag

2015

4

5

444

57

45

606

2014

11

8

579

90

63

658

Last 5*

47

45

511

402

403

499

Last 10*

95

89

516

793

780

508

All-Time

1114

974

534

9627

8960

533

*Does not include 2015 stats

Prediction: I'd love to call for a sweep, but will settle for a series win.