clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Cleveland Indians vs. Minnesota Twins series preview

New, 27 comments

This is familiar

Minnesota Twins v Boston Red Sox Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

That’s now three series victories in a row for the Cleveland Indians. They’ll look to make it four with another one against the Minnesota Twins. If you’ll recall, the Indians recently took two of three from the Twins at Target Field just a week ago.

Looking ahead

After the Twins finish up this series against the Indians, they’ll head to Comerica Park to face the Detroit Tigers for three games before heading home to welcome the Pittsburgh Pirates for two games. For Cleveland, on the other hand, after this four-game set with the Twins, the Indians will head to Guaranteed Rate Field to face off against the Chicago White Sox for three games before flying to Great American Ball Park to play the Cincinnati Reds for three games.

Pitching match-ups

Monday, August 6 7:10 p.m. ET: Kyle Gibson (RHP) v. Trevor Bauer (RHP)

A rematch of last Tuesday. Bauer out-dueled Gibson on that day, and they’ll suit up for round two to start this new series. Overall, Gibson is having a great year. Across 135.0 innings, Gibson has allowed 52 earned runs while walking 53 and striking out 132 (which translates to an ERA+ of 125). Last week against the Tribe, Gibson went 6.0 innings and allowed 3 earned runs on 5 hits while walking 3 and striking out 6.

Kyle Gibson has been good this year, but Trevor Bauer has been immensely better. Across 153.2 innings, Bauer has allowed 40 earned runs while walking 53 and striking out 195 (which translates to an ERA+ of 190). Last week against the Twins, Bauer went 6.1 innings and allowed 2 earned runs on 4 hits while walking 4 and striking out 3 (first time this season he walked more batters than he struck out).

Tuesday, August 7 7:10 p.m. ET: Adalberto Mejia (LHP) v. Carlos Carrasco (RHP)

Adalberto Mejia has been up and down for the Twins this season but it looks like he is now a permanent fixture in the rotation. In his limited time this season, he’s been incredible; across 17.1 innings, Mejia has allowed 5 earned runs while walking 8 and striking out 10 (which translates to an ERA+ of 170). He pitched against Cleveland last week instead of Lance Lynn, who was traded mid-series. In that game, Mejia went 5.0 innings and allowed zero earned runs on 1 hit while walking 3 and striking out 2.

Cookie has looked good for about a month plus now. There was a period earlier in the season where he was struggling, but since coming back from his DL stint, he’s been great. Overall on the season, Carrasco has pitched 123.0 innings and has allowed 50 earned runs while walking 26 and striking out 138 (which translates to an ERA+ of 122). He shutout the Twins last week for 7.1 innings on 4 hits while walking no one and striking out 10.

Wednesday, August 8 7:10 p.m. ET: Jake Odorizzi (RHP) v. Mike Clevinger (RHP)

Jake Odorizzi hasn’t had a great season, but this really shouldn’t be a surprise. He’s been declining steadily since his best season in 2015. This is his first year with the Twins, but the change of scenery hasn’t helped. Across 115.1 innings, Odorizzi has allowed 59 earned runs while walking 47 and striking out 120 (which translates to an ERA+ of 94). His most recent start came on August 3 against the Kansas City Royals; in that game, Odorizzi went 3.1 innings (due to rain) and allowed 2 earned runs on 4 hits while walking no one and striking out 2.

Mike Clevinger hit a bumpy patch of games in July, but overall he’s been great all year. Across 139.2 innings this year, Clevinger has allowed 54 earned runs while walking 45 and striking out 139 (which translates to an ERA+ of 128). His most recent start came on August 3 against the Los Angeles Angels; in that game, Clevinger went 6.0 innings and allowed 3 earned runs on 5 hits while walking no one and striking out 6.

Thursday, August 9 1:10 p.m. ET: Jose Berrios (RHP) v. Corey Kluber (RHP)

Jose Berrios keeps getting better and better. He’s done great in 2018, and his work earned him his very first All-Star appearance. Across 146.0 innings this season, Berrios has allowed 57 earned runs while walking 36 and striking out 148 (which translates to an ERA+ of 123). His last start came on August 4 against the Royals; in that game, Berrios went 7.0 innings and allowed 2 earned runs on 5 hits while walking 3 and striking out 6.

Corey Kluber seems to be back to his old self, and that’s a great thing. In total this season, Kluber has pitched 154.0 innings and has allowed 45 earned runs while walking 20 and striking out 146 (which translates to an ERA+ of 169). His most recent start came on August 4 against the Angels; in that game, Kluber pitched a Maddux (98 pitches) and gave up just 3 hits and 1 walk while striking out 7. Yup, he’s back.

Players to watch

  • Max Kepler - Kepler has been good all year, but he’s been a man on fire over the last seven days. In his last five games, Kepler has slashed .571/.684/.929 over 19 plate appearances. So watch out, James Bond.
  • Logan Morrison - Morrison has a had a pretty dreadful season, but he’s been great over the last week. In 16 plate appearances, he’s slashing .267/.313/.667, including a pair of home runs.
  • Fernando Rodney - Rodney managed to avoid the Snappening from the the trade deadline last week and is still a member of the Minnesota Twins. The 41-year-old continues to baffle hitters and succeed in his 16th major league season. Across 42.2 innings this season, Rodney has allowed 15 earned runs while walking 19 and striking out 48 (which translates to an ERA+ of 137).

Storylines

Yan Gomes is still injured

Gomes is still out of the lineup due to his discomfort in his knee. He hasn’t hit the DL, but he has been out of the lineup for the past couple of days. Hopefully this will go away soon, but until Gomes feels right, Perez will be behind the dish.

Corey Kluber appears to no longer be injured

When Kluber started struggling, everyone assumed it was an injury. It then came out that he was, in fact, injured. He’s now had a couple of games that he hasn’t seemed injured in, which is great news. His last start was a complete game shutout of the Maddux variety, so it’s fairly safe to say that he’s back to being his self.

What’s up, Michael Brantley?

Our own Merritt Rohlfing wrote about this last week, but it’s worth reiterating that Michael Brantley has not been good for a good while now. In fact, across his last 86 plate appearances (20 games), Brantley is slashing .231/.294/.333. His power has evaporated, he’s not walking, and he’s not hitting for average. His incredibly hot start has buoyed his season numbers (.293/.343/.462), but make no mistake: Michael Brantley has not been good at the plate for a month plus.

Minnesota Twins roster

FanGraphs

Poll

How many games will the Indians win against the Twins?

This poll is closed

  • 20%
    4
    (35 votes)
  • 55%
    3
    (94 votes)
  • 17%
    2
    (30 votes)
  • 2%
    1
    (4 votes)
  • 4%
    0
    (7 votes)
170 votes total Vote Now