The Guardians stunned the Twins and left them staggered in the AL Central race when they swept them last week. They could deliver the knockout blow with another strong series this weekend.
These two division rivals will play for the last time in 2022 with five games over the next four days, thanks to a doubleheader on Saturday. If the Guardians truly have Minnesota’s number and sweep them again, it would effectively end their chances of winning the AL Central, which means certain death for playoff odds.
A sweep of the Royals has kept the Twins in the race for now — four games behind the Guardians and one behind the White Sox. From their perspective, they need a winning series here against Cleveland and they’ll be waiting for the Guards to crumble along with Elvis Andrus.
Cleveland’s ritual sacrifice of Hunter Gaddis on Friday was all for setting up these pitching matchups and saving the bullpen, and you can sort of see why. They get to throw Shane Bieber out there in Game 1 of tomorrow’s doubleheader, which should mean that the bullpen gets some rest and is ready to cover Konnor Pilkington in Game 2. Meanwhile, on Monday, Cody Morris will get to see if he can repeat his performance over his last two outings where he allowed one run off five hits in 7.2 combined innings.
Will it actually work? Stay tuned to find out.
Team at a glance
- Record: 72-70 (9th in AL)
- Runs Scored: 618 (7th in AL)
- Run Differential: +21 (7th in AL)
- Last 10: 4-6
- Slash: .249/.319/.408
- wOBA: .318 (4th in AL)
- wRC+: 109 (4th in AL)
- ERA: 3.98 (10th in AL)
- SIERA: 3.88 (8th in AL)
- K-BB%: 14.5% (8th in AL)
Friday, Sept. 16, 7:10 p.m. ET: RHP Baily Ober vs. RHP Triston McKenzie
Saturday, Sept. 17, 1:10 p.m. ET: TBD (RHP Josh Winder*) vs. RHP Shane Bieber
Saturday, Sept. 17, 7:10 p.m. ET: TBD (RHP Aaron Sanchez*) vs. LHP Konnor Pilkington
Sunday, Sept. 18, 1:40 p.m. ET: RHP Joe Ryan vs. RHP Cody Morris
Monday, Sept. 19, 1:10 p.m. ET: RHP Sonny Gray, RHP Cal Quantrill
*pitching prediction via FanGraphs’ Roster Resource
How many games will the Guardians win against the Twins?
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