Cleveland Indians at Minnesota Twins
|Date & Time||Thursday March 28, 2019, 4:10 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Cleveland Indians -135 / Minnesota Twins +125 -- Over/Under: 7.5
The Cleveland Indians and Minnesota Twins meet Thursday in MLB action at Target Field.
The Cleveland Indians crushed to an AL Central title and are by far the biggest favorite to win their division than any other team in baseball. With three of the five teams in the division going through a rebuild, the Indians are widely expected to return to the postseason for a fourth straight year. The Indians shook up their batting order by adding Jake Bauers, Carlos Santana and Hanley Ramirez and the starting pitching can hold its own against any in baseball. If there is one concern with the Indians this season it would be a struggling bullpen that wasn’t addressed this offseason. The Cleveland Indians have split their last six opening days. Corey Kluber gets the ball, and he was 20-7 with a 2.89 ERA and 222 strikeouts last season. Kluber is 10-7 with a 3.55 ERA and 172 strikeouts in his career against the Twins.
The Minnesota Twins showed flashes last season of being a team on the rise and will have many chances to improve on 78 victories. The Twins will be much more consistent offensively with the additions of Nelson Cruz, C.J. Cron, Jonathan Schoop and Marwin Gonzalez, four veterans who add some pop and can come away with clutch at bats. The Twins starting pitching is good enough to keep them in games and the bullpen should be improved with Blake Parker taking over the closer role. If there is any team in the AL Central that can push the Indians for a division crown, it’s the Twins, so this series is an early statement for the home team. The Minnesota Twins have lost nine of their last 10 opening days. Jose Berrios gets the ball, and he is 12-11 with a 3.84 ERA and 202 strikeouts this season. Berrios is 4-2 with a 4.64 ERA and 49 strikeouts in his career against the Indians.
The Indians are 80-34 in their last 114 vs. American League Central, 1-4 in Klubers last 5 road starts and 57-26 in Klubers last 83 starts. The Twins are 10-1 in their last 11 vs. American League Central, 21-6 in Berrios' last 27 home starts and 1-5 in Berrios' last 6 starts. The Indians are 14-6 in the last 20 meetings in Minnesota and 4-1 in the last 5 meetings. The over is 4-1-1 in Twins last 6 overall. The over is 10-2 in Klubers last 12 road starts.
We all know the Cleveland Indians are the team to beat in the AL Central and what Kluber is capable of doing, but the Twins have to have success on opening day at some point. Berrios is a talented young pitcher who has had a ton of success at home, which includes an allowed batting average of .225 and an ERA of 3.64. This also has to feel like a statement series for the Minnesota Twins, as they're the one team that could give the Indians a run for the division crown and making an early mark in the opening series would be a wonderful start. I'll take a stab with the Twins and the plus money.