If the Cleveland Indians are going to catch the Minnesota Twins atop the division standings, they are going to need a long winning streak. The two American League Central rivals will kick off a three-game series on Friday night in Cleveland. Cleveland has made up a ton of ground in the last few weeks, but the Twins still have a big lead in the division.
Minnesota stumbled into the All-Star Break by winning just four of its last 10 games. The Twins still have a 5.5-game lead in the Central Division and come into this contest with a record of 56-33. Cleveland appeared to be buried a month ago, but a six-game winning streak has the Indians thinking big. The Indians have a ton of veteran experience and come into this game with a record of 50-38. Cleveland is -125 in the series opener against the Minnesota Twins on Friday night.
Twins Can Hit the Long Ball
The Minnesota Twins are hitting the ball out of the ballpark like crazy this season, and that shouldn’t change in the second half of the season. Max Kepler leads the Twins with 20 home runs, but Minnesota has eight different players with at least 13 home runs this season. All-Star shortstop Jorge Polanco is having a monster season and leads the team with 111 hits and a .312 batting average. The Twins can really hit, and it has propelled them all season long.
Jake Odorizzi is the unquestioned ace of the Minnesota Twins staff, but Kyle Gibson isn’t too far behind him. Gibson will take the ball on Friday night and will be facing the Indians for the first time this season. The right-hander is 8-4 with a 4.09 earned run average this season, and he usually gives his team a chance to win the game.
Indians Need Solid Start From Clevinger
Mike Clevinger battled injuries in the first half of the season but is a solid starting pitcher for the Indians. Clevinger has gone just 2-2 with a 4.44 earned run average in his five starts this season but has the potential to have a great start. The young right-hander gave up just four hits and no runs in his last start before the break and will try to keep the ball in the park against the Twins.
All-Star Carlos Santana has been terrific in his first season back in Cleveland and has kept the Indians in the race. Santana leads the team with 19 homers and 52 runs batted in to go along with a .297 batting average. The Indians really need Jose Ramirez to improve on his .218 batting average if they are going to catch the Twins.
Clevinger, Indians Inch Closer to Twins
Minnesota was the biggest surprise in the first half of the season, but things are going to get tougher now. The Cleveland Indians have dominated this division for the last few years, and they aren’t going to give up the crown easily. Look for Mike Clevinger to deliver a solid start in this one to propel his team to victory. Bet the Cleveland Indians -125 over the Minnesota Twins on Friday night.
Check Out Other Related Posts on 4Flush
100% up to $3,000 Bonus
Bovada is our most recommended ONLINE CASINO and POKER ROOM for US players with excellent deposit options. Get your 100% signup bonus today.