MLB Handicapping: Minnesota Twins at Cleveland Indians Free Picks & Predictions

The Minnesota Twins and Cleveland Indians begin a three-game series between American League Central rivals at Progressive Field

Minnesota Twins at Cleveland Indians

The Cleveland Indians have dropped six in a row at Progressive Field

Minnesota followed up getting swept in the first three games of its current road trip in Detroit by picking up a sweep of its own over Kansas City.  The Twins marched into Kauffman Stadium and pulled off their first four-game sweep since 2007.  “The Minnesota Twins came in here with all their starts gone and kicked our but in four straight,” said Royals manager Ned Yost.  The club played without Denard Span and Justin Morneau in the lineup Sunday, but received plenty of contributions from role players in manager Ron Gardenhire’s lineup.  “We’ve said all along that people have to step up when other people are down,” Gardenhire stated.  “It’s not easy to do, but we moved a few people around.”  Minnesota is 14-29 versus right-handed starters this year.

Twins starting pitcher Scott Baker has a losing 2-4 mark and 3.86 ERA in 11 starts this season and the club has dropped his last five outings overall.  He dropped a 4-2 road decision last time out to Detroit, giving up four runs and seven hits over six innings.  The right-hander has been solid on the road despite a 2-3 record in eight starts, allowing just 46 hits in 51 1/3 innings.  In 19 career starts versus the Indians, Baker is 7-7 with a 3.75 ERA, including an even 4-4 mark and 4.09 ERA at Progressive Field.

Cleveland was shutout in the final two games of its series against Cleveland and manager Manny Acta tried shuffling the lineup around to spark something offensively.  “There’s only so many combinations of lineups you can do when you have only a couple guys swinging the bat well,” Acta commented.  Outfielder Shin-Soo Choo is one of the struggling hitters, going 8 for 41 with 14 strikeouts over the last 11 games, while commenting that his arrest May 2 on suspicion of drunken driving is affecting his play.  The Tribe have lost six in a row at Progressive Field for the first time since 2005, after beginning the campaign with a 14-2 mark.  Cleveland’s lead in the American League Central has also diminished to just 2 1/2 games ahead of Detroit.  The team is 11-8 versus division opponents this season.

Indians starting pitcher Josh Tomlin will be making his 12th start of the season and enters with a 7-2 record and 3.27 ERA.  The second-year starter has tallied victories in three of his last four starts, including a 13-9 road win over Toronto last time out.  He allowed six runs and eight hits in six innings of work in that particular outing, but also issued just one walk and struck out a season-high seven batters.  In four home starts, Tomlin is a perfect 4-0 with a 2.53 ERA, as opponents are hitting just .197 against him.  He will be making his first career appearance versus the Twins tonight.

Bettors will likely back the Indians due to their 10-1 mark in Tomlin’s last 11 home starts, while the Twins are 0-5 in Baker’s last five outings

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