The Cleveland Indians look to build upon their lead atop the AL Central when they host the Minnesota Twins on Saturday. The Twins won Friday’s game, giving them five wins in seven head-to-head meetings with Cleveland this year. The Cleveland Indians are -190 over the Minnesota Twinson Saturday.
Despite being just four games over .500, the Indians remain in first place in the AL Central. They are the only team in that division that’s above .500. However, they lead the Tigers by just 3.5 games and the Twins by only five games, so they are not as in control of the division as they were a year ago.
The Twins have also failed to live up to expectations, as they sit six games under .500 after being a wild-card team a year ago. As mentioned, they are just five games back of the Indians, so their season is far from over, especially if they can keep winning head-to-head games against Cleveland.
Going Back Up
https://www.mlb.com/news/what-to-expect-from-twins-romero-in-mlb/c-274706304Carlos Carrasco will get the start fo the Indians on Saturday. This season has been a bit of a rollercoaster for Carrasco, as he slumped in May after a brilliant April. However, Carrasco is back on the way back up. Over his last two starts, he’s allowed one run on 10 hits over 14 innings, walking two and striking out 21. Those numbers indicate he’s pitching at an elite level.
Carrasco was also impressive when facing the Twins earlier this season, tossing seven shutout innings and allowing just three hits, only to see Cleveland lose in 16 innings. Outside of Joe Mauer, who recently returned from the DL, Carrasco has good numbers against most of Minnesota’s hitters. Outside of Eddie Rosario and Eduardo Escobar, the Twins haven’t got much offensively from anyone this year, so they’ll need Mauer to continue his dominance of Escobar.
The Next Ace
Facing Carrasco and the Indians will be 23-year old Fernando Romero. The Twins have to like what they’ve seen out of Romero in the first eight starts of his big league career, going 3-2 with a 3.92 ERA. One rough start against the Royals caused his ERA to spike; otherwise, it would be considerably lower. Aside from that one start, Romero has been solid every time out this season.
Of course, Romero has never faced this Cleveland lineup before. The trio of Francisco Lindor, Michael Brantley, and Jose Ramirez is merely the crux of the problems the Indians can create for opposing pitchers. Yonder Alonso is unavailable for this game, which is a slight break for Romero and the Twins. However, Lonnie Chisenhall and Yan Gomes have both been scorching hot over the past week, adding to the depth of Cleveland’s lineup.
Bucking the Trend
This is a tough game to call, especially with Minnesota’s success against the Indians this season. The line is perhaps a little greater than it should be. That being said, Carrasco is far more likely to toss a gem and give the Indians seven or eight quality innings. Romero has been good, but he’ll struggle to match Carrasco. Take the Cleveland Indians -190 over the Minnesota Twins on Saturday..