Friday POWER-SMASH ~ *INCREDIBLE* 80-51-3 RUN L38 DAYS!
Cleveland vs. Minnesota,
09/06/2019 20:10 EDT,
Score: 6 - 2
Money Line: -161 Minnesota
8* Minnesota (8:10 ET): It's all gone wrong for the Indians of late as they could only manage a split of a four-game series (at home!) against the White Sox. That result leaves them currently on the outside looking in when it comes to a very tight AL Wild Card race w/ them, the Rays and A's. Right now, Cleveland is 1.5 games back of Tampa Bay and two back in the loss column of Oakland. Problem is both of those teams are at home this weekend facing weaker opponents. The Tribe has to hit the road to face first place Minnesota, who has won 10 of 12, including a thrilling game last night at Fenway Park.
For awhile there, it appeared as if Cleveland was going to pass Minnesota in the AL Central. They did briefly grab the division lead, but the Twins have stormed back and now hold a 6.5 game advantage. Say what you will about their chances in the postseason, but Minnesota is legit w/ a +174 run differential (3rd best in MLB) and no team has scored more runs this season. They also have a red hot pitcher on the mound tonight in Michael Pineda, who is unbeaten over his last seven starts (5-0) and has a 0.944 WHIP over his last three. He has a 0.90 WHIP in two career starts vs. Cleveland, the last one coming back on March 31st where he tossed four shutout innings.
Cleveland has been hit by the injury bug at the worst possible time as both Jose Ramirez and Tyler Naquin are out of the lineup. They could manage just a single run in yday's loss to the White Sox and have scored just 14 runs in the past five road games. That's not going to be enough against a team averaging almost 6.0 rpg for the season. Adam Plutko starts here for the Indians and he's off a rough showing LW in Tampa where he gave up four runs in just 4 1/3 IP. It was his worst showing since facing this Twins team on August 10th where he also allowed four runs. Target Field doesn't seem like the place where Cleveland will turn things around. 8* Minnesota