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Twins vs Guardians Predictions, Picks & Starting Pitchers (Sep. 5)

Sascha Paruk

by Sascha Paruk in MLB Baseball

Updated Sep 5, 2023 · 11:48 AM PDT

Minnesota Twins catcher Ryan Jeffers celebrates with third baseman Royce Lewis
Sep 4, 2023; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Minnesota Twins catcher Ryan Jeffers (27) celebrates with third baseman Royce Lewis (23) after scoring on a bases loaded walk in the second inning against the Cleveland Guardians at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
  • Minnesota vs Cleveland starts off Tuesday’s packed MLB slate
  • The Twins routed the Guardians 20-6 in the first game of the series
  • Below, see the Twins vs Guardians predictions, picks & odds for Tuesday, Sep. 5

As students across North America head back to school on Tuesday, the Minnesota Twins (72-66, 32-37 away) will be looking to serve the Cleveland Guardians (66-72, 35-35 home) another hard lesson in game two of their three-game set at Progressive Field. Minnesota handed Cleveland an embarrassing 20-6 loss on Monday, opening up a 9-0 lead after three and then pounding position player David Fry in the latter innings of the rout.

With Minnesota’s Sonny Gray facing Cleveland’s Tanner Bibee on the mound, oddsmakers see this as a virtual pick’em.

Twins vs Guardians Odds

Team Moneyline Runline Total
Minnesota Twins -115 -1.5 (+150) O 8 (-105)
Cleveland Guardians -105 +1.5 (-183) U 8 (-115)

The Twins are slight -115 road favorites behind their ace, while the total is at just eight, less than a third of what the teams put up on Monday afternoon.

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Yesterday’s win increased Minnesota’s lead over Cleveland to six games at the top of the AL Central. A massive 10.5 games back of a Wild Card spot, the Guardians will need to take the final two games of this series to maintain any real hope of cracking the MLB playoff bracket. Only 24 games remain in the regular season and this is their final series between the teams.

Minnesota vs Cleveland Starting Pitchers

Still hanging on as the fourth-favorite in the AL Cy Young odds, Minnesota starter Sonny Gray is in the midst of the best season of his decade-long career. Gray has already established a career-high WAR (4.6) while surrendering a paltry 0.34 home runs per nine innings. While his xERA (3.71) is considerably higher than his actual ERA (2.92) – suggesting he’s been quite lucky – opponents’ BABIP against him is a reasonable .294, which is well above his career average (.281).

Gray has been phenomenal in his past two starts, combining for 14 innings of one-run ball with nine strikeouts and just one walk. The most-recent of those came against the same Cleveland team he’ll be facing on Tuesday.

Gray vs Bibee Stats

Sonny Gray
Tanner Bibee
7-6 Record 10-3
2.92 ERA 3.03
3.71 xERA 3.63
1.17 WHIP 1.21
3.1 K/BB 3.1

Gray’s opposite number in that matchup on Aug. 30 was none other than Tanner Bibee, who toes the rubber again for the Guardians on Tuesday. Bibee was only average in the Aug. 30 start, giving up two runs on four hits and three walks over five innings of work. He did rack up eight strikeouts, though, his fifth straight start with at least five Ks. That outing was also good enough to continue an astounding streak of 12 straight starts of at least five innings and no more than three runs.

On the season, Bibbee has only failed to get out of the fifth inning twice and, not coincidentally, has only allowed more than three runs twice (in both of the games he exited prior to the fifth). The 24-year-old has shown the savvy and consistency of a ten-year vet during his first season in the majors.  He’s improved to third in the AL Rookie of the Year odds at +1500, though Baltimore’s Gunnar Henderson (-750) is running away with it in the eyes of oddsmakers.

Twins vs Guardians Prediction

Despite the offensive explosion on Monday in Cleveland, Tuesday’s best bet is under 4.5 runs in the first five innings at -120 odds. Both of these teams are in the bottom half of the AL in runs scored (642 for Minnesota and just 563 for Cleveland) and Tuesday’s starters – especially Gray – have already tasted success against the opponents’ lineup.

While familiarity between hitter and pitcher tends to weigh in the hitter’s favor, Jose Ramirez – the Guardians’ leader in average, home runs, and WAR – is batting just .186 lifetime against Gray in 43 total at-bats. The heart-and-soul of the Cleveland offense, Ramirez has managed just eight hits and no homers against Gray in his career.

Twins vs Guardians Picks:

  • 1H under 4.5 runs (-120)
  • Twins moneyline (-115)
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