Minnesota Twins (83-74; 72-75-10 O/U) vs. Cleveland Indians (98-59; 60-87-10 O/U)
MLB: Thursday, September 28, 2017 at 12:10pm EST
Line: Cleveland -270/Minnesota +248
The Cleveland Indians and the Minnesota Twins will conclude a three game divisional series Thursday afternoon from Progressive Field. The Twins will give the nod to 34-year old right-hander Ervin Santana, and the Indians will counter with 30-year old right-hander Carlos Carrasco. The Indians own a 10-7 lead in the season series.
Santana Looks to Match Career-High of 17 Wins
Ervin Santana will take the mound for the 33rd time of the season, targeting his 17th victory which would match his career-high from the 2010 season. Santana was solid in his latest effort, holding the Tigers to three runs in seven innings and recorded another win to improve his record to 16-8. The Twins’ ace is having one of the best seasons of his career, currently featuring a 3.36 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP in 206.1 innings pitched. He has shut down the Indians all season, limiting them to only one run in 19 innings to go with a 2-0 record, and now owns a 7-11 record with a 3.83 ERA in 24 career starts against Cleveland. Michael Brantley is 9 for 35 with five RBI’s against Santana, while Edwin Encarnacion is 8 for 31 with seven RBI’s, and Francisco Lindor is 3 for 17. Eduardo Escobar is having his best month of the season, belting eight homers with 21 RBI’s. The 28-year old third baseman is having a breakout season, currently hitting .252 with 20 home runs and 69 RBI’s. Escobar has driven in four runs against the Indians this season.
The Twins are averaging a solid 5.08 runs per game, good for fourth in the Majors, and own a .261 team batting average. The Minnesota pitching possesses a 4.61 team ERA, positioning them 21st in the Major Leagues.
Carrasco Targets Fifth Consecutive Victory
Carlos Carrasco will take the mound for the 32nd time of the year, aiming for yet another victory. Carrasco was terrific in his previous performance, limiting the Mariners to one run in 5.2 innings and recorded another win to boost his record to 17-6. The veteran right-hander is having a dominating month of September, and now features a 3.43 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP in 191.2 innings logged. He has held Minnesota to only two runs in 11.1 innings to go with a 2-0 record this season and now stands at 4-6 with a 4.26 ERA in 74 career innings against the rivals. Brian Dozier is 5 for 26 with seven RBI’s against Carrasco, while Joe Mauer is 12 for 27, and Byron Buxton is 1 for 6. Jose Ramirez is closing his regular season off strong, bashing three homers along with eight RBI’s over his last seven games. The 25-year old third baseman is having a stellar season, sporting a .317 average with 29 homers and 81 RBI’s. Ramirez owns a .333 average with eight RBI’s against the Twins this season.
The Indians are currently averaging 5.06 runs per game, good for fifth in the Majors, and are hitting .264 as a team. The Cleveland pitching features a Major League-leading 3.36 team ERA.
The Minnesota Twins are:
- 4-0 in their last 4 games in Cleveland.
- 5-0 in their last 5 games overall.
- 5-0 in their last 5 games against the AL Central.
- 11-5 in Santana’s last 16 road starts.
The Cleveland Indians are:
- 0-4 in Carrasco’s last 4 home starts against the Twins.
I am siding with the Twins in this contest. Santana has completely stifled the Indians bats this season, allowing only one run with 2-0 record in 19 innings, and he features a 10-3 record with a 2.84 ERA in his 16 road starts this season. Furthermore, Carrasco has not been as sharp at home this season, posting a 4.38 ERA, and the Twins are red hot offensively, averaging 6.8 runs over their last ten games.