MLB Betting: Do Not Discount Minnesota's Woes at Target Field Against Cleveland

Doug Upstone

Sunday, June 18, 2017 2:44 PM UTC

Sunday, Jun. 18, 2017 2:44 PM UTC

By virtue of winning the first two games of the series, Cleveland has caught Minnesota at the top of the AL Central. Those betting baseball will have to decide what they like for the series finale.

Who was actually in first place this Sunday we don't know because of the contest on Saturday evening, but this we do know, Minnesota is having an appalling time at Target Field at 14-22, -10.2 units.

What will be the right choice for MLB picks, let's go over the numbers.


Pitching Matchup - Bauer vs. Gibson

Trevor Bauer (5-5, 5.85), just saying his name causes a difference of opinion among scouts. Some look at his 92-96 MPH fastball and love him, especially when he has his off-speed tosses working. With 81 strikeouts in just 67 2/3 innings, what is not to like. Then it was the other scouts see, a pitcher who does not miss enough bats on a consistent level (73 hits allowed) and will walk multiple batters in the same inning and almost always has high pitch counts for number of innings worked. Bauer is 3-5 vs. Minnesota with a 5.05 ERA.

In 2014-15, Kyle Gibson (4-4, 6.79) was arguably the ace of the Minnesota staff. Since then, it has come into question if he should even remain a starter. Coming off a 6-11 campaign with 5.07 ERA, he is being regularly tattooed and opponents have a .525 slugging percentage against him. (.404 is AL average) Hitters do not fear his low 90's fastball and on the days he cannot command it low in the zone, they just wait to attack his below average breaking pitches. Gibson is 2-4 with a brutal 6.24 ERA against Cleveland.


Indians Starting to Hit, Twins Becoming Who They Are

We are beginning to see the kind of offense we expected out of the Indians, averaging 6.5 runs a contest in the last eight games. (Going into last night) Third baseman Jose Ramirez has been swinging a hot bat and DH Edwin Encarnacion has raised his batting average over 40 points in the last month is starting to hit with power.

Minnesota is not going to overwhelm you with power, but they are fourth in on-base percentage in the AL and they work counts and are third in the league in walks. One aspect you cannot ignore is the Twins are overachieving with a 34-31 record, having a -37 run differential, which a truer indication of kind of team they really are.


Betting Odds, Head to Head and Bullpen Numbers

The MLB odds have Cleveland as a -135 favorite and the total has been set at 10.5. The Tribe has won 13 of 23 the last few years in the Twin Cities with the UNDER 15-6-2. The bullpens could not be any further apart, literally, with the Indians have the finest ERA in the AL and the Twinkies last.


The Winner Is...

Given how the Tribe is slowly improving, the troubles Minnesota is having at home and the fact the Twins are 3-14 in their park vs. a team with a bullpen that converts 75 percent or more of their save opportunities this season, have back the Indians.

Free MLB Play: Cleveland -148Best Betting Line: at 5Dimes

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