This Weekend’s Top MLB Series Preview Features the Guardians Visiting the Twins

Amed Rosario Cleveland Guardians Ryan Jeffers Minnesota Twins
Amed Rosario #1 of the Cleveland Guardians tags out Ryan Jeffers #27 of the Minnesota Twins. Nick Cammett/Getty Images/AFP.

The Cleveland Guardians and Minnesota Twins will play a weekend series that could dictate how the playoffs shape up in the near future. Here’s what to expect for your MLB picks.

Let’s see what the MLB odds tell us at the top sportsbooks!

What You Should Know

Who wants to win the AL Central? It’s up for grabs in this series.

The Cleveland Guardians currently lead the Minnesota Twins in the AL East by one game at the time of writing this. Once this weekend series between those two teams finishes up, we might see a different leader in the division. That’s how important the weekend series between the Guardians and Twins is going to be.

However, it’s not just the Guardians and Twins involved in the AL Central. The Chicago White Sox are also just two games away from the Guardians. This is going to be a massive race between three teams as the playoffs approach.

Cleveland Guardians vs. Minnesota Twins

Friday, September 9, 2022 – 08:10 PM EDT at Target Field

Friday’s Probables

Minnesota Twins

Dylan Bundy will get the first start of the series. Bundy has a 5.77 xFIP in the last 30 days with just 10.1% of strikeouts in that time frame.

He’s kept walks down to 5.1% and has limited line drives to 16.7%, however, he’s not getting enough ground balls and is giving up 33.3% of hard contact.

Still, Bundy hasn’t allowed many extra-base hits in the last month, which has helped him escape more damage.

Cleveland Guardians

The Guardians will pitch Aaron Civale in the first game of the series. Civale has been impressive recently. He’s holding a 4.09 xFIP in the last 30 days with 27.4% of strikeouts. He’s also limited walks to 6%.

Righties are still hitting a .250 ISO against him in their last 39 plate appearances, but other than that, Civale has looked terrific in the second half of the year.

Cleveland Guardians vs. Minnesota Twins

Saturday, September 10, 2022 – 07:15 PM EDT at Target Field

Saturday’s Probables

Minnesota Twins

On Saturday, it’ll be Chris Archer for the Twins. Archer has a 3.95 xFIP in the last 30 days and has really resurrected his career this season. He’s earned 56% of ground balls in that same time frame and has limited line drives to 19%.

His strikeout rate isn’t all that high, but like Bundy, he’s been able to keep power numbers down. Lefties and righties have about a .150 ISO from both sides of the plate in the last 30 days.

However, I should point out that Archer has allowed 52.4% of hard contact in the last 30 days. Some of that hard contact is from hard ground balls, which isn’t always a bad thing.

Cleveland Guardians

Meanwhile, Cal Quantrill will take the hill for the Guardians in this game. He has a 4.80 xFIP in the last 30 days with 19.8% of strikeouts.

Quantrill has done well limiting walks and has kept line drives under 20%. Still, he’s not getting a high rate of grounders.

It’s still been hard trying to hit extra-base hits against Quantrill recently, which is a good sign.

Cleveland Guardians vs. Minnesota Twins

Sunday, September 11, 2022 – 02:10 PM EDT at Target Field

Sunday’s Probables

Minnesota Twins

To close out the series, rookie Joe Ryan will get the start. His xFIP is at 4.91 in the last 30 days, and he’s allowed over 31% of line drives in that same time frame.

Ryan has allowed an ISO of .192 to lefties and .228 to righties. He’s someone who will give up power. However, he’s also capable of getting a bunch of strikeouts. When you can’t hit the ball, power doesn’t matter.

Cleveland Guardians

Triston McKenzie will take the hill for the finale. He has a 3.61 xFIP in the last 30 days with 28.5% of strikeouts and 6.3% of walks.

He’s not going to get you a ton of grounders or limit line drives, but again, if you can’t hit the ball, it doesn’t matter. McKenzie has been good enough for the Guardians this season.

The Offenses

Minnesota Twins

The Twins will face three righties against the Guardians in this series. The projected lineup against righties is hitting a .123 ISO with a wOBA of .294 in the last 30 days.

Only Jake Cave and Gary Sanchez have hit consistent power against righties. The entire offense is average, with five batters hitting a wOBA of about .325.

Carlos Correa has worked walks along with Gio Urshela, Jake Cave, Gary Sanchez, and Gilberto Celestino. This lineup has also hit 23.5% of line drives in the last 30 days against righties.

If they can limit strikeouts, the Twins could have some success on the offensive end.

Cleveland Guardians

On the other hand, the Guardians will take on three righties for the Twins. The Guardians are also struggling offensively, hitting a .118 ISO and wOBA of .291 with their projected lineup in the last 30 days.

Jose Ramirez, Oscar Gonzalez, and Andres Gimenez have been hot, hitting extra-base hits consistently. The rest of the team hasn’t, however, I’d like to point out that the Guardians have hit 28% of line drives in the last 30 days against righties.

Guardians vs. Twins: Series Prediction

This series could be either team’s if we’re being honest. Both pitching staffs have been terrific while both offenses haven’t been nearly as good.

This comes down to the lineups and how they perform. The lineup that strikeouts out less will end up winning this series.