We’re a little over a month into the MLB season and the American League Central is pretty crowded at the top of the division. The Minnesota Twins hold the divisional lead heading into play this afternoon, but the Cleveland Guardians and Chicago White Sox are within a few games and well within striking distance. The series finale between the Guardians and Twins is set for 2:10 ET from Target Field in Minneapolis.
Guardians Treading Water in A.L. CentralTriston McKenzie toes the rubber in game three of the series for the Guardians. The right-hander is 2-2 with a 2.76 ERA and 1.02 WHIP over six starts in 2022. Most recently, McKenzie squared off against the Blue Jays and limited them to two earned runs over 6.0 innings of work. He gave up four hits and walked two batters while punching out six. His 30 strikeouts are tied for 54th in the Majors this season. Cleveland will look to take the rubber match in this 3-game series after a 3-2 win in 10 innings on Saturday night.
There were a lot of critics chiming in about the Guardians’ offense heading into the new campaign, but they’ve been silenced considering Cleveland has the fourth best team OPS in the league at .729. They’re also batting .255 as a ball cub, which ranks third in the big leagues. Jose Ramirez got off to a hot start this year, and although he’s cooled down a bit over the last two weeks, he’s still hitting .302 on the year. Ramirez has launched a team leading seven home runs and has 32 RBI’s through 31 games for Cleveland.
Twins Playing Great Over Last Two WeeksIt’ll be Joe Ryan heading to the bump for the series finale this afternoon. The righty is 3-2 on the year with a 2.56 ERA and 1.01 WHIP over six starts. Ryan looked untouchable in the early going of the season, but has allowed six earned runs over 8.2 innings in May. Most recently, he was touched up for four earned runs on four hits and five walks over 4.0 innings against the Astros. Ryan has faced the Guardians’ roster in 24 at-bats in his career and limited them to just a pair of singles. The Twins took the opener 12-8 on Friday before falling 3-2 in 10 on Saturday.
Minnesota has quietly been a top ten offense to begin the 2022 season. The Twins have a .710 OPS, which ranks eighth in the league and their team batting average is 10th at .240. Minnesota has hit 34 home runs as a team (9th) with Byron Buxton recording 10 of those. The star outfielder is hitting .259 on the year with 18 RBI’s and five doubles. Jorge Polanco leads the team with 20 RBI’s and he’s batting .248 so far this year.
- Under is 3-0-1 in Twins last 4 vs. a team with a losing record (per covers.com).
- Under is 5-2-1 in Twins last 8 overall (per covers.com).
- Guardians are 6-2 in their last 8 vs. American League Central (per covers.com).
- Guardians are 5-2 in their last 7 vs. a team with a winning record (per covers.com).