The Cleveland Guardians are looking to separate themselves from the rest of the American League Central and have a pivotal series finale with the Minnesota Twins on Monday to try to extend their 3 1/2 game lead in the division.
Minnesota Twins vs. Cleveland Guardians (-115, 7)
Cleveland hands the ball to Cal Quantrill, who has allowed at least three runs in six of his past nine starts and has pitched to a lot of contact with six strikeouts and 1.2 home runs per nine innings at home this season.
While the Guardians have the best bullpen ERA in baseball since the All-Star Break, both teams have heavily taxed bullpens thanks to a combined 24 innings in Saturday’s doubleheader. Also, the Guardians’ last off day was 11 days ago on Sept. 8.
The Twins will turn to Sonny Gray, who has allowed earned three runs or fewer in every start since the All-Star Break but has seen his 10.6 strikeouts per nine rate from his three seasons with the Cincinnati Reds fall to 8.9 strikeouts per nine innings this season.
Gray has to deal with a Guardians lineup that has the lowest strikeout rate of any team in the Majors and ranks 10th in the league in batting average.
With the Twins' road ERA nearly a full point higher than their home ERA and given that both squads had to utilize almost every pitcher available in this series, Monday’s series finale will feature plenty of runs.
The Play: Twins vs. Guardians Over 7
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