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MLB Odds, Picks and Predictions: Cleveland Indians vs. Minnesota Twins Guide (Thursday, July 30)

MLB Odds, Picks and Predictions: Cleveland Indians vs. Minnesota Twins Guide (Thursday, July 30) article feature image

Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images. Pictured: Jose Berrios #17 of the Minnesota Twins.

Cleveland Indians vs. Minnesota Twins Odds

Indians Odds -110 [BET NOW]
Twins Odds -106 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 8.5 (-114/-107) [BET NOW]
First Pitch Thursday, 7:07pm ET

Odds as of Wednesday evening and via FanDuel. Get up to a $500 risk-free bet at FanDuel today or see more offers and reviews for the best online sportsbooks.

First place in the American League Central is on line Thursday as the Cleveland Indians and Minnesota Twins send their aces to the mound. The Indians dropped their second game of the season after losing a pitchers duel to the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday.

The Twins moved to 4-1 after sweeping the St. Louis Cardinals in a two-game series. These two teams are the favorites to win the AL Central, so in a 60 game sprint, this series will be crucial for future tie-breaker purposes.


Projected Lineup (via Fantasy Labs)

Despite winning five of their first six games, the Indians have been middle of the road offensively. They only have a .316 wOBA and 96 wRC+ to begin the season, which is ranks 16th in MLB.

Advanced Stats Glossary

FIP or Fielding Independent Pitching measures what a pitcher’s ERA would look like if the pitcher experienced league-average defense and luck. xFIP  is a regressed version of FIP that adjusts or “normalizes’ the home run component based on park factors.

wRC+ or Weighted Runs Created Plus takes the statistic Runs Created and adjusts that number to account for critical external factors — like ballpark or era. It’s adjusted, so a wRC+ of 100 is league average, and 150 would be 50 percent above league average.

wOBA or Weighted On-Base Average is a catch-all hitting metric with more predictive value than on-base percentage. An average MLB hitter can be expected to post a .320 wOBA. xwOBA is a regressed version of wOBA that accounts for variables like park factors.

The top of the Indians’ lineup is one of the best in the AL, but their lineup drops off once you get past the five hole. If the Indians are going to win the central division, the bottom of their lineup will have to outproduce their projections.

Indians Projected Starter

Shane Bieber, RHP

Projected Stats (ZIPS) (via Fangraphs)

Pitch Arsenal (via Baseball Savant)

The 2019 All-Star game MVP is on his way to becoming a top-five pitcher in MLB. Bieber was electric in first start of the season going six innings and sitting down 14 batters.

His fastball is a little above average, it has average velocity and he does a good job with location, but it’s not elite by any means. His slider and curveball are a different story.

Both pitches produced over a 40% whiff rate in 2019 and opponents hit a measly .209 against them. He’ll have a big challenge against a Twins offense that ranked second against curveballs and third against sliders last season.

Shane. Bieber. Dominated.

14 K's
40.2% CSW
21 swinging strikes
13 swinging strikes on his curve alone

Here are all of his Ks

— Alex Fast (@AlexFast8) July 25, 2020


Projected Lineup (via Fantasy Labs)

The Twins picked up right where they left off last season, smashing nine home runs in their first six games. The Twins were one the best power-hitting lineups in 2019 and are even deeper with the addition of Josh Donaldson to a roster that hit a league-leading 307 dingers last year.

It’s tough to get through the Twins lineup with fastballs, sliders and curveballs. They finished first in weighted fastball runs (also written as wFB and is a stat that measures how well did a team/player fare against a fastball), second in weighted curveball runs (wCT) and third weighted slider runs (wSL).

Bieber may have elite stuff, but he’ll have big challenge against the Twins lineup.

Twins Projected Starter

Jose Berrios, RHP

Projected Stats (ZIPS) (via Fangraphs)

Pitch Arsenal (via Baseball Savant)

Berrios wasn’t very sharp in his first outing against the White Sox, allowing five runs on seven hits in four innings of work. He surprisingly threw his sinker most frequently and went away from his fastball early. His curveball was his only effective pitch, but other than that he didn’t have effective command of any of his pitches.

Berrios does a great job interchanging all of his pitches, but he has trouble with control, as he hangs too many pitches (7.5% meatball rate). However, Berrios has some nasty stuff and sometimes it looks like he’s throwing a Wiffle Ball out there.

Berrios has been dubbed at the Twins’ next ace for the past few years and it’s time for him to take the next step and become a CY Young contender.

If he can improve his control on all four of his pitches, he could be one of the best pitchers in baseball.

Indians and Twins Bullpens

Both bullpens should be fully rested coming into this game, so the Indians will have the slight advantage over the Twins.

Projections and Pick 

Despite the heavyweight pitching matchup, I have 9.95 runs projected for this game. So, I am going to back the Over 8.5 at -114 and would bet it all the way up to -122.

Pick: Over 8.5 runs (-114)

[Bet now at DraftKings. CO, NJ, PA, IN and WV only.]

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