Twins vs. Guardians MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: How to Bet the Over/Under in Cleveland (Saturday, September 17)
Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Cleveland Guardians starting pitcher Shane Bieber (57).
- The Twins and Guardians face off in a cruicial matchup for two teams with postseason aspirations.
- Both teams have quality pitchers on the mound, and D.J. James sees value on the total.
- Read on for his analysis and picks for the matchup.
Editor's Note: Louie Varland will now start Game 1 of this doubleheader, with Josh Winder getting the nod in Game 2. Our analyst's bet recommendation below remains the same despite the pitching change.
Twins vs. Guardians Odds
|Time||1:10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.|
It is unlikely, unless they sweep in this series. Shane Bieber will go for the Guardians, while Josh Winder will start for the Twins. Both pitchers have struggled with allowing hard contact this season but have lucked out on results. Winder holds a 3.83 ERA against a 4.37 xERA. Bieber’s ERA is 2.91, but his xERA is 3.56.
On top of this, both pitchers have thrown well against the team they pitch against tomorrow. Since Cleveland has only an 83 wRC+ off of righties in the last month, and Minnesota has a 90 wRC+ off of righties in that same timeframe, taking the under in this game is the right call.
Do both teams have enough bullpen pieces on the backs of their starters to keep this game within reach of the total? Let's break down the matchup.
Minnesota's Pitching Can Shut Down Cleveland's Hitters
In Josh Winder’s last start against Cleveland, he threw four innings and earned two runs. On June 28, he faced the Guardians and shut them out on only five baserunners in six innings of work. Expect that he will have a game that is somewhat in between these two outings, performance-wise.
Cleveland has zero hitters eclipsing a .340 xwOBA in the last month off of righties. This is abysmal and explains why their overall showings off of right-handers has been so poor. Josh Naylor and Owen Miller are the only Guardians hitters above a .330 xwOBA.
Otherwise, the lineup is relatively weak. Winder will not strike out many (16% on the season), so this gives Cleveland a fighting chance, since they are a high-contact team. Either way, this just means they will not fare well with another righty until they prove they can hit them.
On top of that, Winder ranks in the 30th percentile in Average Exit Velocity and even better in the 56th percentile in Hard Hit Rate. Cleveland ranks dead last in both of these metrics. Winder should excel without his most significant concern on his mind.
Minnesota also shockingly has a 3.77 xFIP out of the bullpen since Aug. 17. This ranks 10th in baseball. They have six arms with a 4.00 xFIP or lower, so this should be plenty to get the job done upon Winder’s exit from the game.
Shane Bieber Can Counter Cleveland's Poor Hitting
Now, Bieber has cruised in every start against Minnesota. His toughest outing was giving up three earned in six innings pitched. In his other two starts, he only allowed one earned in six-plus innings.
Minnesota has the same issue as Cleveland, although their hitting is slightly better against righties lately. Nick Gordon and Carlos Correa are above the .340 xwOBA mark, but no one else in the lineup is close. There is a nosedive in production outside of the top of the order, so Bieber should mow down Minnesota's hitters, as usual.
Lastly, Cleveland boasts one of the best bullpens in baseball. Bieber has the ability to pitch fairly deep into games, so he essentially hands it to the back-end and then Emmanuel Clase. This is as good as it gets.
There is a reason Cleveland has managed to find themselves atop the AL Central standings with such poor hitting statistics. They own a 3.40 xFIP in the last month out of the bullpen.
Neither of these teams can hit too well, especially with a righty on the hill. Minnesota still has a litany of injuries, most crucially Jorge Polanco and Byron Buxton.
The bullpens have multiple arms to back up both starters, even if a guy like Bieber does not need it. Take the under at 7.5 (-110), and play it to 7 (-130). The Twins’ under team total could be worth a look, too.
Pick: Under 7.5 (-110) | play to 7 (-130)