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MLB Odds & Picks for Twins vs. Guardians: The Team Total to Bet

MLB Odds & Picks for Twins vs. Guardians: The Team Total to Bet article feature image

Abbie Parr/Getty Images. Pictured: Byron Buxton

  • The Minnesota Twins and Cleveland Guardians wrap up their series with a Thursday matinee.
  • Both starting pitchers have been a bit lucky this season, prompting our analyst to target a team total.
  • D.J. James provides his best bet below.

Twins vs. Guardians Odds

Twins Odds+135
Guardians Odds-160
Over/Under8.5 (-115 / -105)
Time1:10 p.m. ET
Odds via PointsBet. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

In the finale of their division rivalry series, the Minnesota Twins will throw Chris Archer against Shane Bieber and the Cleveland Guardians. Both of these pitchers have been getting lucky this season. Bieber owns a 3.07 ERA against a 4.01 xERA. Almost a full run difference shows regression is in the cards for the Cleveland ace.

Archer has below average peripherals in nearly every meaningful category and owns a 3.14 ERA against a 4.86 xERA. He is just feasting on good fortune at the moment and he will surely get worse as the season wears on.

When good luck factors into both starting pitchers, it is really hard to handicap who will be on the wrong side of the coin. Minnesota’s bullpen has been volatile and Emmanuel Clase has been propping up the Cleveland bullpen.

Since that is the case, the right bet should be to take the Twins team total over, as they rank third with a 130 wRC+ off of righties in the month of June. Bieber’s luck may continue, but the Twins will be able to push a few across and get his pitch count high enough to force Cleveland to utilize the weaker portion of their relief corps.

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Minnesota Twins: Can Archer Spin a Gem?

Now, Archer may give up plenty of runs in this start. Cleveland is slightly above average with a 103 wRC+ this month and the Guardians have only struck out around 15-16% of the time when facing righties in June. Archer has been predominantly a “pitch-to-contact” hurler this season. His strikeout rate has plummeted nearly 7% since 2021 — from 25.3% to 18.6% — and his walk rate is nearly 10%. This does not bode well for a team that puts the ball in play and manufactures positive results more than average.

Austin Hedges is the only Cleveland player on the Injured List. Andrés Giménez has been a blessing for the Guardians. He is carrying this offense against righties this month with a .435 xwOBA. Steven Kwan is the only other Cleveland hitter over the .330 mark. This is may be one factor to betting the Twins on the moneyline, but I do not have the confidence in Archer.

Cleveland Guardians: Can Bieber Quiet Minnesota Bats?

Bieber still strikes out hitters at an above average clip (25.6%), but this number is down significantly from 33.1% to 25.6%. Minnesota walks about 8.1% of the time, but Bieber ranks in the 80th percentile in walk rate, so do not expect many free passes.

That said, Bieber ranks in the 13th percentile in both Average Exit Velocity and Hard-Hit Rate. This is abysmal and one of the reasons the Twins could easily take advantage. After all, the Twins rank third in Average Exit Velocity at 90.1 mph and third in Hard-Hit Percentage at 43.2%.

Miguel Sanó, Trevor Larnach and Royce Lewis are on the Injured List for Minnesota. Jorge Polanco just returned and he is one of four Minnesota hitters with a xwOBA over .400 off of righties this month. Three others are over .340. This is plenty of artillery to defeat Bieber at the dish.

Lastly, the Twins bullpen is riddled with injuries, so taking them on the moneyline, again, is questionable.

Twins-Guardians Pick

The Twins can hit and they have hammered righties as of late. Since Shane Bieber permits hard contact and does not strike out nearly as many batters as he has in the past, bet the Minnesota team total over. They should be able to reach the middle relief portion of the game by the fifth or sixth inning. Take this total from 3.5 (-118) to 4.5 (-110).

Pick: Minnesota Twins o3.5 (-118) | play to 4.5 (-110)

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