MLB picks and expert predictions: Guardians ( ) to edge Twins ( ) in low scoring encounter on Friday night
Our expert MLB handicapper John Lepore looks ahead to Friday night's clash between the Cleveland Guardians and Minnesota Twins live on Apple TV and doesn't think there will be much between the two sides...
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|Fixture||Cleveland Guardians @ Minnesota Twins|
|When||Friday, September 9, 8:10 EDT|
|Likely Starters||Cal Quantrill vs. Dylan Bundy|
|Where to watch||Apple TV|
Heading into Tuesday’s action, the Cleveland Guardians hold a slim one-game lead over the Minnesota Twins for the American League Central. Winning the division will be important as both teams are a few games back from the Wild Card race. Friday’s matchup will be the first game of a stretch that will see the Guardians face the Twins eight times over 11 days. This initial battle will go a long way in setting the tone for the AL Central crown with Cleveland to take the pennant.
Cleveland will have Cal Quantrill on the hill for the divisional game. He has pitched well in his first season as a full-time starter. Through 26 starts, Quantrill is 11-5 with a 3.55 ERA. He doesn’t strike out a ton of guys (101 in 152 IP), but he does not allow many baserunners, holding opponents to a .305 OBP. The right-hander depends a lot on his defense, which ranks third in the AL with 56 Defensive Runs Saved.
The Twins will likely counter with Dylan Bundy. Minnesota has been decimated by injuries all year long as 11 different pitchers have started at least three games for the Twins. However, Bundy will be making his team-leading 25th start on Friday. He is 8-6 with a 4.34 ERA and is a similar pitcher to Quantrill. The right-hander has held opposing hitters to a .296 OBP. He has also allowed 16 home runs in just 118.1 innings along with 119 hits.
Guardians player to watch: Steven Kwan
The rookie started out his career on fire and then had a miserable May. At the end of that month, Kwan was slashing .244/.349/.350. Since then, the 25-year-old has slashed .314/.377/.397. He is Cleveland’s leadoff hitter and is integral to their success. In their wins, Kwan has a .930 OPS, in their losses it is .531. While Jose Ramirez may be the big bat in the lineup, Kwan’s contributions cannot be overstated. He should even get some votes for Rookie of the Year ( )
Twins player to watch: Luis Arraez
Arraez has batted at the top of the lineup for most of the season. He is slashing an impressive .314/.377/.424. Much like Kwan, the Twins infielder is important to the team’s success. In Minnesota’s victories, Arraez has a .924 OPS. In their losses, he drops to .675. His .314 batting average is also just .003 behind the AL leader, Xander Bogaerts. That is a race that could come down to the wire.
Cleveland Guardians @ Minnesota Twins conclusion and prediction
At the end of June, the Guardians and Twins played a similar stretch of eight games out of 11. Cleveland went 5-3, but five of the eight games were decided by one run. This will be a close matchup as two division rivals fight for the title in the AL Central. For the season, the Guardians are 6-5 against the Twins but have allowed 61 runs while only scoring 45. I expect a close game and a low score.
- Guardians at
- Under 7.5 runs @
MLB quick picks for Friday, September 9:
- Mariners @ (vs. Braves)
- Athletics @ (vs. White Sox)
|No upcoming games|
Odds updated: Feb 8, 6:35 AM UTC
- American League Central
- American League East
- American League West
- All Divisions
|American League Central||W||L||Pct||GB||Home||Away||Conf||Div||NL||Money||OU|
|1 Chi. White Sox||0||0||.000||0.0||0-0||0-0||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||0-0-0|
|4 Kansas City||0||0||.000||0.0||0-0||0-0||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||0-0-0|
Last updated: Feb 8, 6:21 AM UTC