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Game 53: Twins @ Indians

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First Pitch: 2:05pm CDT
TV: FS-N
Radio: ESPN 1500, Bob FM
Know Thine Enemy: Let's Go Tribe

Pre-Game Notes

Lineups

Twins: Span (CF), Revere (RF), Mauer (DH), Willingham (RF), Morneau (1B), Doumit (C), Dozier (SS), Plouffe (3B, Casilla (2B)


Indians: Choo (RF), Kipnis (2B), Cabrera (SS), Lopez (3B), Brantley (CF), Duncan (DH), LaPorta (1B), Cunningham (LF), Marson (C)


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2012 - Justin Masterson 2-4 11 11 0 0 0 0 68.1 68 42 39 6 34 50 5.14 1.49

Among the six Twins with at least ten career at-bats against Masterson, only Morneau and Span have had some level of success. Butera is 0-for-12 in this matchup, so it might be a good day to not use him.

Masterson's season has been all over the road. He struck out eight and didn't allow a walk in his last start, but still was charged with seven runs. His command slips with regularity, and although three of his five homers were allowed in a single game this season it remains to be seen if he can keep the ball in the park at the same rate he did in his breakout 2011 campaign (11 homers in 216 innings).

It's worth noting that his average fastball veloticy has dipped more than two miles per hour since last year, now hovering somewhere between 90 and 91mph.

Good for the Twins: Lefties are crushing Masterson this season (.326/.425/.455), which bears well for Span, Mauer, and Morneau
Bad for the Twins: Masterson has been much, much better at home (.636 opponent OPS) versus the road (.915 opponent OPS)


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2012 - Scott Diamond 3-1 5 5 0 0 0 0 31.2 35 11 8 4 4 21 2.27 1.23

He's stranding 83% of his base runners, is forcing a ton of ground balls (63% of balls in play), and in spite of not having swing-and-miss stuff he's continuing to show that forcing contact can work if that contact is consistently of low quality.

Unfortunately he has the same strong home/road splits as Masterson, with hitters bashing him to a .924 OPS in his two games on the road this season. Small sample size? Let's hope so. Maybe he can bring that number south a bit this afternoon.