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Series Preview: Twins take on the Indians in AL Central showdown

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The Twins are in first place, and the Indians are not. Just like we all predicted.

Seattle Mariners v Cleveland Indians
Okay I like your stirrups but you;re still really annoying, Francisco Lindor!!!!!!
Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images

It’s mid-May and the AL Central Division standings are exactly what we all thought they’d be at this point in the season: the Minnesota Twins (17-14) in first place, just a few percentage points ahead of the defending AL Champion Cleveland Indians (18-15).

Yeah, okay, no one was expecting the Twins to be where they are right now. Not even me.

As it turns out, though, some surprisingly competent pitching performances and young hitters finally starting to live up to the hype can work wonders for a team that lost 103 games just a year ago. Who knew?

The Twins will look to keep both those things rolling this weekend in Cleveland. Ervin Santana—who has been a bonafide ace most of the season—will take the mound Friday, and hopefully rebound from that disappointing start against the Red Sox last Sunday. Remember that? He gave up two home runs in the first inning. Please don’t do that again, Ervin.

Santana will face Josh Tomlin, for whom the struggle has been real. He has a 7.12 ERA ERA through 30.1 innings this season, which is bad. Some of that is thanks to the Twins, who nabbed Tomlin for three runs over six innings back on April 18th at Target Field. The Twins still lost that game, though, because Phil Hughes shit the bed. Luckily Hughes is not pitching this weekend for the Twins.

Perhaps the most anticipated match-up of the series will come Saturday, however, as the young Jose Berrios will have his 2017 MLB debut. The Twins spent all week telling fans they weren’t going to call up Berrios yet until they finally realized they didn’t have anyone to start Saturday and called up Jose Berrios. Will he finally get his stuff to work in the majors, or will he blow up like he did when he was promoted last season? Stay tuned!

On Sunday the Twins send Hector Santiago to the mound, who has not yet faced the Indians this season. He’ll oppose Trevor Bauer, who you may remember from the time he almost bled-out on the mound or the time he had a meltdown on Twitter. Bauer is sporting a 7.36 ERA on the season and the Twins can totally take him.

In fact, I think the Twins can totally take this whole Indians team. I mean, Christ, the Indians just lost twice to the last-place Blue Jays and once to the last-place Royals. Sure, they are returning to Cleveland where they’ll have home field advantage, but Indians fans still don’t show up to games even though their team came THIS CLOSE to winning the World Series last year.

We got this.

Pitching Match-ups

Game 1: Friday, 5/12, 6:10 pm CT - Josh Tomlin RHP vs. Ervin Santana RHP

Game 2: Saturday, 5/13, 3:10 pm CT - Mike Clevinger RHP vs. Jose Berrios

Game 3: Sunday, 5/14, 12:10 pm CT - Trevor Bauer RHP vs. Hector Santiago LHP

Notes

  • Joe Mauer is hitting .421 in 19 career at-bats against Josh Tomlin.
  • Joe Mauer is hitting .500 in 4 career at-bats against Mike Clevinger.
  • Joe Mauer is hitting .355 in 31 career at-bats against Trevor Bauer.
  • Indian Abraham Almonte is day-to-day with a shoulder thing, while Yan Gomes has been struggling with some “intestinal turmoil”.

Poll

How many games will the Twins win against the Indians this weekend?

This poll is closed

  • 2%
    0
    (4 votes)
  • 12%
    1
    (24 votes)
  • 51%
    2
    (99 votes)
  • 34%
    3
    (67 votes)
194 votes total Vote Now