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Game 132: Guardians at Twins

Let’s put this thing away.

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at Minnesota Twins
Kenta Maeda climbs the hill for the Twins on Monday night against the Guardians.
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

First Pitch: 6:40 PM Central Time
TV: Bally Sports North
Radio: TIBN
Know Thine Enemy: Covering the Corner

While it’s always dangerous to talk about locking up a division early, the Minnesota Twins have a legitimate shot at doing just that against a Cleveland Guardians team that, frankly, shouldn’t be in the postseason conversation at all.

The Twins have seen their season-long roller coaster of a season tilt upwards of late, largely thanks to a resurgent offensive attack and decent-enough starting pitching. Yes, the competition has been so-so and the bullpen has scuffled, but the Twins have still managed to win three out of four from the Texas Rangers and two out of three on the road against the Philadelphia Phillies a couple of weeks ago — both teams that have superior records to the Twins.

Clearly, the Twins are showing life that they didn’t have in the spring. Rosters expand to 28 players on Friday, and the likes of Willi Castro and Byron Buxton are working their way back to the active roster.

It’s an exciting time, and this week’s three-game set against the Guardians, combined with another three games against these same Guardians next week, are a golden opportunity to get the division sewn up early.

The Twins will send Kenta Maeda to the mound. Maeda has been a bit less sharp the last couple of times out, putting up a combined line of 9 IP, 6 ER, 11 H, 12 K and 3 BB in starts against Milwaukee and Detroit. In general, however, Maeda has been solid since returning from injury in late June and still holds a 3.43 ERA across four August starts.

He’ll be opposed by Xzavion Curry, who spent much of the early portion of the season as a long reliever/swing man but has been the starting pitcher in seven of his last nine appearances. Save for a rough outing against Tampa Bay in which he gave up five earned runs, he’s been solid as a starter.

Enjoy Monday night baseball!

Today's Lineups

Steven Kwan - LF Edouard Julien - 2B
Jose Ramirez - 3B Royce Lewis - 3B
Kole Calhoun - 1B Max Kepler - RF
Ramon Laureano - RF Carlos Correa - SS
Andres Gimenez - 2B Jorge Polanco - DH
Will Brennan - DH Ryan Jeffers - C
Gabriel Arias - SS Matt Wallner - LF
Bo Naylor - C Donovan Solano - 1B
Myles Straw - CF Michael Taylor - CF
Xzavion Curry - RHP Kenta Maeda - RHP