Cleveland Indians vs Minnesota Twins Prediction, Odds and Preview - 08/17/2021

by Big Al Staff

Game Time: 8:10 pm ET, Tuesday, August 17, 2021
Venue:  Target Field, Minneapolis, MN
Where to Watch:  Bally Sports North
Season-to-Date Record:
Cleveland Indians: 57-59 (2nd place, AL Central)
Minnesota Twins: 52-66 (4th place, AL Central)
Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks:
DraftKings: Cleveland Indians +130, Minnesota Twins -150; Over/Under 9.5
Bet365: Cleveland Indians +125, Minnesota Twins -145, Over/Under 9.5
BetMGM: Cleveland Indians +125, Minnesota Twins -145, Over/Under 9.5
Key Injuries:
Cleveland Indians: Harold Ramirez (RF) Out indefinitely due to hamstring injury.
Minnesota Twins: Alex Kirilloff (RF) Out for the season with a wrist injury.
Recent Lineups:
Cleveland Indians:
1. Myles Straw (CF)
2. Amed Rosario (SS)
3. Jose Ramirez (3B)
4. Franmil Reyes (DH)
5. Bradley Zimmer (RF)
6. Oscar Mercado (LF)
7. Owen Miller (1B)
8. Andres Gimenez (2B)
9. Austin Hedges (C)
Minnesota Twins:
1. Max Kepler (RF)
2. Jorge Polanco (SS)
3. Josh Donaldson (DH)
4. Luis Arraez (2B)
5. Mitch Garver (C)
6. Trevor Larnach (LF)
7. Miguel Sano (1B)
8. Jake Cave (CF)
9. Willians Astudillo (3B)
Statistical Leaders:
Cleveland Indians:
Batting Average:  Amed Rosario (.276)
Hits:  Amed Rosario (113)
Home Runs:  Jose Ramirez (26)
RBI:  Jose Ramirez (73)
Stolen Bases:  Myles Straw (20)
Wins:  Aaron Civale (10)
Saves:  Emmanuel Clase (16)
ERA:  Emmanuel Clase (1.68)
Minnesota Twins:
Batting Average:  Byron Buxton (.369)
Hits:  Jorge Polanco (112)
Home Runs:  Jorge Polanco (21)
RBI:  Jorge Polanco (62)
Stolen Bases:  Jorge Polanco (9)
Wins:  Kenta Maeda (6)
Saves:  Taylor Rogers (9)
ERA: Luke Farrell (1.76)
Managers:
Cleveland Indians: DeMarlo Hale (1st season, interim)
Minnesota Twins: Rocco Baldelli (3rd season)
Recent Form:
The Cleveland Indians just finished off a three-game series with the Detroit Tigers, where the Indians picked up 2 wins of those 3 games. Those 2 wins were needed for Cleveland as they had just got swept by the Oakland Athletics in the previous three-game series. The Indians have finally found their bats in that series posting a total of 22 runs scored in their last 3 games, scoring at least 4 runs in each of those. They are coming off a game where they just put up 11 runs on the road in Detroit on Sunday in the series finale. They will be playing a Minnesota team that has also just finished a three-game series with the Tampa Bay Rays, winning 2 of those 3 games. The Twins have certainly picked up some steam now, winning 4 of their last 5 games, and currently on a 2 game win streak coming into this one. Just like the Indians, the Twins have also found their bats in this last series as well. The Twins posted a total 21 runs scored in that three-game series against the Rays, scoring at least 4 runs in each.
Series History:
The Minnesota Twins will be hosting the Cleveland Indians for a three-game series starting Monday. The Twins have a slight advantage in the season series against the Indians as they are 5-4 against them in the 2021 season. The Indians have actually lost 3 of the last 4 games played against the Twins, and they allowed the Twins to score exactly 8 runs in each of those losses. 
Statistical Comparison:
The Cleveland Indians have not had a good season when it comes to hitting, ranking in the bottom 10 of the MLB for most of the hitting categories. The Indians are ranked 26th in the league for batting average (.233), they are ranked 27th in the league for hits (889), 19th in the league for RBI (482), and they have one of the worst OBP (.300) in the MLB ranking 28th.Their pitching has been much better than their hitting this season, being a middle of the pack team for pitching. They rank 20th in the league for ERA (4.53), 11th in the league for saves (30), 14th for Ks (1044), and 15th in the league for WHIP (1.30).
 
The Minnesota Twins have not been much better, but still come into this ahead of the Indians in all the hitting categories and behind in the pitching. Despite being below them, the Twins are still very close to the Indians in the pitching categories not too far behind. The Twins rank 12th in the league in batting average (.244), 12th in the league in hits (966), 12th in the league in RBI (511), and are 14th for OBP (.318). When it comes to the pitching side, the Twins rank 26th in the league for ERA (4.90), 13th in the league for saves (29), 22nd in the league for Ks (969), and 19th for WHIP (1.33). The Twins have a clear statistical advantage when it comes to hitting and their pitching stats are not too far behind the Indians.
 
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Indians vs Twins 
Game Preview:
Monday marks the beginning of a series between two American League Central teams. The Cleveland Indians come into this game after a massive 11-0 win against the Tigers on Sunday. That win capped off a winning series for them as they went 2-1 against the Tigers in that three-game series. The Indians have won just 2 of their last 6 games, both scoring and allowing a ton of runs. In that 6 game span alone, the Indians have scored 28 runs while allowing 37 runs scored against them. They are averaging more than 4 runs scored per game in that span while averaging over 6 runs scored against them in each. Rookie pitcher Eli Morgan is expected to start on the mound for the Indians on Tuesday. He is 1-5 this season with a 6.52 ERA.He has been credited with 3 straight losses and has been blown up quite a bit this season. In 10 starts for the team, he has only allowed less than 3 earned runs in 2 games this season. BetMGM sportsbook had the Twins odds listed at -130 the previous night, and that totally makes sense considering the season stats posted by both of these teams. The Twins have started to get into a groove as they have won 7 of their last 10 games. Not only have they been putting up runs recently, 26 runs scored in their last 5, but they are also keeping the other teams hitters at bay. They have only been blown up once in their last 5 games, allowing 10 runs in a single game. In the other 4 games they have only allowed 7 runs total scored against them. Bailey Ober will be throwing the first pitch for the Twins in this game. He is 1-1 this season with a 4.53 ERA. The team has won the last 3 games when he has started for them and they have won 5 of his last 7 starts. He did not allow a single earned run through 5 innings of play in his last outing and has allowed more than 3 on just 1 occasion in that 7 game span. 
Notable Quotes:
"I was really happy with how we put together those two innings. Jose did hit the homer, but the other nine runs all came on balls that stayed in the park. We recognized we had a chance to keep the innings going and we took it." - DeMarlo Hale on how his team performed in the 2nd and 3rd innings.
 
"Obviously nobody over here is satisfied with anything that we've seen this year as a whole. But I will tell you this ... any team in baseball that would be looking at our August would be saying that's about as tough as it gets in Major League Baseball. We have not let that get in our way in any way. We've gone out there and kind of brought it to the teams we're playing. And frankly I think we should be happy about that right now." - Rocco Baldelli on his team's performance throughout this tough August schedule.
Trends:
Cleveland: 39-24 on the money line against teams with a bullpen that have an ERA of 4.20 or more this season.
Minnesota: 39-15 on the money line against a starting pitcher with a win percentage of less than 20%, going back to 1997.
Indians Twins Prediction:  Our MLB Pick for Tuesday August 17, 2021 (8:10pm EST start) is Twins 6 Indians 3.
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