Cleveland Indians’ Franmil Reyes reacts after striking out during the eighth inning of the team’s baseball game against the Minnesota Twins, Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
- Cleveland is a -135 favorite over the Minnesota Twins on Thursday (September 9th, 6:10 pm ET)
- Cal Quantrill (4-3, 3.15 ERA) will take the ball for Cleveland, while the Twins will counter with Randy Dobnak (1-7, 7.64 ERA)
- Read below for odds, analysis and a betting prediction
The Minnesota Twins will have the brooms ready on Thursday (September 9th) in Cleveland, as they’ll look to complete a four-game sweep of their AL Central rival. Minnesota has taken the first three games by a combined score of 11-2, and are fresh off back-to-back shutout performances.
Cleveland has now lost five of six overall, all but assuring this year’s club won’t be playing meaningful October baseball.
Twins vs Cleveland Odds
|Minnesota Twins||+115||+1.5 (-160)||O 9 (-105)|
|Cleveland||-135||-1.5 (+140)||U 9 (-115)|
Odds as of Sept. 8th at DraftKings.
Despite the recent struggles, Cleveland opened up as a -135 moneyline favorite, in a game that features a total of 9. First pitch is scheduled for 6:10 pm ET at Progressive Field, with rain and 68 degree temperatures in the forecast.
The pitching matchup on paper is tilted heavily in Cleveland’s favor. They’ll send Cal Quantrill to the mound, who’s allowed one run or less in seven of his past 10 starts. He’s on pace for the highest WAR of his career, and has held enemy hitters to a career-best 27.5% hard hit rate.
Cal Quantrill screams after striking out Devers, a breakdown pic.twitter.com/yITseVMyNh
— Jomboy (@Jomboy_) September 4, 2021
Quantrill is not a power pitcher by any means, as evident by his 7.41 K/9 rate, and he relies heavily on pitching to contact. When he’s on, he’s inducing a lot of softly hit balls, but when he’s off, things can go downhill quickly.
Dobnak vs Quantrill
Last time out for Quantrill was a perfect reflection of that. He allowed seven hits and five runs to the Red Sox in a 8-5 defeat. It marked just the second time since late June he’s surrendered more than four runs in an outing, and coincidentally the last time it happened was against the Twins. In two starts versus Minny this season, he’s yielded 14 hits and nine runs over 9.1 innings.
The Twins will counter with Randy Dobnak, who’ll make his second start since being recalled from the minors. The 26-year-old has allowed five or more runs in three of his past four big league outings, and is exactly the type of pitcher you want to face when mired in a losing streak.
Randy Dobnak is not a solution as a starting pitcher for the Twins. Enough already.
— Randy Carpenter (@rcarpenter7) September 4, 2021
Dobnak has given up 30 runs over his past 30.1 innings, while posting a pitiful 4.8 K/9 rate, and issuing a .310 average to enemy hitters.
Batting Average vs Starting Pitchers
|Twins Batters||Batting Average vs Quantrill||Cleveland Batters||Batting Average vs Dobnak|
|Luis Arraez||.571||Yu Chang||.000|
|Miguel Sano||.200||Oscar Mercado||.375|
|Nick Gordon||.500||Austin Hedges||.000|
|Jake Cave||.500||Jose Ramirez||.286|
|Josh Donaldson||.556||Franmil Reyes||.111|
|Max Kepler||.200||Amed Rosario||.000|
|Jorge Polanco||.000||Myles Straw||1.000|
Minnesota has lost five of his past six starts by at least two runs, with four of those defeats coming by three or more runs.
Twins vs Cleveland Pick
Dobnak has especially struggled out of the gate this season, look no further than the five runs he gave up in the first inning of his last start, and it makes sense to target Cleveland early.
Yes, Cleveland’s bats have been cold recently, but a date with Dobnak should solve that. The righty is yielding a HR/9 rate of 1.95 and this Cleveland team is fresh off going deep in 20 straight games.
Franmil made sure we set the new the franchise mark with his blast last night.
— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) September 7, 2021
Having Quantrill on the mound also bodes well for Cleveland, as he’s been fantastic over the past two months outside of his last outing. The Minnesota bats meanwhile, have posted the fourth lowest OPS in the league over the past 14 days.
Pick: Cleveland -0.5 First 5 Innings (+100)
Chris began his career at Hockey Night in Canada over 15 years ago. He has since worked at TSN for over 12 years as a writer, line-up producer, field producer, newsroom supervisor for Sportscentre, and presently as a promotions producer.