Guardians (26-30) vs. Twins (28-27) Game Preview | Thursday 6/1 7:40 PM. EST.

June 1, 2023

Andy Billman

Game 1 of 4 Against the Twins

3 Things Preview Guardians vs. Minnesota Twins:

1 – Winning month 

Cleveland heads into the month of June hoping to come out a winner as April and May were losing months for the Guards.  They come into the series with the Twins 25-30 and only three and a half games out of first place. 

2 – Relief with Bibee 

The Guardians need some innings today from rookie starter Tanner Bibee as the last two starters Cal Quantrill and Shane Bieber only went a combined 8 and 1/3 innings.  A Bibee win would be great but getting length is crucial as the Guards need to give rest to the bullpen. 

3 – Andres Gimenez 

It finally looks as though Andres Gimenez is breaking out of his slump going 6 for 9 in his last two starts for the Guards.  Also, Josh Bell looks better as of late as well going 4 for 11 with 4 RBIs and 1 home run. 

Guardians Notes

The Cleveland Guardians currently hold the third spot in the AL Central Division, but their performance so far has fallen well short of expectations, considering their previous success in winning the division and making it past the wildcard round in 2022. Despite acquiring first baseman Josh Bell and catcher Mike Zunino in the offseason to bolster their power, the Guardians have struggled to generate runs this season. The duo has collectively hit only six home runs and driven in 33 runs leading up to Wednesday’s series-ending game against the Orioles. However, in that game, the Guardians managed to overcome a rare rough start from their ace Shane Bieber and outscored the struggling Orioles with a 12-8 victory. The team recorded a season-high 17 hits, with Josh Naylor going 4-for-6, including two doubles, a home run, and six RBI.

In the series opener against the Twins, Cleveland will entrust rookie Tanner Bibee with the pitching duties. Since his call-up, Bibee has performed well, boasting a record of 1-1 in six starts and an impressive ERA of 2.88. He has delivered three quality starts thus far and maintains a K/9 rate of 8.9 and a WHIP of 1.09. On the road this season, Bibee has a 1-0 record in two starts, accompanied by an ERA of 3.18. However, his K/9 rate decreases to 6.4 on the road, and his WHIP rises to 1.32, having allowed 11 hits in 11.2 innings pitched away from home.

Guards Stats and Insights


  • Bibee (1-1) gets the starting nod for the Guardians in his seventh start of the season. He’s put together a 2.88 ERA in 34 1/3 innings pitched, with 34 strikeouts.
  • His most recent appearance came on Saturday against the St. Louis Cardinals, when the righty tossed six innings, surrendering one earned run while allowing two hits.
  • Bibee is seeking his fourth straight appearance lasting five or more innings. He averages 5.7 innings per start.
  • The Guardians were the underdog on the money line for three Bibee starts this season — they lost all of the games.
  • Bibee’s team has a 2-4 record in his starts this season.
  • Bibee has had six starts that sportsbooks set a total for this season and two of those matchups finished over the total.


  • They have won five of the seven games this season in which they hit two or more home runs.
  • Cleveland has gone 4-4 this season when collecting five or more extra-base hits as a team.
  • In 28 games this season with eight or more hits, they have a record of 14-14.
  • Cleveland has won 11 of its 15 games this season in which it scored more than four runs.
  • In 17 games this season with five or more walks drawn, they’ve posted a record of 9-8

Twins Notes

In 2022, the Minnesota Twins got off to a strong start in the AL Central and maintained their lead until the all-star break. However, a series of deadline trades halted their progress, leading to a collapse in the second half of the season, allowing the Guardians to clinch the division title. Despite having the only positive run differential in the AL Central (+40), the Twins entered the series finale against the Astros on Wednesday night with just a two-game lead over .500.

During the series finale, starting pitcher Louie Varland delivered an impressive performance, throwing seven scoreless innings. The Twins’ offense provided solid support, recording 11 hits and scoring 9 runs in a convincing 9-2 victory over the Astros.

For their upcoming series against the Guardians, the Twins will rely on Pablo Lopez, one of their key offseason trade acquisitions. Lopez has a record of 3-3 in 11 starts this season, with an ERA of 4.11. He has delivered six quality starts thus far, maintaining a K/9 rate of 11.1 and a WHIP of 1.13. However, when pitching at home this season, Lopez’s record is 2-1 in five starts, with an ERA of 5.46. His WHIP increases to 1.25 at home, and his K/9 rate rises slightly to 11.2.

In his first season in the American League, Lopez has experienced a nearly six percent increase in his hard-hit percentage, rising from just over 34% to 40%. Nevertheless, his strikeout percentage has improved, progressing from just under 24% for his career to 30% in the current season.

Twins Stats and Insights


  • Lopez and his team are 3-6-0 ATS this season when he starts.
  • The right-hander’s last start was on Saturday when he tossed 5 2/3 innings while giving up four earned runs on five hits in a matchup with the Toronto Blue Jays.
  • Lopez has pitched five or more innings in two straight games and will look to extend that streak.
  • Lopez’s team has won 83.3% of his starts when they are favored on the money line (5-1).
  • In games Lopez has started, his team is 6-5.
  • In games Lopez has started this season, the teams are 5-4-0 at hitting the over.


  • The Twins are 27-5 this season in games when they crush two or more homers.
  • Minnesota has put up five or more extra-base hits in 19 games this season and won every time.
  • The team is 32-7 in the games this season it has notched eight or more hits.
  • Minnesota is 33-3 in games this season when it put up at least five runs.
  • The Twins have drawn at least five walks in 24 games this season, and are 15-9 in those contests.

Final Thoughts/Pick

With the huge offensive outburst yesterday against the Orioles bullpen game you should consider taking under 8 runs in this game on Thursday. Neither lineup has been outstanding this season, and the Guardians are currently at the bottom of the majors in terms of runs scored. When facing the lackluster Cleveland lineup, Pablo Lopez should have no difficulty keeping the Guardians hitters in check, limiting them to just a few runs at most. Although the Twins have been slightly better offensively this season, they still haven’t reached the top tier of the league, ranking in the middle of the pack. With our talented rookie Tanner Bibee on the mound for Cleveland, the Guardians should be able to contain the Twins’ lineup and restrict their scoring as well.

Our Pick: Guardians Under 8

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