Guardians (26-32) vs.Twins (31-28) Game Preview | Sunday 6/4 2:10 PM. EST.

June 4, 2023

Andy Billman

Series Finale Against the Twins

3 Things Preview Guardians vs. Minnesota Twins:

1 – Triston’s back!

Triston McKenzie makes his season debut for the Guards and it will be Joe Ryan on the bump for the Twins.  Ryan comes into today’s start with an ERA under three and a 7-2 record. 

2 – Hunter Gaddis and Michael Kelly Heading to Columbus

Relief pitcher Michael Kelly has been optioned to Columbus along with Hunter Gaddis.  Kelly has limited big-league experience only pitching in four innings all for the Phillies last season.  Kelly, in Columbus, has an ERA of 1.61 with 36 strikeouts in 22 1/3 innings. Kelly has been added to the 40-man roster.

3 – Plesac DFA

Zach Plesac has been DFA’d by the Guardians as of Sunday afternoon. In 83 starts, Plesac was 26-27 with a 4.20 ERA in Cleveland. It is a shocking fall from how his career started, but Plesac struggled in his last two seasons with the Guards.

Also, Peyton Battenfield has been moved to the 60-day IL with right shoulder inflammation. 

Guardians Notes

In this four-game series against the Twins, the Guardians entered with an opportunity to gain ground in the AL Central and inch closer to securing consecutive division titles in 2022 and 2023. However, the series didn’t begin as planned for the Guardians. They squandered a late lead in game one, resulting in a disappointing 7-6 loss. The following night, their offense struggled, resulting in a narrow 1-0 defeat.

Nevertheless, the Guardians showcased resilience on Saturday, bouncing back with a 4-2 victory. Despite trailing 2-1, they rallied in the seventh inning, scoring two runs. In the ninth inning, they added another run to seal the win.

Adding to the positive news, the Guardians will welcome back Triston Mackenzie to their starting rotation on Sunday. Mackenzie had been sidelined for the entire season due to a muscle strain in his throwing shoulder. In the previous year, Mackenzie’s impressive performance included an 11-11 record, 190 strikeouts, and an ERA of under 3. His exceptional form during the latter half of the season played a significant role in propelling the Guardians to the division title and advancing past the wildcard weekend round.

Guards Stats and Insights


  • McKenzie takes the mound for his first start of the season for the Guardians.
  • The 25-year-old right-hander last appeared Saturday, Oct. 15 against the New York Yankees, when he started and went five innings.
  • McKenzie and his team went 9-4 in games he appeared in when they were moneyline underdogs a season ago.
  • He helped his team to a win in 21 of the 30 games he pitched in last season.
  • When he pitched last season, the games went over the total set by sportsbooks in 14 of 32 opportunities.


  • They’ve hit two or more homers in eight games this season and are 6-2 in those matchups.
  • Cleveland has won four of its eight games with five or more extra-base hits this season.
  • They have won 15 of the 31 games in which they’ve collected eight or more hits this season.
  • Cleveland has won 11 of its 16 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

As June begins, the Minnesota Twins have managed to hold off their rivals in the AL Central Division, maintaining their lead in the standings. However, last year’s history serves as a cautionary tale, as they struggled during July and August, ultimately finishing far behind the Guardians. So far in their ongoing four-game series against Cleveland, the Twins have performed admirably. They staged a comeback to win the first game and secured a 1-0 victory on Friday night with solid pitching. On Saturday, they suffered their first defeat in the series, losing 4-2 after surrendering a 2-1 lead in the 7th inning.

In the final game of the series on Sunday, the Twins will rely on their ace, Joe Ryan, to take the mound. Ryan has an impressive record of 7-2 this season, boasting an ERA of 2.77. He has delivered eight quality starts out of his eleven appearances so far, maintaining a strikeout rate of 10.5 per nine innings and a WHIP of 1.11. When playing at home, Ryan has been particularly dominant, winning all four of his starts with an ERA of 2.25. His strikeout rate rises to 11.6, while his WHIP drops to an impressive 1.00. However, Ryan’s only start against the Guardians this season resulted in a 2-0 loss at Cleveland, where he allowed eight hits and two runs in six innings.

Regarding injuries, Joey Gallo, Byron Buxton, and Carlos Correa are currently listed as day-to-day, meaning their availability for upcoming games is uncertain.

Twins Stats and Insights


  • Ryan and his team have a record of 7-4-0 against the spread when he starts.
  • The right-hander’s last appearance was on Wednesday, when he threw four innings against the Houston Astros, giving up five earned runs while allowing four hits.
  • Ryan has started 11 games this season, and he’s lasted five or more innings 10 times. He averages 5.9 innings per appearance.
  • Ryan’s team has a record of 6-3 this season when he starts and they are the favorite on the money line.
  • In games Ryan has started, his team is 7-4.
  • Games Ryan has started this season hit over eight times in 11 chances.


  • The Twins have a 28-5 record in games this season when they hit two or more home runs.
  • Minnesota is undefeated in its 20 games this season with five or more extra-base hits.
  • The team has collected at least eight hits in 41 games this season and is 33-8 in those contests.
  • Minnesota has a 34-3 record in games this season when it put up at least five runs.
  • The Twins are 15-9 over the 24 games this season when they have drawn five or more walks.

Final Thoughts/Pick

In the race for the AL Central Division crown in 2023, the Twins and Guardians find themselves once again competing, but the odds heavily favor the Twins at this stage. Prior to Saturday night’s game, the Twins boast an impressive season run differential of +48, while the Guardians have struggled with a run differential of -34. The Guardians, however, will receive a boost with Mackenzie’s return to the rotation. As a young right-hander, Mackenzie has established himself as one of the rising stars in Major League Baseball. Yet, in this particular situation, Mackenzie’s performance may be limited as he gradually regains his pitching form. On the other hand, Ryan is already in excellent shape and has been compiling a remarkable resume that could potentially earn him a Cy Young Award. His home record stands at an impressive 4-0, with an ERA of just 2.25. Facing the Guardians, whose scoring rank is 29th this season, Ryan is expected to dominate the opposing lineup with relative ease.

Our Pick: Take Twins and the money line

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