Guardians (62-69) vs. Twins (68-63) Match-Up Preview | 8/28 7:40 PM EST

August 28, 2023

Andy Billman

Game 1 of 3 Game Series Against the Twins

3 Things Preview For Today’s Game:

1 – Thor is gone

Noah Syndergaard has been designated for assignment, meaning he will be released or picked up by another club.  The move was made as Cal Quantrill is expected back this week. 

2 – AL Central Battle 

The Guardians play the Twins six times in the final few weeks, so one more attempt to win the division. One must figure that they have to win five out of six to catch the Twins.  Cleveland is currently six games out.

3 – X-Man  

Xzavion Curry is on the bump for the Guards on Monday night looking to bounce back as he only went two innings in his last start. 

Guardians Notes

The Guardians find themselves facing a challenging season, yet they maintain an outside chance of clinching the division title, particularly if they can string together a strong series against the Twins. Taking the mound for the upcoming game will be Xzavion Curry, who is determined to bounce back from a difficult year. He has given up a total of 32 runs over 77 innings pitched. Unfortunately, Curry has been facing tough odds with a .275 expected opponent Batting Average, a .475 expected opponent Slugging Percentage, a 46.3 Hard-Hit Percentage, and an expected ERA of 4.99. These stats reveal that opponents have been effectively making contact and capitalizing on his pitches, resulting in significant runs scored.

While Curry has faced his share of struggles, the team’s batting lineup hasn’t fared much better. They have been averaging only 4.00 runs per game, and in their most recent five games, they’ve managed to score just 22 runs. Among the individual players, Jose Ramirez stands out with a slash line of .278/.352/.483, along with 20 home runs and 233 total bases. Similarly, Steven Kwan has contributed with a slash line of .270/.339/.378 and 193 total bases. However, the rest of the lineup has encountered difficulties. Only two batters have managed to achieve an OPS+ of over 100, and opposing pitchers have found it relatively easy to neutralize the struggling lineup.

Guardians Stats and Insights


  • The Guardians will send Curry (3-2) out for his eighth start of the season. He is 3-2 with a 3.51 ERA and 53 strikeouts through 77 2/3 innings pitched.
  • In his last appearance on Wednesday, the right-hander threw two innings against the Los Angeles Dodgers, allowing three earned runs while surrendering five hits.
  • Curry heads into the matchup with four outings of five or more innings pitched this season.
  • In 15 of his 32 total appearances this season he has not surrendered an earned run.
  • The Guardians were the moneyline underdog for three Curry starts this season — they lost every game.
  • Curry’s team has a 2-5 record over his seven starts.
  • Curry has had seven starts with a set total this season, and the teams combined to go over the total in three of those outings.


  • They are 20-6 this season when they hit two or more home runs in a game.
  • In 24 games with five or more extra-base hits this season, it has a record of 19-5.
  • In 79 games this season with eight or more hits, they have a record of 42-37.
  • Cleveland has won 37 of its 47 games this season in which it scored more than four runs.
  • They have won 18 of their 30 games this season in which they’ve drawn more than four free passes.

Twins Notes

The Twins currently hold the top position in their division and are determined to stave off the challenge from the Guardians as they aim to secure the division championship in the upcoming weeks. While Kenta Maeda has encountered recent difficulties, his overall performance on the mound this season has been impressive. He has given up just 36 runs in 74.2 innings pitched and has managed to strike out 88 batters. Notably, his expected opponent Batting Average stands at .228, accompanied by a 28.9% Strikeout Percentage and a projected ERA of 3.77. These statistics underline the fact that opponents are struggling to make substantial contact against Maeda and find it challenging to bring in runs.

The Twins’ success has been largely shouldered by Maeda and the pitching staff, although their lineup has encountered difficulties throughout the season, averaging just 4.48 runs per game. Edouard Julien has stood out with a slash line of .286/.378/.482, hitting 11 home runs and accumulating 118 total bases. Similarly, Max Kepler has contributed with a slash line of .247/.312/.485, along with 21 home runs and 163 total bases. However, the remaining members of the lineup have faced challenges. Only three batters have managed to achieve an OPS+ above 100, resulting in opposing pitchers being able to exploit the top-heavy nature of the lineup.

Twins Stats and Insights


  • Maeda’s team is 8-7-0 against the spread this season in his starts.
  • The right-hander last pitched on Wednesday, when he gave up three earned runs and allowed four hits in five innings against the Milwaukee Brewers.
  • Maeda has made 11 starts of five or more innings in 15 chances this season and averages 4.9 frames when he pitches.
  • In 15 appearances this season, he has finished one without allowing an earned run.
  • When Maeda starts a game and his team is the favorite on the moneyline, they have a record of 5-3.
  • Maeda’s team is 6-9 when he starts this season.
  • In games Maeda has started this season, the teams are 8-6-1 at hitting the over.


  • The Twins have racked up at least two dingers in 65 games this season, and are 50-15 in those contests.
  • Minnesota has gone 37-8 in its 45 games this season with five or more extra-base hits.
  • The club is 58-20 in the games this season it has put up at least eight hits.
  • Minnesota is 62-12 in games this season when it put up at least five runs.
  • The Twins have drawn five or more walks in 41 games this season, and are 28-13 in those contests.

Final Thoughts/Pick

The Guardians are aiming to make a strong push in their division, but they face a formidable challenge from the Twins, who are having an outstanding season. The Twins are determined to take control of the game right from the first inning. Their lineup, led by Edouard Julien and Max Kepler, is expected to consistently drive in runs by making solid contact and delivering powerful hits to easily score baserunners. To secure their advantage, the Twins need to contain the Guardians’ lineup, which has been averaging just 4.00 runs per game. Key to this effort is Kenta Maeda, who should deliver multiple robust innings on the mound, setting the stage for the bullpen to finish the game with the lead intact. With a strong performance in front of their home crowd, the Twins are positioned to secure a victory. Consider taking the Twins money line as they hold the advantage of playing at home as favorites.

Our Pick: Take Twins and the Money Line

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