Guardians (62-70) vs. Twins (69-63) Match-Up Preview | 8/29 7:40 PM EST

August 29, 2023

Andy Billman

Game 2 of 3 Game Series Against the Twins

3 Things Preview For Today’s Game:

1 – Must Win Mode 

Cleveland has to start winning games against Minnesota for any chance of winning the division.  For the first time in 2023, the Guards are in must-win mode for Tuesday and Wednesday.

2 – Gaga for Gavin

Gavin Williams will toe the mound trying to get the W in the column on Tuesday.   Williams has struggled as of late as in his last start he only went 4 1/3 innings pitched and is winless in the month of August. 

3 – Josh Naylor Rehab

On Tuesday in Akron, Josh Naylor will be starting his rehab assignment as the club hopes to get him back by early September.  Naylor is recovering from an oblique strain and has been out since early August. 

Guardians Notes

The Cleveland Guardians find themselves at a pivotal moment as they step into a crucial three-game series against the Twins in Minnesota. Their path to the playoffs hinges on clinching the AL Central Division title this season. With the team currently seven games below a .500 win-loss record and trailing the leading Twins by six games, this series becomes a make-or-break opportunity. In their recent matchup against the Blue Jays in Toronto, the Guardians managed to secure victory in two out of three games over the weekend. However, their focus must now shift to narrowing the gap against the Twins during this upcoming three-game showdown.

The opening game of the series took place on Monday night, where the Guardians displayed a strong start by scoring four runs in the second inning. Unfortunately, their momentum was thwarted as the Twins retaliated with a six-run inning, resulting in a disheartening 10-6 loss for the Guardians.

Looking ahead, the Guardians will place their hopes on Gavin Williams, a rookie right-handed pitcher, as he takes the mound on Tuesday night in Minnesota. Williams has faced a challenging season, accumulating a 1-5 record in 12 starts. Throughout this period, he has surrendered 56 hits across 64 innings pitched. Despite his struggles, Williams maintains an ERA of 3.52, backed by a solid K/9 rate of 9.6 and a WHIP of 1.28. Notably, Williams has demonstrated greater prowess on the road, boasting an ERA of just 2.05 across four starts, during which he yielded 14 hits in 22 innings and struck out 26 batters. In his most recent five starts, Williams has faced adversity, going 0-3 with a 3.76 ERA, while still managing to strike out 37 batters across 26.1 innings pitched.

Guardians Stats and Insights


  • Williams makes the start for the Guardians, his 13th of the season. He is 1-5 with a 3.52 ERA and 68 strikeouts in 64 2/3 innings pitched.
  • In his most recent time out on Thursday against the Los Angeles Dodgers, the right-hander threw 4 1/3 innings, giving up five earned runs while surrendering eight hits.
  • Williams has put up nine starts this campaign which he pitched five or more innings.
  • In three of his appearances this season, he has not surrendered an earned run.
  • The Guardians have been the money line underdog in six of Williams’ starts this season, and they went 1-5 in those games.
  • Williams’ team has a 5-7 record in his starts this season.
  • Williams’ starts went over the run total five times in 11 games with a set total this season.


  • They’ve hit two or more homers in 26 games this season and are 20-6 in those matchups.
  • Cleveland has won 19 of its 25 games with five or more extra-base hits this season.
  • They have won 42 of the 79 games in which they’ve collected eight or more hits this season.
  • In 48 games this season with five or more runs scored, it has posted a record of 37-11.
  • They have won 18 of their 30 games this season in which they’ve drawn more than four free passes.

Twins Notes

The Minnesota Twins appear unprepared to replicate their recent history. In the prior season, the Twins held the lead in the AL Central division at the all-star break, but their performance deteriorated in the latter half, causing them to finish behind the Cleveland Guardians. In the current season, Minnesota stands as the sole team in the division with a winning record. Demonstrating their resilience over the weekend, they clinched victory in three out of four games against the Rangers in Minnesota. On Sunday night, the Twins staged an impressive comeback from a five-run deficit to secure a 7-6 triumph over the Rangers in 13 innings.

With a record of 68-63, the Twins welcomed the Guardians on Monday night, boasting a six-game lead in the division. The opportunity to push the Guardians to the brink of elimination presented itself. In the opening game, the Twins rebounded from an initial 4-0 setback to achieve a 10-6 victory, extending their lead over the Guardians in the AL Central Division standings to a season-high seven games. Royce Lewis took charge with a home run and four RBIs during the match.

For the upcoming Tuesday night game against the Guardians, the Twins will rely on right-handed pitcher Pablo Lopez. In 26 starts this season, Lopez holds a 9-6 record, leading the team with 16 quality starts. He has given up 140 hits across 158.2 innings pitched, maintaining an ERA of 3.69. Lopez boasts a team-best K/9 rate of 10.8 and a WHIP of 1.13. When playing at home, he holds a 4-2 record with a 4.56 ERA in 13 games, amassing an impressive 93 strikeouts within 75 innings pitched. Recent performance highlights his dominance, with a perfect 4-0 record in his last five starts and an impressive ERA of 1.80. Lopez encountered Cleveland only once this season, resulting in a no-decision, as he conceded eight hits and six runs over 5.2 innings of play.

Twins Stats and Insights


  • Lopez’s team is 12-14-0 against the spread this season in his starts.
  • The right-hander gave up five earned runs in five innings pitched on Thursday in his last outing, a matchup with the Texas Rangers.
  • Lopez has 17 starts in a row of five innings or more.
  • He has five appearances with no earned runs allowed in 26 chances this season.
  • Lopez’s team has a record of 15-5 this season when he starts and they are the favorite on the moneyline.
  • Lopez’s team has won 16 of his 26 starts.
  • Out of Lopez’s 26 starts with a total this season, 13 have hit the over.


  • The Twins are 51-15 this season in games when they crush two or more home runs.
  • Minnesota has racked up at least five extra-base hits in 46 games this season, and has gone 38-8 in those outings.
  • The team has racked up at least eight hits 79 times this season, and has a 59-20 record in those games.
  • Minnesota has a 63-12 record in games this season when it put up five or more runs.
  • The Twins are 29-13 in games this season when they have drawn at least five walks.

Final Thoughts/Pick

Despite solid overall performance, Cleveland’s starting pitcher, Williams, has faced a string of unfortunate losses this season. Despite boasting an impressive ERA of 2.05 in his last five starts, he has only managed a 1-5 record for the season and a disappointing 0-2 record in his recent five starts. Regrettably, the Guardians have been unable to secure a win in any of his last five starts, struggling to muster a meager 2.2 runs per game during those appearances. In contrast, Twins’ starter Lopez has enjoyed a successful streak, going 4-0 in his past five starts, coinciding with the Twins’ own unbeaten 5-0 run in those games. Notably, Minnesota has been scoring an average of 6.4 runs per game in Lopez’s recent five starts. As they face the opportunity to exert dominance over the Guardians and pave their way to a division title, the Twins are expected to approach Tuesday night’s game with determination, maintaining the ongoing favorable trends for both teams.

Our Pick: Take Twins and the Money Line

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