Guardians (66-72) vs. Twins (72-66) Match-Up Preview | 9/5 6:10 PM EST

September 5, 2023

Andy Billman

Game 2 Against the Twins

3 Things Preview For Today’s Game:

1 – Tanner Bibee

After giving up 20 runs on Monday, Tanner Bibee will try and settle down the Twins bats.  In his last start against the Twins, he earned the no decision going five innings while only giving up two earned.

2 – Naylor So Far So Good

So far in two games, Josh Naylor has not missed a beat, going three for seven with an RBI.

3 – Hentges

Sam Hentges was the only pitcher who did not give up a run on Monday night.  Hentges has been on quite a run, as he has not given up an earned run in over a month.  His last appearance when he gave up an earned run was way back on July 23rd against the Phillies.

Guardians Notes

Cleveland’s impressive four-game winning streak came to an end when they suffered defeat in the final game of a three-game series against Tampa Bay on a Sunday afternoon at home. The Guardians’ season record dropped to 66-71, placing them second in the AL Central, trailing the Twins by five games for the division’s top spot. They found themselves 10.5 games behind the Rangers and Astros, who currently occupied the final two wild card positions in the AL playoff race. During Sunday’s match, Cleveland struggled at the plate, managing only five hits, with Gabriel Arias being the sole player to collect two of them.

Xzavion Curry did not influence the outcome of the game, pitching 5.1 innings and conceding two runs (one earned) on six hits. He also issued one walk while striking out six batters. In relief, Trevor Stephan (6-5) suffered the loss, surrendering one run on one hit with one walk and two strikeouts over a single inning of work.

Taking the mound for the Guardians in this contest is Tanner Bibee, making his 23rd start of the season. Bibee boasts a season record of 10-3, accompanied by a 3.03 ERA, a 1.211 WHIP, 40 walks, and 125 strikeouts across 124.2 innings of play. In his previous start, against the Twins on the road last Wednesday, Bibee did not factor into the decision. He pitched five innings, allowing two runs on four hits, along with three walks and eight strikeouts. The Guardians eventually secured a 5-2 victory in 10 innings. Over his last three starts, Bibee has posted a 1-1 record with a 3.94 ERA, a 1.25 WHIP, five walks, and 19 strikeouts over 16 innings.

This matchup marks Bibee’s third career start against the Twins, with his previous outings resulting in no wins or losses, a 4.50 ERA, a 1.40 WHIP, four walks, and 14 strikeouts over 10 innings. Additionally, Bibee has excelled in his 10 career starts at Progressive Field, amassing a 5-2 record with a remarkable 2.02 ERA, a 1.00 WHIP, 17 walks, and 59 strikeouts over 58 innings.

Guardians Stats and Insights


  • The Guardians will send Bibee (10-3) to the mound for his 23rd start of the season.
  • Bibee boasts a record of 10-3 with a 3.03 ERA and 125 strikeouts across 124 2/3 innings pitched.
  • In his most recent outing against the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday, Bibee pitched five innings, allowing two earned runs and giving up four hits.
  • Bibee aims to extend his streak of lasting five or more innings, which currently spans 14 games (averaging 5.6 frames per appearance).
  • He has achieved three appearances this season in which he held his opponents to zero earned runs.
  • The Guardians have been the moneyline underdog in 14 of Bibee’s starts this season, resulting in a 7-7 record in those games.
  • Overall, Bibee’s team has a 13-9 record in his starts this season.
  • Among Bibee’s starts with a set total this season, eight out of 22 games have exceeded the run total.


  • 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.
  • In 84 games this season with eight or more hits, they have a record of 45-39.
  • In 52 games this season with five or more runs scored, it has posted a record of 39-13.
  • They have an 18-15 record this season when drawing five or more walks in a game.

Twins Notes

Minnesota had opportunities to complete a series sweep of the Rangers during their road trip over the weekend but fell short on Sunday afternoon. Instead, they settled for taking two out of three games in the set. The Twins began Monday with a season record of 71-66, holding a five-game lead over the Guardians for the top spot in the AL Central race.

During Sunday’s game, Royce Lewis contributed with two runs and four RBIs, while Carlos Correa added an RBI, both recording three hits. Edouard Julien also chipped in with a run and two hits, despite the team’s losing effort. The Twins struggled to capitalize on their scoring opportunities, leaving 12 runners stranded on base and going three for 12 with runners in scoring position.

Kenta Maeda pitched five innings but did not factor into the decision, allowing three runs on nine hits with two walks and three strikeouts. Josh Winder (2-1) suffered the loss in relief, giving up a solo home run to Adolis Garcia, the only batter he faced.

In this upcoming contest, Sonny Gray will take the mound for his 28th start of the season for the Twins. Gray enters the game with a 7-6 record and an impressive 2.92 ERA, along with a 1.166 WHIP, 51 walks, and 156 strikeouts over 157 innings this season. In his last start, which took place at home against the Guardians, Gray went seven innings, allowing no runs on three hits with one walk and five strikeouts. Despite his strong performance, the Twins lost that game 5-2 in 10 innings. Over his last three starts, Gray has maintained a 2.18 ERA, a 0.82 WHIP, with four walks and 16 strikeouts over 20.2 innings.

Gray has faced the Guardians 19 times in his career, holding a 6-5 record with a 3.41 ERA, a 1.216 WHIP, 35 walks, and 96 strikeouts over 100.1 innings of work against them. However, his record at Progressive Field stands at 3-4 with a 5.02 ERA, a 1.233 WHIP, 16 walks, and 57 strikeouts in eight career starts.

Twins Stats and Insights


  • Gray’s team is 11-16-0 against the spread this season when he starts.
  • In his last appearance on Wednesday, Gray threw seven scoreless innings against the Cleveland Guardians while allowing three hits.
  • Gray has made 13 consecutive starts of five innings or more.
  • Out of his 27 chances this season, Gray has had six appearances with zero earned runs allowed.
  • When Gray’s team is favored on the moneyline, they have won 47.4% of his starts (9-10).
  • Gray’s team has won 12 out of his 27 starts.
  • In Gray’s 27 starts with a total, the teams have hit the over 11 times.


  • The Twins have a 53-16 record this season in games when they hit two or more homers.
  • Minnesota is 39-8 in games this season when it has put up at least five extra-base hits.
  • The club has notched at least eight hits in 82 games this season, and is 61-21 in those contests.
  • Minnesota has a 66-13 record in games this season when it scored at least five runs.
  • The Twins have drawn five or more walks in 45 games this season, and are 30-15 in those contests.

Final Thoughts/Pick

Last week, these two pitchers faced off in the Twin Cities, both delivering strong performances but ultimately receiving no decisions. As of Monday, Minnesota holds a five-game lead in the AL Central, giving them some breathing room. The Guardians have bolstered their pitching depth by acquiring Lucas Giolito, Matt Moore, and Reynaldo Lopez, a move that should benefit them during the remainder of the season.

Bibee has had an impressive rookie season, although there is some concern about him potentially hitting a wall due to the number of innings he has pitched this year. Nonetheless, he has excelled at Progressive Field, and the Twins have shown proficiency in generating offense. Therefore, we recommend taking the Guardians in this challenging matchup as they secure a hard-fought victory.

Our Pick: Take Guardians and the Money Line

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