Guardians (66-73) vs. Twins (73-66) Match-Up Preview | 9/6 1:10 PM EST

September 6, 2023

Andy Billman

Series Finale Against the Twins


3 Things Preview For Today’s Game:

1 – Gaga for Gavin 

Gavin Williams is making his first start since falling off the mound against the very same Twins back in late August. 

2 – Central Woes 

A lot of questions will be asked about what went wrong in 2023 for the Guardians and one theory will be the losing record in the AL Central Division. The Guardians are currently 21-24 heading into Wednesday’s game.

3 – 1%

According to ESPN stats and information, the Guardians’ chances are down to 1% of making the playoffs in 2023.  Hug that one percent tight. 


Guardians Notes

The Cleveland Guardians find themselves at a critical juncture, with this series possibly representing their last chance to contend for the AL Central Division title this season. In their recent matchups, the Guardians secured victories in two out of three games against the Twins last week in Minnesota, followed by another two out of three wins against the previously dominant Rays over the weekend. Unfortunately, the first two games of this series may have signaled the end of their bid to catch up with the Twins in the AL Central Division race. In the opening game, the Guardians suffered a resounding 20-6 defeat, surrendering 20 hits to the Twins. On Tuesday night, the Twins continued their dominance, defeating the Guardians 8-3.

In the series finale against the Twins, the Guardians will turn to their rookie sensation, Gavin Williams. Williams has a season record of 1-5 in 13 starts, which includes two quality starts. Over the course of the season, he has allowed 56 hits in 65 innings pitched, maintaining an ERA of 3.46. His strikeout rate stands at 9.4 per nine innings, and he boasts a WHIP of 1.28. However, Williams has struggled in his recent five starts, going 0-2 with an ERA of 3.63. During this period, he allowed 20 hits in 22.1 innings while striking out 31 batters. When pitching at home this season, Williams holds a record of 1-3 in eight starts, maintaining a 4.29 ERA and tallying 42 strikeouts in 42 innings pitched.

Guardians Stats and Insights

GUARDIANS PROBABLE PITCHER – Gavin Williams

  • Williams (1-5 with a 3.46 ERA and 68 strikeouts in 65 2/3 innings pitched) gets the start for the Guardians, his 14th of the season.
  • In his most recent appearance on Tuesday, Aug. 29 against the Minnesota Twins, the right-hander went one scoreless inning without surrendering a hit.
  • Williams has put together nine starts this campaign where he pitched five or more innings.
  • In four of his appearances this season, he has not surrendered an earned run.
  • The Guardians have been the money line underdog in seven of Williams’ starts this season, and they went 2-5 in those matchups.
  • Over Williams’ 13 starts, his team is 6-7.
  • Williams has had 12 starts with a set total this season, and the teams combined to hit the over in five of those outings.

GUARDIANS HITTING TRENDS

  • They’ve hit two or more homers in 26 games this season and are 20-6 in those matchups.
  • In 25 games with five or more extra-base hits this season, it has a record of 19-6.
  • They have won 45 of the 84 games in which they’ve collected eight or more hits this season.
  • 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

This week, the Twins arrive in Cleveland with the goal of extending their lead over the Guardians in the race for the AL Central Division championship. Last week in Minnesota, the Twins faced the Guardians, losing two out of three games. However, they quickly rebounded over the weekend in Texas, winning two out of three against the Rangers. On Sunday, they came close to completing a sweep but were ultimately defeated by a walk-off home run.

In the current series, the Twins have displayed dominance, securing a 20-6 victory on Monday night and following it up with an 8-3 win on Tuesday. This performance has widened their lead to seven games in the division.

For the series finale on Wednesday, the Twins will call upon Joe Ryan. After a recent return from the Injured List, Ryan holds a record of 10-8 in 24 starts, with 13 quality starts to his name. Throughout the season, he has allowed 126 hits in 137 innings pitched, maintaining an impressive 10.9 strikeouts per nine innings and a 1.12 WHIP. Ryan’s ERA currently stands at 4.20.

Although he faced some struggles before his IL stint, Ryan has made a strong comeback in his two starts since returning. In his first outing, he pitched five innings, allowing five hits and one run while striking out seven batters. His last start was even more impressive, as he went six innings, gave up only three hits and one run, and struck out seven batters without issuing a walk.

In his two starts against the Guardians this season, Ryan holds a 0-2 record, surrendering 10 hits over 12.2 innings pitched and allowing four earned runs. However, he has maintained a solid 2.84 ERA in those two outings.

Twins Stats and Insights

TWINS PROBABLE PITCHER – Joe Ryan

  • Ryan and his team are 12-12-0 ATS this season when he starts.
  • The right-hander gave up one earned run and allowed three hits in six innings pitched against the Texas Rangers on Saturday.
  • Ryan has pitched five or more innings in two straight games and will look to extend that streak.
  • He has three appearances with no earned runs allowed in 24 chances this season.
  • Ryan’s team has been victorious in 55.6% of the games he’s started as the money line favorite with a record of 10-8.
  • Ryan’s team has won 13 of his 24 starts.
  • Games started by Ryan have a 16-7-1 record at hitting the over this season.

TWINS HITTING TRENDS

  • The Twins are 53-16 this season in games when they hit at least two home runs.
  • Minnesota is 40-8 in games this season when it has had five or more extra-base hits.
  • The club has notched eight or more hits 83 times this season and has a 62-21 record in those games.
  • Minnesota is 67-13 in games this season when it scored five or more runs.
  • The Twins have drawn at least five walks in 46 games this season, and are 31-15 in those contests.

Final Thoughts/Pick

Despite having a decent ERA and a solid hits-to-innings pitched ratio, Williams has faced a string of tough luck in the current season as a pitcher for the Guardians. One of his primary challenges has been his inability to pitch deep into games. Out of his 13 starts this season, he has managed only two quality starts, often relying heavily on the Guardians’ bullpen for support.

On the other hand, the Twins’ starting pitcher, Ryan, has notched ten quality starts throughout the season, including an impressive outing in just his second start since returning from the IL. Despite losing both of his previous encounters with the Guardians this year, Ryan has maintained an ERA under three in those two starts. However, it’s worth noting that he hasn’t been able to rack up his usual strikeout numbers against the Guardians, with just eight strikeouts across both games.

In this crucial matchup, my inclination is to favor Ryan due to his ability to pitch deeper into games compared to Williams. Ryan’s performance should enable the Twins to rely on their bullpen to close out the contest. With a win on Wednesday, Minnesota and Ryan have a chance to secure a series sweep, and I believe they have what it takes to accomplish this feat.

Our Pick: Take Twins and the Money Line

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