Guardians vs. Twins prediction and odds for Wednesday, August 29 (Back the bullpen)

The Guardians lead the season series 5-4 over the Twins, but trail Minnesota by six games in the standings ahead of this rubber match in Minnesota today.
Cleveland Guardians starting pitcher Tanner Bibee (61)
Cleveland Guardians starting pitcher Tanner Bibee (61) / Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

This afternoon, the Cleveland Guardians and Minnesota Twins will conclude their three-game set. They’ve split the first two games and while they are the two top teams in the AL Central, there isn’t a lot of drama in this rubber match. The Twins lead the 63-70 Guardians by six games at 69-64, so the division is all but wrapped up. 

For the finale the Guardians will go with Tanner Bibee, who has had a great rookie season and is 10-3 with a 3.01 ERA in 21 starts. He will be opposed by veteran Sonny Gray who is 7-6 with a 3.06 ERA in 26 starts. 

The Twins are home favorites in the finale, but whichever side you want to back you can take advantage of this great DraftKings Sportsbook promo below. Just click the link to sign up, deposit $5, place a bet on this AL Central matchup, and claim $200 in bonus bets win or lose.

Guardians vs. Twins odds, run line and total

Guardians vs. Twins prediction and pick

This might honestly be a stalemate on the mound. Sonny Gray has the better FIP at 2.85 which is almost a run lower than Bibee’s 3.78, but Bibee’s 3.63 xERA is better than Gray’s 3.74. Bibee and Gray have nearly identical strikeout rates, at 23.6% and 24.3% respectively. Their walk rates are essentially the same as well. Despite the extra years of experience Gray has, these two are basically the same as starting pitchers. 

It’s hard to see an edge on either side there, however there might be an edge for Cleveland in the bullpen. 

The Guardians bullpen is No. 5 in ERA in baseball this season and since the start of August they have a 3.14 bullpen ERA. Over that same stretch, Minnesota’s relievers have posted a combined ERA of 4.55 which ranks 16th in baseball. In Cleveland’s win yesterday, Emilio Pagan allowed a run in the seventh inning while Cleveland’s bullpen covered the entire nine innings and allowed just two runs. 

Offensively, the Twins definitely have a slight edge, but it’s basically a wash in terms of starting pitcher and I might even lean towards Bibee over Gray a bit there, and Cleveland has the clear edge in the bullpen. It feels like there is a lot of value with the Guardians in the series finale of this one, even on the road. Cleveland leads the season series 5-4. 

I’ll take the Guardians to win this one outright as an underdog. 

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Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change

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