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Tuesday first 5 innings play (ytd 18-20)

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  • Tuesday first 5 innings play (ytd 18-20)

    Minnesota/Cleveland over 5.5 even:
    With Minnesota (82-74) on the heels of all but clinching the second AL wildcard spot heading into action 5 games up on Anaheim with 6 remaining, Cleveland (98-58) holds a 2 game lead over Houston for best overall AL record. The Twins and Indians meet for the final 3 times this season at Progressive Field, a series that has Cleveland winning 10/16 thus far heading into tonightís action. Cleveland has won 29 of their last 31 games including the infamous 22 game winning streak, while Minnesota is coming off a 4 game sweep of the Detroit Tigers where the offense averaged nearly 10 runs per contest. Any combination of a Minnesota win and Anaheim loss clinches the second postseason AL wildcard berth.

    The Indians send Josh Tomlin (9-9 4.98) to the hill this evening. Tomlin has won his last 5 decisions since June 25th and has pitched 4 consecutive quality starts allowing just 6 earned over his last 17 innings pitched. Terry Francona will almost certainly grant Tomlin a spot in the postseason rotation given his progression over the last 3 months overcoming his rocky first half start. He faces a Twins lineup hitting .259 overall averaging slightly over 5 runs per contest while ranking 8th in the NL with 199 HR. Brian Dozier (.262 32 87) far and away leads the club in overall production while second in stolen bases with 16 in 23 attempts (70%). Dozier is currently on a 3 game hitting streak with 6 hits in his last 15 at bats (.400). Joe Mauer (.308 7 70) leads the club in batting and has hit safely in 6 of his last 7 games (.333) marking his most efficient since 2013. Eddie Rosario (.287 26 75) is mired in a 4 for 28 slump (.143) but for the most part remains a consistent factor throughout the middle of the lineup. Miguel Sano (.267 28 77) is likely to miss the remainder of the regular season due to a shin injury, but Eduardo Escobar (.250 20 69) has filled the void nicely at the hot corner hitting safely in his last 4 games. Max Kepler (.244 19 68) returns to action after suffering a lower back injury in the series against the Tigers.

    The Twins counter with Bartolo Colon (6-14 6.63) who has been absolutely shelled over his last 3 starts lasting just 11 innings and allowing 16 earned (13.09) on 18 hits with 3 walks and 4 strikeouts. Given his misfortunes virtually all season, a postseason roster spot seems highly unlikely though Paul Molitor has indicated that Colon could provide middle relief in order to preserve his starters if Minnesota could make it to the ALDS. He faces an Indians lineup hitting .265 collectively also averaging just over 5 runs per contest while ranking 7th in the NL with 206 HR. While Cleveland seems more balanced than most teams especially on paper in the majors, they bring forth a lineup that provides balance and versatility throughout. Jose Ramirez (.317 29 81) leads the Tribe in batting hitting safely in 6 of his last 7 games (.481) while second in steals with 16 swipes in 21 attempts (76%). Francisco Lindor (.277 33 87) is just 5 for his last 28 (.179) but has 8 HR and 23 RBI in the month of September which proves he can get hot in a matter of few at-bats. The acquisition of Jay Bruce (.254 34 95) from the Mets has proven successful as the 2016 World Series runners up look to make a return appearance to the Fall Classic. Edwin Encarnarcion (.254 37 99) could be one of the leagueís most feared hitters hitting safely in 7 of his last 8 (.296) while about to eclipse triple digit RBIís. Carlos Santana (.259 23 78) is returning to action after suffering a shoulder injury that kept him out a couple of games.

    We get a bargain of a price this evening at Progressive Field, a venue in which the ball carries fairly well but favors mostly the pitchers as evident by the 410 ft dimensions to straight away center field. The corners are a lot more manageable at 325 each, and with warm humid air descending upon Lake Erie with calm breezes, runs should be plentiful. Itís a given that Tomlin has been nothing short of solid during the second half, but the Twins bats have been hotter than a firecracker as of late so run support will be important for Colon, who seems to have given up everything including the kitchen sink all season long. Best of luck however you play!

  • #2
    A 2 run double by Edwin Rosario cashes this one with ease in the top of the 3rd! Thanks and congrats to all that followed!