Twins running away with division already
The two teams have split their last 22 meetings dating back to the start of 2018 and matched each other stat for stat.
However, Minnesota has since run away with the division.
The Twins (44-12) have an 11 1/2 game lead in the AL Central heading into Tuesday’s series opener, the third-largest division lead at this point in the season since divisional play began in 1969.
Largest division lead on June 4, all-time
|2001||Seattle Mariners||AL West||44-12||16 1/2|
|2017||Houston Astros||AL West||41-16||13 1/2|
|2019||Minnesota Twins||AL Central||40-18||11 1/2|
|1988||Oakland A’s||AL West||38-15||11|
|2017||Washington Nationals||NL East||35-20||10 1/2|
Minnesota owes some of their success to the long ball. The Twins lead the majors with 109 home runs, while the Indians rank 25th with just 61 homers.
Of those 61 home runs, just a handful have been worth more than one run.
The Indians have hit 48 solo home runs this season, 78.7% of their total, currently the highest such percentage since 1974.
If Twins starter Devin Smeltzer‘s debut is any indication, they could have a hard time hitting home runs of any sort Tuesday.
Called up last week, the rookie shut out the Milwaukee Brewers in his first career start, allowing just three hits and racking up seven strikeouts in six innings.
He’s the first pitcher in Twins history to post such a stat line — at least seven strikeouts and no earned runs — in his debut, and the second in franchise history, joining Dixie Walker of the 1909 Washington Senators.
— Second year right-hander Shane Bieber, set to start for the Indians, has 203 career strikeouts heading into the 33rd appearance of his MLB career, the most ever by a Cleveland pitcher through his first 32 career starts.
Statistics via Sportradar