Cleveland Indians vs. Minnesota Twins Prediction and Pick

Cleveland Indians vs. Minnesota Twins predictions and picks for Wednesday's game set in Cleveland from MLB handicapper Matt Zylbert. Which side of the total is Matt on? Find out here.
Matt Zylbert
Wed, September 8, 9:08 AM EDT

Cleveland Indians vs. Minnesota Twins Prediction and Pick

Minnesota Twins at Cleveland Indians

Over/Under: 9

First Pitch: 6:10 p.m. ET

Probable Pitchers: Joe Ryan (0-1, 5.40 ERA) vs. Triston McKenzie (4-5, 4.62 ERA)

Cleveland Indians vs. Minnesota Twins Prediction

Indians vs. Twins Odds

It’s time to take note of McKenzie for those that haven’t been doing so already.

The stringy rookie right-hander first arrived on the scene last year and exhibited very glaring potential, registering a 3.24 ERA, 0.90 WHIP, and .179 batting average against in eight outings (six starts) in the shortened 60-game campaign. Perhaps most notable, he also etched a very desirable 11.34 K/9.

While McKenzie’s current 4.62 ERA is nearly a full run and a half higher than his 2020 mark, that can be attributed to a suspect beginning to the campaign, one that led him to being shuffled a few times between Triple-A Columbus and the Tribe.

For more than a month now, though, McKenzie has been looking a lot like the promising pitcher he was a year ago. As a result, he enters tonight’s assignment having strung together five impressive quality starts in a row — to put this into perspective, McKenzie had just four such performances to his name in his 20 (!) previous starts at the Major League level.

Additionally, that penchant for strikeouts has been in full display lately, with McKenzie racking up a whopping 25 K’s compared to just two walks his last three times out. This is clearly an emerging arm.

Making things sweeter, this will be a home date for McKenzie, who has seemed more comfortable pitching in Cleveland thus far. At least based on the puny .151/.248/.296 slash line opponents have mustered when facing the 24-year-old at Progressive Field, not to mention his K rate (11.6 K/9).

And the oddsmakers have opted for a total of 9 while he’s running this hot and obviously in rhythm? Maybe they doubt his counterpart, Ryan, but how could this be so after the Twins righty’s solid debut?

Ryan is coming off his first career showing in the big leagues, and all things considered, it was a successful one. Though he ultimately yielded three runs in five innings opposite the Chicago Cubs, Ryan also struck out five and only allowed four baserunners, three being on hits (including a homer) and one a free pass.

The former seventh-round pick stood out, and I believe there’s more similar pitching to come in the short term.

There’s certainly plenty of reasoning to believe such. Ryan, after all, has posted absurd strikeout numbers in the minor leagues, like the 12.55 K/9 he was honing at Triple-A this year. Throughout his minor league journey, Ryan’s also crafted a 37.2 strikeout in 226 innings. Again, absurd.

Now is the time to buy Ryan before he starts commanding more respect from the books. Put that against this brilliant McKenzie stretch, and pitching will control.

Pick: UNDER 9 (-115)

Leans

Mariners-Astros Under 9
Nationals-Braves Over 10

2021 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: “73-66-9,” -0.81 unit

Yesterday’s Result: Phillies-Brewers Under 8.5 (“loss”)

*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit

Matt Zylbert
@MattZylbert
Zylbert has been writing about baseball over/under bets for nearly a decade, attaining notable success in just about each season. Throughout the last three years, the veteran gambling analyst has amassed a 307-239-25 (56.2%) record on regular season totals while always recommending to flat bet every game for one unit.
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