Minnesota Twins @ Cleveland Guardians 5/17/24 Free Pick, MLB Odds, MLB Predictions

Minnesota Twins (24-19) at Cleveland Guardians (27-17)

Game Info: Friday, May 17th, 2024 at  7:10 p.m. EST (Progressive Field)

Betting Odds: Guardians ML (-120) - Over/Under (8.5)

Pick: Guardians ML (-120)

The Cleveland Guardians and the Minnesota Twins will open up the first game of a three game weekend series here on Friday night in Cleveland. These two teams are sitting in first and second place of the American League Central Division, and this weekend series will likely determine who comes out on top of the division heading into the middle of May. Both of these teams are having respectable seasons throughout the first month and a half of the year. Now they will meet for the second time this season and there is plenty on the line to play for throughout this weekend in Cleveland. This will also be the last time they face off until late in the second, during the middle of August, so grabbing the advantage in the season series will be a top priority. 

The Minnesota Twins are playing solid baseball at the moment and they will look to get back on track after a rough series against the New York Yankees. They will need to put up a decent performance against the Cleveland Guardians this weekend if they want an opportunity to claim first place of the American League Central division heading into the summer months. Minnesota comes into this game with 24 wins through their first 43 games of the 2024 Major League Baseball season. 

Minnesota has used a solid rotation of starting pitchers to get the job done throughout the early part of the season and with their offense in a bit of a cold spell they will need to rely on their pitchers to get the job done against Cleveland. Minnesota will have Richardson on the mound in the series opening game on Friday night and he will look to remain undefeated. As he comes into this game searching for victory number two on the season. He will also look to lower his 3.24 Earned Run Average with a shutdown performance of this Guardians lineup. 

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After a little bit of a rough patch Cleveland was able to rebound by taking two out of three games from the defending World Series champions, the Texas Rangers throughout the week. Now they will return to American League Central division play, and they will look to have a solid start to this series against the Minnesota Twins on Friday night at home. Cleveland holds a slight lead over the American League Central division coming into this weekend series, and they will look to that lead with a successful weekend against their biggest divisional rival. It has been a surprising but successful start for the Cleveland Guardians, as many people expected them to be one of the worst teams in baseball and enter into a rebuilding phase this season. 

However, throughout the first month and a half of the year they have defied those expectations and they are sitting in first place and now they will look to grab a huge win over a divisional rival to open up this series at home. Triston McKenzie will get the baseball for Cleveland here on Friday night and he certainly has some issues of his own that he needs to work through. As he comes into this game with three losses and only a pair of victories on his record. However, he has been dealing with some injury issues throughout the early part of the year, but he will need to be at his best if Cleveland wants to grab the win over Minnesota here in this one.

Betting trends to consider in this matchup:

- Cleveland is 12-6 at home 

- Cleveland is 13-8 against teams above .500

- Minnesota is 9-24 against teams above .500

I expect this to be a close and competitive match up here on Friday night in Cleveland, but in the end, I look for the Cleveland Guardians to grab the victory in the series opener against Minnesota. After winning two out of three against defending World Series champions, Cleveland comes into this series against Minnesota with plenty of momentum. Meanwhile, Minnesota is coming off of a series where they dropped two out of three to the New York Yankees and I expect them to continue to struggle throughout this game. I look for Cleveland to pick up a much-needed victory to open up this series over the weekend. 

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