MLB Tuesday preview: Twins at Indians, Red Sox at Royals
Minnesota Twins (40-18) at Cleveland Indians (29-30), 7:10 p.m. ETDevin Smeltzer (0-0, 0.00 ERA) (MIN) +120 / +1.5 runs (-175) / Over 9 runs (-110) Shane Bieber (4-2, 3.67 ERA) (CLE) -130 / -1.5 runs (+145) / Under 9 runs (-110)
Minnesota enters as the top team in the majors in batting average (.275) and home runs (109). That latter figure comes despite an extended IL stint for third baseman Miguel Sano at the beginning of the season. He has five home runs in his first 13 games since returning in late May. Sano is also 3-for-6 all-time against Indians starter Shane Bieber, who backtracked in May after starting April off hot. He allowed opponents to bat .252 last month after holding the opposition to a .175 average in the first full month of 2019. Bieber's last three efforts against the Twins were lackluster, yielding a 4.58 ERA. Minnesota is batting .342 against him in that span (17 2/3 innings).
Southpaw Devin Smeltzer should post a solid second start for the Twins, as Cleveland is hitting just .219 against lefties this season, 29th in the majors. Smeltzer hinted at potential in his big-league debut, when he shut out the Brewers through six innings and surrendered just three hits.
Boston Red Sox (30-29) at Kansas City Royals (19-40), 8:15 p.m. ETEduardo Rodriguez (5-3, 5.04 ERA) (BOS) -180 / -1.5 runs (-110) / Over 10 runs (-115) Glenn Sparkman (1-1, 4.21 ERA) (KC) +160 / +1.5 runs (-110) / Under 10 runs (-105)
Eduardo Rodriguez has a 6.35 ERA in his last three starts and a 1.41 WHIP. Second baseman Whit Merrifield, who has nine hits in his last five games, is 5-for-6 all-time against Rodriguez, while left fielder Alex Gordon is 3-for-7.
Rotation replacement Glenn Sparkman has a career ERA of 5.26 and faces a Boston lineup that hit .300 over the last seven days. Shortstop Xander Bogaerts has sparked the offense by amassing 12 hits in his last six games.