The Twins (29-27) host the Guardians (25-30) for an AL Central showdown Thursday night. Both teams have plenty to play for, as the Guardians are only 3.5 games behind the division-leading Twins.

Tanner Bibee gets the start for the visiting Guardians, and he has been nothing short of fantastic for Cleveland this year. Bibee has allowed more than two earned runs in only one of his six major-league starts, and his ERA is a sparkling 2.88. Statcast says it’s real, too -- his xERA is 2.85. Bibee is striking batters out at a rate of nine per nine, while limiting hard contact.

Pablo Lopez gets the start at home for the Twins. Across 11 games started this year, Lopez has an ERA of 4.11. Lopez is striking out batters at a rate of more than 11 per nine, but his hard-hit and barrel rate are in the bottom half of the league. Lopez has an ERA of 5.46 in home games this season with an ERA of 3.00 on the road.

The pitching advantage goes to the Guardians today, as their bullpen has also been better of late, with an ERA of 2.38 across the past two weeks of play (fourth-best in MLB).

Both the Twins and the Guardians won and put up big offensive numbers yesterday vs. teams with better records (Cleveland beat the Orioles; Minnesota beat the Astros). However, both the Guardians and the Twins have averaged only four runs per game across the past two weeks.

The Guardians are 5-5 in their last 10 games. The Twins are 4-6.

This matchup sets up to be a close one, so I’ll take plus money for the Guardians to win on the moneyline.

The Pick: Guardians ML +120 

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