Skip to main content

Big challenge: Twins face Yankees with Indians charging in AL Central

This is not what the Twins had envisioned with an 11.5-game lead in early June.
Nelson Cruz

Having dropped five of their last seven games, the Twins (60-38) have allowed the Indians (57-41) to climb within 3 games in the race for the American League Central Division title – and the week ahead could tighten the competition further. 

While the Twins are hosting the AL-leading New York Yankees Monday through Wednesday, the Indians will be in Toronto facing a Blue Jays squad that's 25 games under .500. 

If you dig deeper, you'll see that the Indians will be throwing three stud pitchers – Mike Clevinger, Trevor Bauer and Shane Bieber – against a young, inconsistent Toronto lineup. 

At the same time, the Twins will face a daunting Yankees lineup without Jose Berrios getting a turn in the rotation, as it won't be his turn to start again until the Twins travel to Chicago for a weekend series against the White Sox. 

  • Monday: Martin Perez vs. C.C. Sabathia
  • Tuesday: Kyle Gibson vs. Domingo German
  • Wednesday: Jake Odorizzi vs. J.A. Happ

Advantage: Cleveland, without a doubt. 

Let's say the Yankees take two of three against the Twins and the Indians sweep the Blue Jays. That would shrink Minnesota's lead over Cleveland to one game in the AL Central. 

If the Twins get swept by the Yankees and the Indians sweep the Blue Jays, then Cleveland would have crawled all the way out of an 11.5-game hole and into a tie for first place with the Twins. 

All in all, the Twins and Indians have been polar opposites since early June. 

  • June 3 record: Twins 40-18, Indians 29-30
  • Since June 4: Twins 20-20, Indians 28-11

Fortunately, the Twins' three series after playing the Yankees are against the White Sox, Marlins and Royals. The Indians, meanwhile, play four in Kansas City to end the week and then play nine straight at home against tough competition, including the Astros, Angels and Rangers. 

Assuming the division race is still close at that point, it'll set the stage for the most important series of the season as the Twins and Indians battle in a four-game set at Target Field Aug. 8-11. 

However, with the Twins' bullpen continuing to show cracks in the armor, they'll need some additions by the July 31 MLB Trade Deadline.   

According to FanGraphs, the Twins have a 78.6% chance to win the AL Central compared to the Indians' 21.4% chance. But let it be known that Minnesota's chances of winning the division just a few weeks ago was greater than 95%. 

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-11-26 at 2.34.44 PM

Yes, that's MN native Jenny Taft in a State Farm commercial

Jenny Taft got her broadcasting career started in Minneapolis in 2011.

crime scene tape - police tape

23-year-old woman critical after shooting in Plymouth

A 23-year-old woman was shot Friday night in Plymouth.

white Christmas

2 MN towns among most 'magical' winter locations in the country

The list was compiled by Trips Discover and published earlier this month.

Screen Shot 2022-11-26 at 8.27.12 AM

St. Olaf football player charged after fatal crash in Chicago

The 18-year-old is accused of speeding and going the wrong way when he crashed into a vehicle that may have been attempting to flee police.

Screen Shot 2022-11-26 at 7.41.18 AM

Woman 34 weeks pregnant injured by drunk driver in Cottage Grove

The 49-year-old suspected of DUI was booked into jail around 1:30 a.m. Saturday.


2 dead, 5 injured in Thanksgiving Day crash near Alexandria

The crash involved two people from Alexandria and five from Bloomington.

Screen Shot 2022-11-25 at 6.44.11 PM

Lengthy standoff in Prior Lake ends late Friday night

The suspect allegedly assaulted an officer outside Kwik Trip, fled and broke into a home.

snow - 12-10-21 - Joe Nelson - 5

Accumulating snow possible in Twin Cities next week

The storm system could arrive in the Tuesday-Wednesday timeframe.

Target store snow

With Black Friday barely underway, Target reveals Cyber Monday deals

Plans for the two-day sale were revealed Friday morning.

Screen Shot 2022-11-25 at 9.37.25 AM

Man waves replica assault weapon at drivers in downtown Minneapolis

The alarming incident was spotted by the new MPD chief, Brian O'Hara.

Screen Shot 2022-11-25 at 9.29.58 AM

Extremely drunk driver arrested in Chaska

The driver was more than four times the legal limit.

Screen Shot 2022-11-25 at 8.21.21 AM

Stillwater police looking for suspect who stole vehicle with 1-year-old inside

The suspect abandoned the vehicle with the child still inside just 5 minutes after the theft.


Jonathan Schoop

Twins lose, Indians win to trim gap in AL Central to 5 games

Jonathan Schoop homered, had an error and left the game with an injury.

Jose Berrios

Twins can't relax as Indians apply pressure in the AL Central

Cleveland is the hottest team in the MLB in June.

Rocco Baldelli

Yankees, Astros now have bigger division leads than Twins

Minnesota has the third-best record in the AL entering play Friday.

Target Field

Here's how the Twins can clinch the AL Central this week

Minnesota can clinch as soon as Wednesday night.

Jonathan Schoop

Schoop HR lifts Twins over Rangers; lead in division race grows

Minnesota leads the AL Central by 1.5 games over Cleveland.

Nelson Cruz

Twins have chance to boost lead as Indians enter gauntlet

Cleveland's schedule is about to get extremely difficult.

Max Kepler

Indians have been 'chasing down these Twins' for months

The biggest series of the season starts Thursday night.

Luis Arraez

Twins leave Cleveland with bigger lead in the AL Central

A later homer lifted the Indians to a win Sunday.