Twins have chance to boost lead as Indians enter gauntlet

Cleveland's schedule is about to get extremely difficult.
Author:
Publish date:
Nelson Cruz

Two games separate the first-place Twins from the Indians in the race atop the American League Central Division, and things are about to get even more interesting the next few weeks. 

There are two ways to look at it: 

  1. Can the Twins hold off the Indians?
  2. Can the Indians keep up with the Twins?

It's all the same in the end, but after playing dozens of games against the lowly Royals and Tigers in recent weeks, the Indians are now entering a gauntlet. Look at their next six series matchups: 

  • July 30-Aug. 1: Houston Astros (home, 3 games)
  • Aug. 2-4: Los Angeles Angels (home, 3 games)
  • Aug. 5-7: Texas Rangers (home, 3 games)
  • Aug. 8-11: Minnesota Twins (away, 4 games)
  • Aug. 12-14: Boston Red Sox (home, 3 games)
  • Aug. 15-18: New York Yankees (away, 4 games)

Considering they have to face Astros All-Star pitchers Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole this week, the Indians will have their hands full before facing two solid teams in the Angels and Rangers and then facing a murderer's row of the Twins, Red Sox and Yankees. 

Can the Indians keep up is probably the better way to look at the division race, especially since that while the Indians are facing Houston and the Angels, who are 10-6 since the All-Star break, the Twins will be facing much easier competition. 

  • July 30-Aug. 1: Miami Marlins (away, 3 games)
  • Aug. 2-4: Kansas City Royals (home, 3 games)

That, however, leads into 10 straight brutally tough matchups for Minnesota against the NL East-leading Atlanta Braves, the division collision against the Indians, and two games against Christian Yelich and the Brewers. 

Cleveland certainly has a more difficult next few weeks. If they're still within two games of Minnesota it'll speak volumes about how good they are. If they're back to 5-6 games out of the lead, then the Twins will be massive favorites to win the division since they'll have 26 more games against the White Sox, Tigers and Royals.

Reminder: We'll be paying close attention to trade rumors Monday-Wednesday, with the MLB trade deadline hitting at 3 p.m. Wednesday.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2021-01-15 at 2.16.44 PM

Heather Brown named as new WCCO 'This Morning' anchor

She will be joining Jason DeRusha on the CBS affiliate's Morning Show.

DPS John Harrington

DPS Commissioner: No credible threats to state Capitol, but ready if something arises

Local and state law enforcement officials have a plan in case a threat arises.

snow, slush (submitted photo, ok to use)

Here are snow totals from Thursday-Friday winter storm

It's a slushy mess in the metro, but snow did pile up in southern counties.

tim walz

Walz fury after report that government's COVID vaccine reserve is nonexistent

The Washington Post reported Friday that the Trump Administration has shipped out all the vaccines it has already, with none in reserve.

closed sign

What's open and closed in Minnesota on MLK Day 2021?

Local government offices will generally be closed on Monday.

BMTN 900x450 (8)

Company that falsely promised student loan forgiveness banned from MN

It's also been ordered to repay $11,499 in fees taken from Minnesotans.

covid-19, coronavirus

Here is Minnesota's COVID update for January 15

Hospitalizations are the lowest in Minnesota since October 25.

Sars-Cov-2

Osterholm: B117 COVID strain could become major issue in 6-8 weeks

The B117 variant is believed to be more easily transmitted.

General Mills

General Mills halts donations to Republicans who voted to block Biden win

Two Minnesota representatives voted against certification of results in Arizona and Pennsylvania.

overturned semi truck

Winter storm creates whiteout conditions, closing roads and causing crashes

Roads in southwestern Minnesota were closed early Friday, while slippery conditions elsewhere in the state led to crashes and spinouts.

Related

Nelson Cruz

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.

Max Kepler

Indians have been 'chasing down these Twins' for months

The biggest series of the season starts Thursday night.

Rocco Baldelli

Yankees, Astros now have bigger division leads than Twins

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

Max Kepler

In tight race, Twins need big week against Braves, Indians

Two of the best in the big leagues visit the Twins this week.

Jose Berrios

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

Cleveland is the hottest team in the MLB in June.

Jonathan Schoop

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

Minnesota leads the AL Central by 1.5 games over Cleveland.

Luis Arraez

Twins leave Cleveland with bigger lead in the AL Central

A later homer lifted the Indians to a win Sunday.