Publish date:

Twins have chance to boost lead as Indians enter gauntlet

Cleveland's schedule is about to get extremely difficult.
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

autumn larson settlement

Minneapolis committee OKs $45K payout to woman shot by police during riots

She was hit in the face with a "less lethal" projectile while she was in her car trying to leave the protest.


What NOAA's winter outlook says about Minnesota

A moderate La Niña winter is expected.

Merwin Liquors

Liquor store that has become shooting hotspot seeking to move

The area surrounding Merwin's Liquors has been beset by crime in recent years.

Mohamed Noor

Ex-Minneapolis cop Noor resentenced to 57 months in prison

Justine Ruszczyk Damond's fiancé said he forgives Noor.

Anthony Edwards

Anthony Edwards was right: he is Houdini and his bag of tricks is incredible

Edwards put the entire league on notice with his season-opening performance.

Bob Fletcher

New 'public service' charter school backed by Ramsey Co. Sheriff to open

Efforts to open the school were spearheaded in part by Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher.

covid-19 testing site sign

Minnesota to offer free COVID rapid testing at 9 more sites

Three new rapid testing sites opened in Minnesota this week.


Elvis Costello cancels Mystic Lake show, will play vax-requiring First Ave instead

Those who bought tickets to Mystic Lake will be refunded, and need to buy new tickets.


23 Minnesotans infected with salmonella linked to onions

Four of Minnesota residents were hospitalized. None have died.

Anthony Edwards

Timberwolves smash Rockets in season opener

The Timberwolves showed they have plenty of firepower in a victory over Houston.


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.