Jose Ramirez and the Cleveland Guardians will look to stick around at the top of the AL Central through a weekend series against the Minnesota Twins.
Cleveland Guardians vs. Minnesota Twins
Friday, September 09 – Saturday, September 10 – Sunday, September 11, 2022 at Target Field
The Cleveland Guardians are in a tight race for the AL Central with the Minnesota Twins and Chicago White Sox.
The likely fact is that the other two teams that don’t win the division will likely miss the playoffs entirely.
That’s how important this upcoming series between the Guardians and Twins is over the weekend. The Guardians are one game above the Twins at the time of writing this, but that could change once the weekend concludes.
We’re going to take a look at Jose Ramirez’s potential in this weekend series. He’s carried the Guardians through the entire season and will need to do more in this series to keep the Guardians in the playoffs.
Pitchers Ramirez Will Likely Face vs. Twins
On Friday, Ramirez will take on Dylan Bundy. Bundy has a 5.77 xFIP with just 10.1% of strikeouts in the last 30 days. Bundy’s a right-handed pitcher with limited extra-base hits and line drives over the previous month.
His BABIP is currently .210, which probably won’t last either. Bundy is known to be a high fly-ball pitcher and has probably overachieved up to this point.
In the second game of the series, Chris Archer will get the call.
Archer has been the biggest surprise for the Twins this season. In the last 30 days, the righty has a 4.21 xFIP with 55.7% of ground balls and 18.6% of line drives.
However, righties are hitting a .365 wOBA and ISO of .182. On the other hand, Ramirez is a switch-hitter and would be batting from the left side, where Archer has a wOBA of .256 with an ISO of .133.
In the finale of the series, rookie right-hander Joe Ryan will get the call.
Ryan has a 4.91 xFIP with high walks and a high line drive. He’s also not getting a ton of ground balls in the last 30 days. However, Ryan has struck out 26.4% of batters and fared better against lefties than righties.
That’s the theme for these right-handed pitchers in Minnesota, which isn’t great for Ramirez.
Jose Ramirez’s Splits
Jose Ramirez has struggled a bit against righties in the last 30 days. He has a .173 ISO with a wOBA of .329, which is above average, but not at an all-star level.
Ramirez has struck out just 17.3% of the time against righties through his last 81 plate appearances and has hit just 28.8% of ground balls during that time frame. Those are good stats for Ramirez.
He’s also hitting over 50% of fly balls. Two of the three starters for Minnesota are high fly-ball pitchers. Ramirez can soar one or two out of the yard if he hits the ball well enough.
Ramirez isn’t starting against lefties, but he’s been better against lefties. Likely, the Twins don’t put in a reliever from the left side against him. But if they do, Ramirez is hitting a .286 ISO with a wOBA of .323. He’s walked 11.5% of the time against lefties and still continues to hit fly balls at a very high rate.
How Ramirez Will Perform vs. Twins Starters
Ramirez hasn’t hit all that well against righties over the last 30 days. However, as I acknowledged earlier, Ramirez has the potential to hit fly balls out of the yard against Minnesota in Friday and Sunday’s matchups.
On Saturday, he’ll face a pitcher getting a lot of ground balls in Archer. But against Bundy and Ryan, he can put the ball in the air and potentially get one to leave the yard.
Ryan has a much higher strikeout rate, however. Ramirez has kept his strikeouts down, but Ryan isn’t the easiest to hit. Therefore, his best matchup from the left side would be on Friday against Bundy.
Bundy has high walks, low strikeouts, and an xFIP nearing 6 in the last 30 days. Bundy has been a bit lucky recently, holding a BABIP of .210. He’ll likely start regressing when balls are in play, and Ramirez is one of the best hitters for limiting strikeouts and putting balls in play.
It’s unfortunate that Ramirez won’t face a lefty or two in this series, but Friday is undoubtedly his best matchup if you’re looking for a great MLB pick this series.