Pregame Notes: Cleveland Indians Open 2015 Season at Houston Astros

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Indians open up 2015 season in Houston; Kluber on the hill

High expectations. Defending

Cy Young

winner. The cover of Sports Illustrated. The Cleveland Indians are riding a high entering the 2015 season. The Houston Astros were also featured on an SI cover as a World Series pick–for 2017. So the two teams are woven from a similar fabric, maybe just a year apart.

The Indians (0-0) will send the reigning AL Cy Young, and recently extended Corey Kluber to the mound to open their season, and hopeful march to the postseason. It’s his first Opening Day start after he became the fourth Cy Young winner in Indians history.

For the Astros, they send lefty Dallas Keuchel to the bump, who is also coming off a breakout 2014 campaign. He posted a 12-9 record with a 2.93 ERA, hitting the 200 inning mark in his 20 starts.

Both pitchers are near the same points in their careers (Kluber is 28, Keuchel is 27), and were each late-bloomers with breakout years last season. For the Astros, they can’t tout a Cy Young, but they do have the defending AL Batting Champ in Jose Altuve–as well as newly acquired Evan Gattis and Colby Rasmus.

The Tribe will see Nick Swisher start on the DL, but Jason Kipnis and Brandon Moss are healthy and ready to lead Cleveland and their strong rotation into contention.

The Indians made the playoffs in 2013 after losing 94 games the previous year. The Astros come off a season in which they lost 92. So they’re hoping to follow the template laid down by Terry Francona‘s Indians.

The game is slated for a 7:10 PM ET first pitch, and will be carried on ESPN, ROOT Sports and WatchESPN.

Here are tonight’s starting lineups:

Next: Complete Series Preview: Houston Astros

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