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Cleveland Indians: Previewing the first home series in 2018

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(Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
(Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images) /

Pitching Matchups

Danny Duffy (KC) vs Carlos Carrasco (CLE)

Playing in only four games due to weather means you get to start your rotation over again without using your fifth man. That’s exactly what the Royals are doing to start this series in Cleveland. The Royals ace Danny Duffy had a rough start against the White Sox on Opening day. He allowed five runs in four innings on what turned into a long day for the Royals.

Duffy didn’t have the best luck against Cleveland either in 2017. He was 0-3 against the Tribe and gave up eight earned runs in 15.2 innings. Danny Duffy will face Carlos Carrasco who had a troubling start in his opener against the Mariners. He started off strong but surrendered the Indians early lead twice. The Tribe still won the game but it was a shaky look early on for Cookie.

Fortunately for Carrasco, the Royals bats haven’t exactly come to life this season much like the Indians’. He will look to earn his first win of the season against the squad he has gone 7-2 against in the last three years.

Ian Kennedy (KC) vs Trevor Bauer (CLE)

Ian Kennedy had a much better start to 2018 than Duffy. He worked six solid innings giving up only four hits in a game that the Royals would eventually lose. But he managed to net an ERA of only 1.50; something his teammates can’t brag about. Unfortunately for Kennedy, he faces a Cleveland team that rocked him last year. He had an ERA of 10.57 in two starts against the Tribe.

Kennedy uses six pitches total, but his 4-seam fastball is by far his most common. It’s not a fastball that blows people away but it mixes well with his cutter that flies in the high 80s. He faces the Dynamic Trevor Bauer who will look back to bounce back from an Easter performance where he didn’t lose, but couldn’t make it very deep in the game. Trevor threw a lot of balls and had a lot of pitches fouled off resulting him 101 pitches in only five innings.

As we know, Bauer had a bad start to 2017 but became arguably one of baseball’s best pitchers after the All-Star break. Another bad start for Bauer shouldn’t send fans into a frenzy. He spent much of his offseason working on changing his pitch movement to develop a new slider. He didn’t use it much against Seattle but expect to see more of it as the season moves along.

Jason Hammel (KC) vs Mike Clevinger (CLE)

Jason Hammel is another Royals pitcher who dealt with a lot of trouble in his first start. He allowed four runs in the fifth inning against the Detroit Tigers in a game that he would eventually lose. The good news for Hammel is he is one of the Royals pitchers that gave Cleveland a good bit of trouble last year. Hammel went 3-2 against the Tribe last season. The three wins came early in the season but if history repeats itself the Tribe could see the same problems against him.

Mike Clevinger will take the mound for the Tribe and he is still the only starting pitcher with a win for the Indians. Clevinger was absolutely dominant for Cleveland in his start on Monday. He allowed only four hits without a run in his 5.1 innings that would result in a shutout for Cleveland. He will look to keep the fans’ confidence in him and his spot in the rotation in what could be a fun pitching matchup to close the series out.

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