Cleveland Guardians News

Cleveland Indians: Previewing the series against the Houston Astros

(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images) /

Probable Pitchers

RHP Mike Clevinger (CLE) vs RHP Charlie Morton (HOU)

Mike Clevinger takes the mound in the series opener for the Cleveland Indians. He beat the Royals in his last outing and is 1-1 against the ‘Stros. Clevinger is 10-5 on the road in his young career. One of those wins coming in a terrific outing in Houston last season. The young pitcher is having himself an impressive season early on.

His WHIP is really the only thing holding him back as his control struggles have persisted. But it hasn’t slowed him down as Clevinger. When he works deep into games with a lower pitch count things usually go well for the Tribe aside from one instance in New York. But we aren’t going to talk about that series anymore.

Oh hey, it’s Charlie Morton! He hasn’t beaten the Indians yet. In fact the Indians have kind of rocked him as he has 5.56 ERA against them. Mind you, the Indians rocked everybody last year; Charlie Morton has certainly improved in 2018. He has the third lowest ERA in the AL at 2.03. Jason Kipnis is currently batting .333 against Morton, so maybe this game will put him on the right track to getting out of his long skid.

RHP Corey Kluber (CLE) vs LHP Dallas Keuchel (HOU)

Corey Kluber came back with a vengeance against the Royals. He worked seven innings without allowing an earned run. He is 6-2 on the year but 5-3 against the Astros in his career. Believe it or not, Kluber hasn’t pitched a complete game yet this year. What a loser. The Tribe ace has racked up 61 strikeouts on the year and has an impressive WHIP of 0.84. Marwin Gonzalez is Corey Kluber’s kryptonite so it seems. He is batting .500 against Klubot with two home runs.

It’s not really fair that the Astros get to have three aces the year after they win the World Series. I demand the league look into this collusion. Regardless, this is a great matchup for a Saturday afternoon. Keuchel wasn’t particularly pitching like an ace with his 1-5 start to the season, but he has won his last two starts. Keuchel hasn’t lost to the Tribe in six starts. But he hasn’t met the new and improved “lefty-killing” lineup the Indians are bringing to the table. Brandon Guyer can look forward to continuing his field-day against the lefty as he is batting .429 against him.

RHP Carlos Carrasco (CLE) vs RHP Lance McCullers Jr. (HOU)

The road warrior Carlos Carrasco hit a metaphorical bump in the road on his stop in Detroit. He allowed three runs against the Tigers in his last start before the bullpen blew things open. Carrasco has pummeled the Astros in his two starts against them. He’s racked up 22 strikeouts and without an earned run against Houston. Despite that, the current Astros batters are batting fairly well against Cookie; particularly Josh Reddick who is batting .667 against him.

Lance McCullers pitching pretty well this season. He is 4-1 and has won four of his last six starts. To put a nice spin on things Lance is striking out a batter per every inning he pitches. The Indians will look to tar-nish his already abysmal numbers against the Tribe. McCullers has found himself in some sticky situations against the Indians as he is 0-1 with an ERA of 9.00 against them. If the Indians aren’t cheated out of a loss by their bullpen this could make for a fun game for them.