RHP Dylan Covey (CHI) vs Adam Plutko (CLE)
Dylan Covey has looked a bit better this year in his two starts than he did in his 70 innings of work last year. He picked up the first win of his young career against fellow basement dwellers, the Baltimore Orioles. His ERA this year is sitting at 3.46, which isn’t the greatest, but Chicago will take what they can get for their rotation.
Adam Plutko, like Dylan Covey, has made only two starts in 2018 but their numbers aren’t exactly similar in any way. Plutko was a bit shaky in his first start against the Blue Jays, allowing three runs over seven innings. But things went much more smoothly in his second start against the Cubs. Plutko tossed 6 innings of two hit baseball without allowing a run.
The contrast to Josh Tomlin loomed large that game as Tomlin came in in relief and allowed a home-run of the first batter he faced. Plutko has secured a spot in this Indians rotation for now as it seems. There is simply no argument to be made for Tomlin to return to the rotation.
RHP Lucas Giolito (CHI) vs Mike Clevinger (CLE)
Lucas Giolito’s career is at an all-time low right now. After a respectable start to his career with the White Sox last year, he has come crashing down to earth hard. He has an ERA of 7.53 in 10 starts. His 41 earned runs are the highest in the AL along with his 37 walks. As we saw with Tyler Chatwood, if the Indians are given enough free passes, they can do serious damage.
While Giolito is going through one of the worst patches of his career, Mike Clevinger is going through perhaps the best of his young career. The fact that this guy is the 4th starter in the Indians rotation just shows how dominant their starters have been. He has an ERA+ of 135 but some of that has been weighed down due to a pair of tough starts against the powerhouse Astros. He’ll look to bounce back from those against a much less formidable White Sox lineup.
RHP Reynaldo Lopez (CHI) vs RHP Corey Kluber (CLE)
Reynaldo Lopez came over from the Nationals along with his teammate Lucas Giolito. He has fared much better than his counterpart in 2018, however. Lopez has an ERA+ of 140 and a WHIP of 1.58. He’s been one of the White Sox best this year and while that’s not hard to do, it gives them a chance against a dominant opponent.
That dominant opponent would be Corey Kluber. Kluber is in the midst of another career year. He has the lowest ERA of any of his career years with 2.17. He has allowed 19 runs and 11 of them have been via the long ball oddly enough. When Kluber does allow home runs, they are usually only solo shots. He’s pitched the most innings out of anyone in baseball at 78.2 and his strikeout to walk ratio is a phenomenal 7.80. His last start against the Astros was another beauty but we all know how that game ended.