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Cleveland Indians: Series preview vs. Detroit Tigers

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(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /
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Cleveland Indians
(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) /

Probable Pitchers

RHP Trevor Bauer (CLE) vs RHP Michael Fulmer (DET)

Let’s hope that just because Trevor Bauer has finished his long tenured charitable donations for 2018, it doesn’t mean he’s finished his dominant play. Unfortunately for Bauer, he let two bad pitches get away from him against Minnesota; effectively costing him the game. That being said, Bauer is still having a career year. His struggles at this time last year seem like an eternity ago. Trevor Bauer has an ERA of 1.20 with a whole two runs allowed in his two starts against the Tigers this year. He’s three K’s away from 100 strikeouts on the year.

Not many starters are struggling as bad as Michael Fulmer this year. Fulmer had an atrocious month of May, and June didn’t start much better for the righty. He allowed four runs in six innings and walked three. His strikeout to walk ratio has dropped to 2.04 this year, resulting in his inability to work deep into games this year. That would explain how he has only gone as deep as seven innings just once this year. It doesn’t get much easier as Fulmer has a whopping 18.00 ERA against the Tribe this year. He lasted only three innings in his lone start against Cleveland.

RHP Mike Clevinger (CLE) vs RHP Mike Fiers (DET)

This matchup of Mikes has a chance to make for a pretty good matchup. Mike Clevinger has been a bit shaky of late for the Tribe. Aside from a dominant outing against the White Sox, Clevinger has allowed 12 runs in three of his last four games. Now two of those games came against the World Series Champion Astros mind you; but his last start against the Twins was a disappointing one. A similar pattern for Clevinger is being run out of the game come the seventh or eighth inning. That’s not a bad thing to say the least: seven and eight inning starts are hard to come by for most. The problem with this is that he’s being pulled in these innings after allowing men on base, which is something the Indians can’t do to their bullpen right now.

Mike Fiers had one of the best starts of the year against the Tribe in his last start against them. He allowed just one run through six innings against Cleveland. The problem for Fiers is one that plagues a lot of the Tigers pitchers. They aren’t working deep into games. That spells trouble for their 22nd ranked bullpen. Of course, any bullpen looks good compared to Cleveland’s; but the difference is that the Indians starters are able to work deep into games.

RHP Corey Kluber (CLE) vs RHP Artie Lewicki (DET)

The defending Cy Young winner worked seven innings, striking out seven and allowing one run. Ho-hum. One of the nice things about having Corey Kluber is that whenever he doesn’t have 10+ strikeouts, it’s considered an average start. In reality, Kluber lowered his ERA to 1.94. That has placed him at second in the AL and he is fourth among all players in wins above replacement with 3.8.

Artie Lewicki made a bullpen start for the Tigers in his last outing. Apparently 3.2 innings with two earned runs against the Red Sox is good enough to earn you another start. Lewicki couldn’t have a steeper hill to climb in his second start. Not only will he face the defending Cy Young winner, but he’s also facing one of the toughest lineups in baseball. To his credit, he did work four scoreless innings against the Tribe in one prior appearance.

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