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Cleveland Indians: Previewing the road series against the St. Louis Cardinals

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(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /

Probable pitchers

RHP Mike Clevinger (CLE) vs RHP John Gant (STL)

Mike Clevinger‘s sophomore campaign continues to impress. Clevinger absolutely dominated in his last outing against the White Sox. After allowing a run in the first, Clev rolled along. He struck out 10 hitters and walked just two. That is huge for Mike Clevinger, as walks have been his Achilles heel. If he continues to keep that number low, the best may be yet to come this year for the young pitcher.

John Gant has struggled to get things going in 2018. The youngster has an ERA of 4.39 and has not fared well against the AL. He has a 6.75 ERA against American League teams. He faced the Tribe once in relief back in 2016 as a member of the Braves. This is just Gant’s fourth start for the Cardinals, as he has been used as a bullpen arm. But due to the injury to Michael Wacha, Gant get’s another shot.

RHP Corey Kluber (CLE) vs RHP Carlos Martinez (STL)

What a beauty we have in store with this matchup. Corey Kluber came back with a vengeance after he slipped up against the Twins. The poor White Sox faced Kluber’s wrath as he pitched seven shutout innings allowing just one hit and striking out seven. Needless to say, if Kluber slumps; it doesn’t last long.

Corey Kluber has faced these Cardinals once before. Back in 2015 he had perhaps one of the best outings of his career. Kluber pitched eight shutout innings against the Redbirds and tossed 18, yes eighteen strikeouts against the Cards.

Don’t let the numbers fool you, Carlos Martinez is a pretty good pitcher. He got off to a hot start in 2018. He had an ERA of 0.54 in the month of April. Then May came along and he struggled against a pair of AL teams before missing the remainder of the month.

Since his return to the Cardinals rotation in June, his ERA shot up to 8.10 and he hasn’t made it beyond five innings. Needless to say, it’s been a tale of two seasons for Carlos. It’ll be tough to rebound against a white-hot Tribe lineup.

RHP Shane Bieber (CLE) vs RHP Jack Flaherty (STL)

Since Shane Bieber was called up to the big-leagues last month, I haven’t stopped talking about him. I’ve got Bieber fever and theres a good reason for it. In his last two starts, Bieber has a 0.71 ERA with 16 strikeouts and only two walks. Now he gets a shot at inter-league play. After Adam Pluto had a great outing yesterday, Bieber will have to keep up his good work to keep the Indians positive trend of young pitchers moving.

Jack Flaherty takes the mound for the Cardinals in the series finale. He has the lowest ERA of all of the Cardinals pitchers that Cleveland will see with 2.50. His numbers don’t jump off the page at you, but he gives the Cardinals innings and consistency. He doesn’t walk much nor does he allow too many hits. He could give Bieber a good run for his money in the young pitcher’s fourth start.

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