Cleveland Indians: Previewing the homestand against the Pirates

(Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images) /
1 of 3
Cleveland Indians
(Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images) /

The Cleveland Indians kick off the shortest home-stand ever as they play a quick three-game home series against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

After a short, successful road trip, the Cleveland Indians return home for what they hope will be a short, successful home-stand. Those pesky MLB schedule makers really love to keep things interesting it seems.

The Tribe will take on the Pirate invaders from Pittsburgh who are on quite the tear right now. They’ve won nine games in a row and have slipped back into the NL Central race. They’ve just recently passed the St. Louis Cardinals and are eight games behind the Chicago Cubs for the division lead.

The Cleveland Indians will have their work cut out for them in this game as they continue to build their substantial division lead. The Tribe sit 9.5 games ahead of the Minnesota Twins and are really just coasting at this point. They took two of three from the Texas Rangers but floundered in the final game of the series. Here’s how they lineup against the Pirates.

Projected Lineups

Pittsburgh Pirates (51-49) vs. Cleveland Indians (54-44)

Pittsburgh Pirates: LF Corey Dickerson, CF Starling Marte, RF Gregory Polanco, C Elias Diaz, 3B Colin Moran, 1B Josh Bell, 2B Sean Rodriguez, SS Jordy Mercer, DH Adam Frazier

Cleveland Indians: SS Francisco Lindor, LF Michael Brantley, 3B Jose Ramirez, DH Edwin Encarnacion, 1B Yonder Alonso, 2B Jason Kipnis, RF Melky Cabrera, C Yan Gomes, CF Tyler Naquin

The Pirates don’t really have anyone they can slate in the DH role as well as some other National League teams. Meanwhile the Pirates have one of the best outfields in baseball, and that’s after they traded away Andrew McCutchen.

Corey Dickerson has filled in nicely in his leadoff role in Pittsburgh, and Starling Marte is starting to emerge as a true slugger in his age 29 season with one of the best slugging percentages in his career.

As for the Tribe, their hot bats are staying hot. Jose Ramirez is in sole possession of the MLB home run lead at 30. He also leads all MLB in WAR, and Francisco Lindor is right behind him with 25 homers and the 4th best WAR in baseball.