RHP Carlos Carrasco (CLE) vs RHP Mike Fiers (DET)
Carlos Carrasco had a remarkable start in his last outing. I was his longest outing since his return from the DL. Carrasco worked 6.2 innings allowing just two runs against a hard-hitting Rangers lineup. He’s got 12 wins on the year but his ERA is at 4.02. He’s slowly working on bringing it down and he’s gotten better with every start since his return. For Carrasco, health is key. If the Indians need to use him sparingly to keep him healthy for the playoffs, than so be it.
Mike Fiers may be auditioning for another team in this start. The Oakland A’s have shown interest in Fiers as well as the Atlanta Braves. Fiers’ time in Detroit has been a bit of a roller coaster. He did get beat up pretty badly by the Indians. He allowed four runs in five innings with two homers.
RHP Mike Clevinger (CLE) vs LHP Francisco Liriano (DET)
Mike Clevinger‘s slump continued as the Texas Rangers. It wasn’t his worst outing, but he can’t seem to find a groove early in games. Clevinger stuck it out for 6.2 innings but allowed two runs and thanks to no run-support from the offense, was dealt the loss. Clevinger has had a streak of either bad or bad luck outings.
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He’s only faced Detroit once this year. That was another two-run, 6.2 inning loss. Hopefully Sunshine can come out in Detroit, as it feels like some time since we’ve really seen him shine (pun intended).
Francisco Liriano is a left-handed pitcher for the Detroit Tigers. The Cleveland Indians are great at hitting against lefties. As a team the Indians have a .273/.342/.443 slash line against lefties. That .273 batting average is good for the best in baseball. Lariano may be in big trouble.
RHP Corey Kluber (CLE) vs RHP Jordan Zimmerman (DET)
I’m not here to make excuses for Corey Kluber. I’m just saying that Kluber has faced two of the hottest offenses in baseball in his last two outings. The Pittsburgh Pirates were on a streak of dominance and Kluber was just in the way. That, and he basically pitched a five-out-inning thanks to some serious blunders by the defense.
Fortunately, Kluber has dominated the AL Central this year, and that includes the Detroit Tigers, who he has a 1.13 ERA against in two starts. As for Jordan Zimmerman he’s having a pretty average season.
Zimmerman hasn’t been a “lights out guy” much of his career. His best season came in 2014 with the Nationals where he had a 2.66 ERA and a career-high 182 strikeouts. This year he has a 3.97 ERA. To his credit, he’s pitching much better than last year.