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Cleveland Indians: Previewing the series against the Boston Red Sox

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(Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) /

Probable Pitchers

RHP Corey Kluber (CLE) vs. RHP Rick Porcello (BOS)

Corey Kluber has had an interesting second-half to 2018. Poor defense led to three runs allowed against the Pirates back in July and cost the Indians a win. He had another rough outing against the Twins where he allowed four runs through seven innings, an outing saved by an Indians walk-off win. Aside from those outings, Kluber has been the ace you’d expect. It’ll be interesting to see where the roller coaster takes the Tribe ace next against a strong Red Sox lineup.

The same comments made about Kluber’s second half can be made about Rick Porcello‘s. Save two dismal outings against the Twins and Blue Jays where he allowed a combined 11 runs, he’s been effective including a near-perfect game against the Yankees. He’s only started two games against Cleveland in the last three years resulting in a win and a loss, but a very good 2.84 ERA in those outings.

RHP Shane Bieber (CLE) vs. RHP Nathan Eovaldi (BOS)

The biggest test of Shane Bieber‘s young career will arrive on Tuesday. Recently, the Indians have fared well if they can get Bieber to pitch five innings allowing 3 runs or fewer. In fact, when he allowed three runs or fewer the Indians are 6-1. It’ll be tough for Bieber to keep that up against these Red Sox.

Nathan Eovaldi has certainly been an improvement for the Red Sox rotation. Adding him allowed for the Red Sox to no longer rely on Drew Pomeranz or Eduardo Rodriguez (the latter of which may have to be used in Chris Sale‘s absence). His first two starts with the Red Sox were remarkable; however he was shaken up a bit in his last two starts, allowing four runs in 2.2 innings against Baltimore, and one run on seven hits against Philly.

RHP Carlos Carrasco (CLE) vs. LHP Brian Johnson (BOS)

Carlos Carrasco is giving the Indians just what they need. He’s certainly picked things up after his DL stint with a 2.00 ERA since returning. The Indians will rely on Carrasco now more than ever this year with Trevor Bauer seeing time on DL. This will be a chance for Cookie to show that he’s ready to take up the mantle of the Indians number 2 guy.

Brian Johnson has been a bit of a conundrum in his third year with the Bo-Sox. Sure a 4.00 ERA isn’t ideal but for a back-end starter, he’s filled in nicely since the All-Star break. He doesn’t give the Red Sox many innings, but he’s allowed 3+ runs in his last three starts for Boston. The beauty of that is that Boston is perfectly capable of doubling his runs allowed.

RHP Adam Plutko (CLE) vs. LHP David Price (BOS)

Adam Plutko is coming in to make his second start since being called up yet again. He is filling in for the injured Trevor Bauer and……. well good luck, kid. He’s had his troubles against multiple teams this year despite his remarkable play in Triple-A. It’s a lot to ask of Plutko to transition to the MLB and play the best lineup in baseball.

David Price is in the best stretch of his career with Boston right now, that’s something many didn’t expect to say after how chaotic his 2017 season was. The Sox have won eight of his last 10 starts and he’s been able to give them a lot of innings. Lifetime against the Indians, Price is 10-2. These Tribe hitters have quite a monkey to get off their back in this game, fortunately for Cleveland, they’ve done just that by taking down just about every lefty they’ve faced in 2018.

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