Cleveland Indians: A look at the first matchup against the Rays

(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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Cleveland Indians
(Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) /

Probable Pitchers

RHP Tyler Glasnow (TBR) vs. RHP Corey Kluber (CLE)

Tyler Glasnow was a part of the trade that sent the Rays’ former ace Chris Archer to the Pirates. He hasn’t exactly been a godsend for the Rays, but he can provide them with three to five innings of work, which is all Tampa needs with their bullpen. He has a 3.80 ERA since joining the Rays but he’s getting much more work in Tampa than he ever got in Pittsburgh.

A beardless Corey Kluber gets the nod in the series opener, and maybe losing the beard will help with some of the issues he’s suffered lately. A 2.91 ERA isn’t bad, but it’s not what you expect from Corey Kluber. Something has simply felt “off” about Kluber in the last few months. The Indians need their ace to be on his game sooner rather than later. A good start here can help fix that.

LHP Blake Snell (TBR) vs. RHP Shane Bieber (CLE)

Blake Snell is a legitimate Cy Young candidate this year, and with Chris Sale and Trevor Bauer still on the DL his chances are looking better. He has a 2.05 ERA, good for second-best in the American League behind only Chris Sale. To make things even more impressive, lefties are only batting .128 against Snell. He is having easily the best year of his career and it seems like no one is talking about him. The Indians will have their hands full in this one.

The Indians couldn’t have asked for Shane Bieber to be hot at a better time. While is he isn’t “lights out” (He’s basically the Indians fifth starter), Bieber is keeping the Indians in games when they need him to. That includes a dominant outing over Boston until the seventh inning. Bieber has a 25 percent whiff rate on his slider, which is his second most used pitch. If he wants to continue to succeed, he should incorporate that slider more.

TBA (TBR) vs. RHP Carlos Carrasco (CLE)

This is a consequence of the Rays employing their opener system, they will likely announce a starter for this game tomorrow. But it does give them an element of surprise and doesn’t allow teams to settle in against them.

Carlos Carrasco was absolutely dominant in his rebound start against the Twins. He also historically has pretty good numbers against the Rays, the remaining players in the Rays lineup that he has faced have a 0.83 batting average against Cookie. Look for Carrasco to have another brilliant outing here.