The Sunshine state is host to the Cleveland Indians this week, as they look to even the score with the Tampa Bay Rays on their own turf.
It’s been nearly two weeks since the Cleveland Indians last faced the Tampa Bay Rays. In that two-week span the Rays have managed to stay red how, while the Indians look like they just lake any sort of motivation.
In the span of the last 10 games, the Rays have gone 8-2 while the Indians have been walking the line of inconsistency, going 5-5 in that timeframe. While Francisco Lindor has found his rhythm, the offense while batting .303 with a 1.100 OPS along with five home runs in the last week
But Jose Ramirez and Yonder Alonso just can’t figure it out at this point. Jose is batting an ugly .160 while Yonder isn’t doing much better with a .190 average. Jason Kipnis on the other hand continues his hot streak that he’s been riding ironically since the team added Josh Donaldson.
This series is going to be pretty similar based on lineups considering these teams just played. But some things of note include the roster expansion that saw Triple-A stud Brandon Barnes join the team.
The pitching matchups feature the studs of the Indians rotation looking to give the Indians a chance to take this series on the road.
RHP Corey Kluber (CLE) vs. RHP Diego Castillo (TBR)
Corey Kluber is oh so back. He’s back to tossing double-digit strikeout games it would seem after he managed to topple Kansas City and look good doing it. Maybe the shaved beard provided some good juju for Kluber. He also managed to dominate these Rays when he last faced them, tossing seven innings of scoreless baseball.
Diego Castillo will assume the role of the opener for the Rays. In his last three opens he didn’t allow any runs. He has a 3.40 ERA on the year and is one of the best openers used by this Rays team.
RHP Shane Bieber (CLE) vs. RHP Tyler Glasnow (TBR)
Shane Bieber is making things harder for the Indians when he stays late in games. Teams are able to get to him when he makes his third run through the order and it seems like Terry Francona is too stubborn to change that approach. He did post a decent outing, in his last game despite the three earned runs, but the late innings always come back to haunt Bieber.
Tyler Glasnow did a great job of pitching for the Rays in their last outing against Cleveland. He gets the call here. He gets the call here with a better odds considering he won’t be facing Corey Kluber this time around. He did get brutally roughed up in his last outing against Toronto allowing seven runs in just 0.2 innings. The Indians will look to get to him as the Blue Jays did.
RHP Carlos Carrasco (CLE) vs. TBA (TBR)
Despite the loss to Toronto, Carlos Carrasco pitched a gem against the Blue Jays. He allowed one run in eight innings keeping Toronto at bay. He did; however, get beat up pretty badly by Tampa Bay in his last matchup with them, allowing five runs through six innings of work. That’s been the story for Cookie this year. A dominant outing, followed by a horrible one. Let’s see which version of Carrasco we get in this game.
Worst/Base case scenario
Worst case scenario: 0-3 series loss
I know, I know I always say the Indians won’t be swept, but this series has a weird feel to it, and the Rays have been dominated their opposition. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Indians fall flat in this series.
Best case scenario: 2-1 series win
With Kluber and Carrasco on the mound, the Indians always have a shot, but it’s gonna be tough. Still, with Frankie playing some of his best ball of the year, and with the return of Andrew Miller, don’t count this team out.
The series kicks off tonight at 7:10 PM EST. Yours truly will be at two of these games in the dungeon known as Tropicana Field.