LHP Matthew Boyd (DET) vs. RHP Josh Tomlin (CLE)
Matthew Boyd is one of the two lefties the Indians will face this weekend. He certainly hasn’t enjoyed facing the Tribe this year. Boyd has a 6.30 ERA against Cleveland this year and he’s only pitched 10 innings. It’s anyone’s guess how Boyd will perform in this outing. Recently Boyd’s win-loss record reads like this. No decision, win, loss, win, loss, win, loss, win. Clearly, consistency is not his strong suit.
Speaking of inconsistency…. or just being downright bad, Josh Tomlin will make his first start since May 15th. In case you forgot, Tomlin was moved to the bullpen because at the time he led all of baseball in home-runs allowed. Teams were lighting Tomlin up for anywhere from 2-4 homers in each start. He gets the start Friday because the team wants to have Corey Kluber more suited for the playoff schedule, so don’t expect many more starts from Tomlin.
RHP Michael Fulmer (DET) vs. RHP Mike Clevinger (CLE)
Interesting enough, Michael Fulmer shares the same 6.30 ERA against Cleveland that Boyd has along with the same number of innings pitched in those games. In fact, they have similar ERAs altogether. The only difference is that wins are hard to come by for Fulmer. He hasn’t won a game since June 14th.
It seemed like Mike Clevinger found his groove at long last. But when he went up to face Toronto, the Blue Jays put him in his place to the tune of three runs in six innings at would effectively hand Clevinger the loss. One thing the Indians can count on with Clevinger is at least six innings of work. If Clevinger can do his part and keep the Tribe in this games, he’s setting up for the Indians loaded bullpen perfectly.
LHP Francisco Liriano (DET) vs. RHP Shane Bieber (CLE)
Francisco Liriano has slightly better numbers against the Indians but I wouldn’t say they’re exactly favorable. Liriano has a 4..96 ERA against the Indians and a 4-10 record overall in 2018. Oddly enough, Liriano has the lowest pitchers per games started than any of the aforementioned Tigers starters at 86.1 despite owning a lower ERA.
Shane Bieber was simply unstoppable against the Rays on Tuesday. Normally, after the fifth inning ,Bieber begins to falter. That was not the case in his last dominant outing. He posted 11 strikeouts in 6.2 innings. For Bieber, the remainder of the season will be a proving ground helping his case to be in the rotation in 2019 as well as to be featured on the playoff roster this postseason.