Cleveland Indians: A look at the Tribe rotation for the ALDS

While we remain days away from the start of the ALDS, we have a good idea of who will be in the Cleveland Indians rotation. We take a look at how they stack up.

The Cleveland Indians have one of the most feared and respected rotations in all of baseball. If there is any rotation that stacks up to them, it’s the Houston Astros.

We know just what the “rotation of domination” is capable of, but what will they need to do to get the job done in Houston. We take a look at what each pitcher needs to do to ensure the Cleveland Indians can move on to the ALCS.

Corey Kluber

Corey Kluber is the tried and true ace of the Indians rotation, and he matches up well against anyone. That said, we all know how last October went for Kluber and nobody wants a repeat of that.

In order for Corey Kluber to succeed, he needs to do what he did twice this year. Kluber dominated the Astros in two outings this year with a 1.35 ERA against their powerful lineup. That happened in May and June, Kluber has had his ups and downs since then, but history shows the Indians ace has far better career numbers against his opponent than the Astros ace.

Kluber will be the first starter for the Indians, and he will likely start game four should the series go that far. If the Indians have two wins, Kluber would likely be used to close out the series, and if they are in a must-win game, Kluber would be the one the Indians want to keep them alive.

Carlos Carrasco

One key figure in the Tribe rotation is Carlos Carrasco. Carrasco has had a bit of a roller coaster season as far as 2018 counts, but he’s certainly turned things around once he returned from the DL. Cookie didn’t have his best performances against the Astros, but he’s been a road warrior for the Tribe with a 2.96 ERA on the road.

While he may seem outmatched by his opposition in Gerrit Cole, Carrasco is perfectly capable of running through any lineup that he faces. Game two will be a pivotal point in this series, having Carrasco on the mound gives the Indians a lot of confidence.

Mike Clevinger

Mike Clevinger finished 2018 as hot as can be. In the final two months, his allowed earned runs were in the single-digits. Clevinger finished the season with a 3.02 ERA and is one of the four Indians starters with 200+ strikeouts.

Clevinger is another starter who had troubles against the Astros but once again, those games happened earlier in the year. This is the same narrative the Astros fans used against the Indians in the 2017 postseason, and we all know how that went. The point is Clevinger can’t allow the Astros to get to him, especially if the Indians are down 2-0 in the series. There will be a lot of pressure on Clevinger in this series, but he’s used to that feeling by now.

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It’s also worth mentioning Trevor Bauer could possibly be used in the rotation, but that will be a story in and of itself should that happen. Be ready for some very competitive pitching matchups regardless. These two teams are fairly evenly matched when it comes to their starters.