Cleveland Indians: Previewing the first series with Toronto

(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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Cleveland Indians
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

Pitching matchups

RHP Sanchez (TOR) vs. RHP Bauer (CLE)

The Blue Jays have a handful of pretty good pitchers that will likely give this slumping Indians lineup some trouble. Aaron Sanchez is one such pitcher. He tossed five scoreless innings against the Tigers while netting six strikeouts. He’s had some trouble finding his grove since turning to the role of a starter in 2015, but he’s continuing to show signs of improvement.

It seems like everyone wants to take Trevor Bauer as their AL Cy Young winner. Why not? After a career-year, he’s back with an even larger arsenal of pitches. We saw that in his first outing against Minnesota where he allowed just one run in seven innings of work en route to the first win of the year for the Tribe.

RHP Thorton (TOR) vs. RHP Bieber (CLE)

A battle of young pitchers takes place at Progressive Field on Friday. Trent Thorton is a rookie pitcher for the Blue Jays who really impressed in his first start. He racked up eight strikeouts through five scoreless innings. Seeing how the Indians have managed to make every starting pitcher look like a Cy Young candidate, I expect the rookie could have another great outing.

Bieber fever is BACK. Shane Bieber will make his first start of the year for the Tribe. He pitched two innings out of the bullpen earlier, but his start was pushed back due to the several off days the Indians were given. Bieber had a phenomenal rookie year and will look to join the 200 strikeout club that all of his fellow starters were in last season.

TBD (TOR) vs. RHP Carlos Carrasco (CLE)

Oh, look! Our first TBD of the year! As for Carlos Carrasco, he’ll try to bounce back from a disastrous outing in the rubber-match against the Twins. Cookie gave up six runs on 10 hits in just four innings in that miserable game. We know he’s capable of better and this Jays lineup isn’t as daunting as the Twins. But the Indians can’t afford bad outings from their starters when the lineup is underperforming.

RHP Stroman (TOR) vs. RHP Clevinger (CLE)

What a great matchup to have on a Sunday afternoon. Marcus Stroman will be making his third start of the year in this one, and he’s pitched pretty well in his previous two outings. He has a 1.42 ERA and 12 strikeouts.

The Indians will be sending more sunshine to the mound in this one. If it’s anything like his last outing Mike Clevinger will make Indians fans very happy. Clevinger racked up 12 strikeouts (a career high) and just one hit in his seven scoreless innings of work. He’s the first Indians starter with a win and he did it with style. If Opening Day is any indication, this could be a career-year for Clevinger.