Cleveland Guardians News

Cleveland Indians: Previewing the weekender with KC

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 15: Carlos Santana #41 of the Cleveland Indians celebrates his two run home run in the fourth inning against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on August 15, 2019 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 15: Carlos Santana #41 of the Cleveland Indians celebrates his two run home run in the fourth inning against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on August 15, 2019 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI – JULY 26: Starting pitcher Zach Plesac #65 of the Cleveland Indians catches a foul ball hit by Bubba Starling #11 of the Kansas City Royals in the sixth inning at Kauffman Stadium on July 26, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI – JULY 26: Starting pitcher Zach Plesac #65 of the Cleveland Indians catches a foul ball hit by Bubba Starling #11 of the Kansas City Royals in the sixth inning at Kauffman Stadium on July 26, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) /

Projected Pitching Matchups

Friday, 7:10 PM EST – RHP Zach Plesac vs. RHP Jakob Junis

Zach Plesac’s pitching style has recently caught up to him against the American League’s better hitting teams. Three of his last four starts have come against Houston, Boston and New York, and he has given up 11 earned runs across 14.2 innings in those appearances.

Quite simply, when you allow contact as often as Plesac does, the good teams are going to make that contact count. Plesac’s last two outings against the Royals have been a different story, for obvious reasons. He logged 13 innings and gave up two total earned runs in those starts, while striking out 10.

Jakob Junis has made three appearances in August, all of them qualifying as quality starts. He’s given up six earned runs in 18.1 innings this month. The last time he saw the Indians, they tattooed him for six earned runs on 10 hits on July 26.

Saturday, 7:10 PM EST – RHP Mike Clevinger vs. RHP Glenn Sparkman

The Yankees and Red Sox were able to get Mike Clevinger’s pitch counts up early on in his last two outings; both teams got him off the mound before the sixth inning, a feat which had not been accomplished by any team since June.

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Ron Kulpa ejected Terry Francona and Phil Nevin, then had to leave game himself (Video)
Ron Kulpa ejected Terry Francona and Phil Nevin, then had to leave game himself (Video) /

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  • Despite not going especially deep into the game, Clevinger shut out the Yankees for five innings and sent 10 hitters packing via the strikeout. Clevinger has made two starts against Kansas City this season, logging 13 total innings and allowing one total earned run.

    In Glenn Sparkman’s last two outings against the Tribe, he’s given up 12 earned runs in 10.2 innings. He has struck out just 13.4% of opposing hitters this season, which won’t play well against the Indians if their bats come alive after a miserable three days at Citi Field.

    It’s worth noting that Sparkman will enter Saturday on a high note after notching two straight quality starts against the Cardinals and Mets. His ERA the first time through opposing lineups is 6.75, so look for the Tribe to jump on him early.

    Sunday, 1:10 PM EST – RHP Shane Bieber vs. RHP Jorge Lopez

    If there were such a stat as Unearned Losses, Shane Bieber would be coming off two in a row. He pitched exactly six innings with two earned runs allowed in each of his last two outings, but was tagged with the loss in both.

    It’s been an interesting two-start stretch for Bieber, as he’s had to deal with two tough lineups that made things extremely difficult on him from the outset. He didn’t buckle under the pressure in either one, though he also didn’t receive any run support.

    Jorge Lopez only recently resumed his role in the Royals rotation after a three-month stint as a reliever. He’s seen the Indians six times out of the bullpen this season, and they’ve gotten to him for at least one run in four of those meetings.

    Lopez is allowing an even 1.000 OPS to lefties. Jose Ramirez has a 199 wRC+ against righties since the All-Star break. Take that for what it’s worth.

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