Series Preview: Cleveland Indians (5-9, 6 GB) vs. Detroit Tigers (11-5, 1 GB)

tigers vs indians

Since being swept by Detroit a couple weeks back, the Indians split a 2 game series with the White Sox, lost a series to the Twins, and lost the next series to the White Sox.  All-in-all, Cleveland is 3-7 in their last 10 and 4-5 on the road with a -14 run differential.  The offense has just been brutal, ranking 29th in the league with 44 runs scored, 25th in team batting average (.220), 26th in slugging percentage (.282), and 27 in slugging percentage at .337.  The starting pitching has done a good job keeping the tribe in games, however the staff numbers still are just worse than average with a team ERA of 4.09 (19th), 1.38 WHIP (24th), .254 batting average against (22nd), with the bright note being quality starts with 8 and ranking 14th.  Overall, the team can’t hit themselves out of a wet paper bag and let’s hope this isn’t the series where they turn it around

Ok, the Tigers sucked against the Yankees.  I’m chalking it up to guys who aren’t used to really cold weather and leave it at that.  Even dropping it 3 straight, the Tigers are still just a game out of first, a +21 run differential, but are just 6-4 at home and 5-5 in their last 10.  The teams non-existent offense against New York has dropped them slightly in the rankings with the team now ranking 7th in the league with 77 runs scored, a .439 slugging percentage (6th), .286 batting average (2nd) and .352 on base percentage (3rd).  The pitching also slipped slightly with a team ERA now of 3.15 (7th), 1.13 WHIP (6th), .221 average against (4th), with 10 quality starts (6th).  The big questions for me remain around the rotation; like how will teams hit off Simon the more they see him?  Can Greene keep it up? Who will step up in the pen?

My key player of the series: Ian Kinsler

Pitching Match-ups @ Comerica Park

4/24, 7:08p – Danny Salazar (1-0, 3.00 ERA) vs. Shane Greene (3-0, 0.39 ERA)

4/25, 1:08p – Trevor Bauer (2-0, 0.95 ERA) vs. Alfredo Simon (3-0, 1.74 ERA)

4/26, 1:08p – Carlos Carrasco (2-1, 2.38 ERA) vs. Kyle Lobstein (1-1, 3.27 ERA)

Comerica Park (2)

Who to Watch Cleveland (Last 7 Days)

  1. Trevor Bauer, SP – The Indians eventually lost Bauer’s last start, however the youngster is finally realizing his 1st round potential as he threw 7 scoreless innings against the White Sox and striking out 7
  2. Carlos Carrasco, SP – Carrasco made it back after being hit in the jaw with a line drive just a week later and being knocked out. Carlos threw 5-innings of one run ball (homer to Abreu) and struck out 8
  3. Danny Salazar, SP – Salazar got touched up a little against Minnesota with a two run homer, but ended up striking out 10 in 6 innings

Who to Watch Detroit (Last 7 Days)

  1. Yoenis Cespedes, OF – Cespedes was one of few Tigers to hit this past week with as he had a .318 batting average, hit 3 homers , including 2 in a game vs. the White Sox.  Cespedes had 17 total bases and 10 runs driven in.
  2. J.D. Martinez, OF – J.D.’s average is dipping a bit, however he did still hit .280 over the week and was the only other Tiger to hit a homer and have double figure total bases.
  3. Tigers Starting Pitching –I can’t point a finger at any of the 3 starters for this series as all three had good outings their last time out.  Simon threw 7.1 of 1 run ball against the Yankees.  Greene beat the White Sox giving up a run over 7, and even though the Tigers lost, Lobstein did a good job holding New York to a run over 6 innings.

Who Not to Watch Cleveland (Last 7 Days)

  1. Carlos Santana, 1B – Santana has struck out on 3 times, however he has also only gotten 3 hits in 23 at bats in the past week. Two of those three hits were home runs however
  2. Lonnie Chisenhall, 3B – Chisenhall has also only collected 3 hits in 22 at bats, however none of his were homers
  3. Michael Bourn, OF – The table setter for the Indians is also struggling with a .158 average and only 3 singles

Who Not to Watch Detroit (Last 7 Days)

  1. James McCann, C –McCann continues to struggle at the plate, however his opportunities were limited to 11 at bats with just a triple. On a solid note, of his 10 outs, only one was a strike out
  2. Ian Kinsler, 2B – Kinsler seems to be stinging the ball, unfortunately it’s right at the defense leading to a .148 batting average over the last 7 days
  3. Al Alburquerque, RP – Al Al was miserable against the Yankees on Wednesday. He had given up only a run through his first six appearances, but coughed up 3 vs. New York, which included a home run

Series Prediction: Tigers win 2-1

Next Series: 3 @ Minnesota Twins (6-9)

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