The Cleveland Indians and Los Angeles Angels continue their three-game series on Tuesday night, with the Indians looking for their second straight win over the host Angels.
Chasing A Title
The Indians will take on the Angels on Tuesday as they try to catch the Twins in the AL Central. Cleveland is currently 84-61, five games behind the Twins and a half-game behind the Oakland A’s for a Wild Card spot. They have not been able to get momentum going as they are 5-5 over their last 10 games.
Cleveland is on the road for this series, though they have been successful in away games this year going 41-32 this season after beating the Angels 6-2 in the first game. They are an even 53-53 when they are the favorite in games this season.
The Indians are batting .251 as a team this season with 201 home runs, and they have an impressive team ERA of 3.69. Starting pitchers Corey Kluber and Danny Salazar are both on the 60-day IL,
Starting on the bump in this game will be Zach Plesac. The 24-year-old gave up six runs on eight hits over five innings in his last outing against the White Sox, taking the loss.
His last setback brought him to 7-6 this season with a 3.98 ERA and 74 strikeouts. Plesac started the season hot, but he has taken three losses in his last four decisions since the start of August.
At the plate, the Indians have been led in home runs and RBI by their first baseman, Carlos Santana. The 33-year-old veteran has a .283 batting average with 33 home runs and 86 runs batted in. Shortstop Francisco Lindor has the best batting average on the team with .295, and he’s also hit 29 home runs and has 67 RBI.
Los Angeles is 67-78 this season, another disappointing year where they have not been able to stay healthy and get enough talent around their former MVP, Mike Trout.
The Angels are 28 games behind the Houston Astros in the AL West and 17.5 games behind a Wild Card spot, meaning it will be another year without the playoffs for the Angels.
Although the Angels are at home for this series, they have already dropped the first game and are just 35-35 at home this year. They are 2-3 over their last five games, but they are 39-28 in games where they are the underdog.
As a team, the Angels are batting .250 with 206 home runs, but their team ERA is sitting at 5.05 this season. Trout is currently listed as day-to-day, and the Angels have not announced if he will be in the lineup for this one.
Getting the start for the Angels will be Jose Suarez. The young pitcher allowed two runs over 5 1/3 innings in his last start. He did not factor into the decision as the Angels took the loss to the Athletics.
Suarez is now 2-5 this season with a 6.45 ERA with 60 strikeouts. The 21-year-old has lost his last four decisions, with his last win coming on June 15 against the Rays.
Trout leads the Angels with 45 home runs, a .291 batting average and 104 runs batted in. With him potentially out of the lineup, Los Angeles will look for other guys to step up and create offense for the team.
What To Expect
With the Angels’ only big-time threat at the plate in Trout potentially not starting and a young, inconsistent pitcher on the mound for Los Angeles, I like the Indians and Plesac to take the win in this one.