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Series Preview: Angels @ Indians (Another one bites the dust)

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Alex Meyer went on the DL in time to NOT pitch against the Indians, but say hello to Kaleb Cowart!

MLB: Detroit Tigers at Cleveland Indians Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The Indians have worked their way into 1st place in the AL Central but since the break they have been swept by the A’s, lost a series to the Giants, and swept the Blue Jays. They also beat the Reds in a makeup game and are 5-5 since the break. The Angels are only 3-10 against the Indians over the last 2 years and the Indians have out-scored the Angels 95-53 over the month of July.

In terms of WAR and FIP, the Indians have the best pitching staff in the league since the start of July. Starters have a 2.97 ERA, but their bullpen has been less than stellar outside of closer Andrew Miller. On the season, however, the Indians have had one of the best bullpens in baseball.

Interesting stats (year to date) comparison:

112 HR, 466 runs, 50 SB, .260 AVG
108 HR, 443 runs, 54 SB, .253 AVG

I think you can figure out which team is which, but the offensive stats above are relatively similar. The Indians definitely pull away when you throw in ISO, SLG, OPS, and a few other “important” stats that help you win games.

According to FiveThirtyEight, the Indians are favored by A LOT to win all 3 games.

Notable Indians on the DL:

  • Lonnie Chisenhall, OF (.305/.376/.7578)
  • Jason Kipnis, 2B (.232/.292/.402)
  • Austin Jackson, OF (.304/.383/.500)

Series Question: Can the Angels slow the Indians’ roll?


Jesse Chavez v. Mike Clevinger
Tuesday, July 25th @ 4:10PM

Pitcher vs. Batters

Notable Stats:


You probably know the drill by now when it comes to Jesse Chavez. He will probably pitch 5 or 6 innings and will probably give up 3 or 4 runs. He’s been decent over his last 4 starts with 9 runs allowed over 21.1 innings (a 3.83 ERA) along with 3 home runs allowed. Chavez last faced the Indians on July 1st, 2016 when he threw 3 scoreless innings during a 19 inning marathon game.

Mike Clevinger has been sharp this year and on a roll over his last 6 starts where he has allowed only 6 runs over 33 innings. He hasn’t faced the current Angels roster all that much and Mike Trout has only 1 AB against him Of the 9 ABs he’s had against the Angels, only Andrelton Simmons has a hit and is 1 for 2.

Verdict: This game definitely leans Clevinger, as he has been one of the best pitchers for the Indians this year along with Kluber and Carrasco.


Ricky Nolasco (probable) v. Carlos Carrasco
Wednesday, July 26th @ 4:10PM

Pitcher vs. Batters


Alex Meyer was probably in line to start on Wednesday but most likely it will be a Nolasco Carrasco fiasco. I mean, let’s face it. One of these pitchers is terrible and one of them is not. Guess who is who?? Nolasco has pitched a couple of good games lately, but he keeps reminding us what CAN happen like in his last start when he allowed 6 runs in just 4 innings or in his July 7th start where he allowed 8 runs in 1.2 innings. If Yan Gomes gets the start, he is 3 for 9 off Nolasco with 3 homers. Could be a fun one!

It doesn’t get easier for the Angels in game 2 of the series when they have to face a strong Carlos Carrasco. He’s not without his flaws, however and has been beat up this year by the A’s, Rangers, Royals, and Rays. He’s usually good for 6-7 innings, sometimes 8 so the Angels will have to get some runs off him before he hands the ball over to their back end bullpen.

Verdict: Another game that leans Indians thanks to his pitching mojo and ability to throw a lot of strikeouts. He’s not immune to problems though and has given up 15 home runs this years so that may be the chance the Angels need.


JC Ramirez v. Trevor Bauer
Thursday, July 27th @ 9:10AM

Pitcher vs. Batters:


In his last 4 starts, Ramirez has been up and down so would seem to be on a downward trend for this game. Baseball is all about breaking trends though and he pitched well against a strong Boston team on Saturday, allowing just 1 run over 6 innings.

Trevor Bauer is the least strong of the pitchers the Angels face in this series but he’s only give up more than 4 ER twice this season. Still - he often gives up 3 or 4 runs and that may be all the Angels need to stay in this one. Surprisingly, in 84 ABs, the Angels have yet to hit a home run off Bauer - so it’s time.

Verdict: Game 3 is probably the best shot of a win, assuming Ramirez doesn’t have any melt downs.

Overall Verdict: Tough series to win for the Angels and their best result may be just avoiding a sweep.