Angels (56-54) @ Indians (63-45)
The Angels and the Indians are trending in opposite directions. While the Angels are coming off a 2-5 homestand against the Orioles and the Tigers, the Indians are surging post-break. They are now only three games back in the AL Central, and they have a realistic shot of getting there. If not the division, they are firmly entrenched in a Wild Card spot.
The weather will most likely not impact the games this weekend.
A Look at Cleveland’s Hitting
Obviously, Franmil Reyes and Yasiel Puig have other stats this season.
(L) Dillon Peters (3.06 ERA) v. (R) Mike Clevinger (3.28 ERA)
Friday, August 2 @ 4:10 PM
Taylor Cole is opening for Peters. Cole has been largely successful this year. His only crime is that he’s optionable, which means that he usually gets the boot whenever the club needs arms. Peters had a good start two outings ago, but gave up five runs last start against Baltimore. Fortunately, MLB changed a hit to an error, and he was only charged with two earned runs. We’ll see if he can shut down the mighty Indians.
Stop if you’ve heard this before. Jerry Dipoto traded Mike Clevinger for two months of Vinnie Pestano. Clevinger’s July was nothing much. He just went 4-0 with a 1.74 ERA in five starts, pitching 31 innings. After a rough June, he looks back and in form. If the Angels only strike out seven times against him, it will be considered a success. (Especially with Justin Upton in the lineup.)
(R) Félix Peña (4.66 ERA) v. (R) Adam Plutko (4.83 ERA)
Saturday, August 3 @ 4:10 PM
This is the Angels best shot at a win. Not only do we feature Peña, who is probable to start, our best pitcher, but it’s Cleveland’s weakest starter. Peña is striking out over a batter an inning and appears to have his changeup and slider working. The only challenge will be to see if he can prevent the cut/blister on his thumb from flaring up again. It has plagued him his last two starts.
Adam Plutko went to UCLA. He hasn’t had the same success of Trevor Bauer or Gerrit Cole, but the Angels would take him in a heartbeat. He’s allowing a hit an inning, but he doesn’t walk or strikeout hitters. Patience and solid contact will be the key.
(R) Jaime Barria (6.28 ERA) v. (R) Shane Bieber (3.40 ERA)
Sunday, August 4 @ 10:10 AM
Barria has allowed three runs in his last ten innings, a very solid mark. His ERA is inflated by a seven run outing against Kansas City in April and a ten run outing against Seattle. I’m still excited by Barria, who is only 23, and can’t wait to see what he brings to the table in a tough matchup against Cleveland.
Bieber is a top-5 Cy Young candidate. He’s eating innings, has a sterling 1.01 WHIP, and is a local kid from Laguna Hills. He’s a 2019 All Star and is a big reason why the Indians felt they were able to trade away Trevor Bauer.
Overall Verdict: You never know with the Angels.