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Game preview: Cleveland Indians at Chicago Cubs

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The Tribe just finished off a pretty nice series win in the Bronx and sit at 5-5 on the road trip. They extend this road trip by one more game by making up a rainout in June by playing a game in Wrigley.

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

This road trip concludes with a makeup game at Wrigley Field due to a rainout in June. A win today would give the Tribe a winning record at 6-5 on the trip. This will also be the last chance to see the Tribe pitchers flail in the batter's box. Today's victim will be Corey Kluber.

The Tribe took two of three from the Cubs earlier this year, winning the non-rained out game 6-0 at Wrigley as Trevor Bauer pitched seven dazzling innings. The two games at Progressive were split, with the Bears, er Cubs, putting up 17 runs and the Tribe getting just six baserunners total in a shutout loss, but bouncing back to win the finale as Giovanny Urshela singled in the winning run in the seventh.

  • Monday 2:05 PM: Corey Kluber (R) vs. Jon Lester (L)

The Week Ahead:

After the traditional day game at Wrigley, the Tribe come home to take on their final NL Central foe, the Milwaukee Brewers for two, and then the Angels for three before packing their bags once more.

Team in a Box

Chicago Cubs

Offense

NL Rank

Pitching

NL Rank

2015 Record

71-51

Runs/Game

4.2

6th

Runs/Game

3.9

5th

NL Central

3rd

OBP

320

6th

H/9

8.2

3rd

Last 10

7-3

SLG

394

8th

BB/9

2.6

4th

Last 30

21-9

Steals

78

4th

SO/9

8.7

1st

The Cubs have been scorching hot in the past month with a stretch of winning fifteen of sixteen, and yet sit in third place in the NL Central behind the Cardinals and Pirates. They just finished sweeping the Braves in four games over the weekend.

Projected Roster

Pos

Player

Bats

PA

BA

OPS

wRC+

C

Miguel Montero

L

300

239

774

113

1B

Anthony Rizzo

L

531

291

940

157

2B

Chris Coghlan

L

393

250

782

113

3B

Kris Bryant

R

488

262

843

133

SS

Addison Russell

R

396

249

701

93

LF

Kyle Schwarber

L

157

284

957

160

CF

Dexter Fowler

S

531

257

781

117

RF

Jorge Soler

R

378

265

710

93

OF

Chris Denorfia

R

186

266

657

79

IF

Starlin Castro

R

459

239

578

54

C

David Ross

R

136

186

560

44

IF

Jonathan Herrera

S

125

235

567

49

Russell has moved from second to short with Coghlan doing a platoon with Castro at second. Rookie sensation Schwarber has taken over in left and fellow rookie, Soler has taken over in right.

Schwarber absolutely gashed the Tribe pitching staff in June, going 6-10 with a triple and homer, scoring five times and driving in four. Russell also had a nice series with a 1053 OPS. Denorfia and Bryant both drove in four as well. Montero, Ross and Castro struggled with sub-500 OPS each.

Projected Staff

Player

Throws

ERA

FIP

IP

WHIP

K/9

Jon Lester

L

3.58

3.14

148.1

1.23

9.3

Hector Rondon

R

1.59

2.49

56.2

0.99

8.7

Pedro Strop

R

29.1

3.37

55.2

0.99

10.3

Jason Motte

R

3.91

3.60

48.1

1.22

6.3

Justin Grimm

R

1.24

1.99

36.1

0.94

13.1

James Russell

L

4.45

3.34

32.1

1.36

5.6

Travis Wood

L

4.52

3.80

81.2

1.34

10.1

Clayton Richard

L

3.68

4.01

29.1

1.30

5.2

Tommy Hunter#

R

3.57

3.57

53.0

1.15

6.8

# includes stats with Orioles

Lester had a very good July and start to August, but was hammered by the Tigers last time out for seven runs in just 2.2 innings of work. He has been pretty unbeatable against Cleveland, posting a 7-1 record in 14 starts with a 3.23 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and 9.1 K/9 in 86.1 innings.

The Tribe only scored 10 runs in the three games, with seven of them coming off starters Jake Arrieta and Jason Hammel. The only reliever currently on staff they scored upon was Wood.

On the Shelf

  • P Jacob Turner [60 day DL], no timetable for return, on AA rehab
  • P Neil Ramirez [15 day DL], no timetable for return
  • RP Zac Rosscup [15 day DL], no timetable for return, on AA rehab
  • RP Rafael Soriano [15 day DL], possible late August return

Almanac

W

L

Pct

RS

RA

Pythag

2015

2

1

667

10

20

333

2009

0

3

000

14

20

342

Last 5*

0

0

-

0

0

-

Last 10*

1

5

167

28

43

313

All-Time

9

8

529

82

102

401

Prediction: With Kluber on the mound, I like our chances. But with a decent lefty on the mound in Lester, that evens it back to a coin flip.  I say they win it with a 50.001% lean.