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Cleveland Indians vs. Detroit Tigers series preview

The final series of the season between two division rivals going in opposite directions.

Detroit Tigers v Cincinnati Reds Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

While the Cleveland Indians are riding an 18-game winning streak and staring home-field advantage throughout the playoffs in the face, the Detroit Tigers are potentially looking at their worst season in more than a decade. And just to make things worse (or better, depending on your viewpoint), the Tribe will be sending Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco, and Mike Clevinger to the mound, while the Tigers will be sending a rookie making his MLB debut and two struggling starters.

At this point, the odds are never in the Indians’ favor for continuing the streak — odds say they should have lost a long time ago — but if they are going to keep defying them they are probably going to do so against this rebuilding Tigers team.

It’s fun to dance on the grave of a team that tormented the Indians for so long, but part of me wants to use the Tigers as a cautionary tale. The Tribe are going to rebuild again eventually, there’s no way around it. The core will leave, other pieces will be traded, and all eyes will turn to the minors as we look for the next Francisco Lindor. Ask just about any Tigers fan and I bet they would tell you they’d give anything to go back to their window to win and watch it again. Well, Indians fans are in that magical window of watching a winning baseball team right now. Some of this season wasn’t fun, but this is our window. This is our chance to enjoy baseball; don’t lose sight of that when the Tribe have a bad week or two.

Remember this streak, and remember that baseball is fun when your team is mostly good. And the Indians are very mostly good.

Pitching matchups

  • Monday, 7:10 p.m. ET: Carlos Carrasco (RHP) vs. Myles Jaye (RHP)
  • Tuesday, 7:10 p.m. ET: Corey Kluber (RHP) vs. Matthew Boyd (LHP)
  • Wednesday, 12:10 p.m. ET: Mike Clevinger (RHP) vs. Buck Farmer (RHP)

Myles Jaye, Matthew Boyd, and Buck Farmer. If those names give you a collective feeling of Deja Who? you’re not alone (Note: delete that sentence before publishing).

Boyd is the only name that rings a bell immediately, and he has an abysmal 5.93 ERA, though his FIP is a bit low at 4.62 and his BABIP a bit high at .354 so there might some positive regression due. He’s also third among Tigers starters with 1.4 fWAR, which is telling of a lot of things about this Tigers team. The last time he faced the Indians, he pitched five innings and allowed one run off five hits. That was on September 1; one of the few close games of the winning streak.

I guess I recognize Buck Farmer too, but the Indians ran up five runs in the other September 1 double-header game and he was out after three innings. Aside from having a name that sounds like a clever insult, Barmer has a career ERA of 6.69, so his 6.32 ERA this season is actually an improvement. If there is a silver lining in his seven starts this season, it’s that he is walking far fewer batters than he has in the past.

And the guy who drew the unfortunate straw of facing Carlos Carrasco in the opening game, Myles Jaye, will be making the first start of his career. Godspeed.

Detroit Tigers roster


How many games will the Indians win against the Tigers

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