After about 87 hours of baseball, the Cleveland Indians split yesterday’s double header with the Toronto Blue Jays. Now, they return to their regularly scheduled schedule with a weekend series against the New York Yankees.
After this weekend, the Indians finally have a day off! They’ll use that day to hit the road and travel to Miller Park to face off against the Milwaukee Brewers for two games. They’ll then head back to Progressive Field to welcome the Kansas City Royals for three games. The Yankees, on the other hand, will welcome the Boston Red Sox for three games and the Oakland Athletics for three games after the Indians head out of town.
Friday, May 4 7:05 p.m. ET: Josh Tomlin (RHP) v. CC Sabathia (LHP)
Josh Tomlin takes the mound for the Indians again, and he will attempt to give up fewer than a thousand runs, a feat that he has only achieved twice this season. A month into the season, and Tomlin is not pitching well at all. He has pitched in 18.2 innings this season, and during that time, Tomlin has allowed 19 earned runs while walking 3 and striking out 10 (which translates to an ERA+ of 51). He’s also allowed 10 home runs, so that’s fun. His last start was gross; on April 29 against the Mariners, Tomlin pitched 6.0 innings and he gave up 6 runs on 10 hits while walking no one and striking out 3.
CC Sabathia, on the other hand, is off to a phenomenal start in 2018. The 37-year-old has pitched in 26.1 innings so far in 2018; during that time frame, Sabathia has allowed just 5 earned runs while walking 5 and striking out 16 (which translates to an ERA+ of 266). So far this season, he’s given up more than 1 earned run on just one occasion when he gave up 3 back on April 6. His most recent start, however, was great. On April 29 against the Los Angeles Angels, Sabathia went 7.0 innings and allowed 1 earned run on 5 hits while walking 1 and striking out 4.
Saturday, May 5 1:05 p.m. ET: Trevor Bauer (RHP) v. Sonny Gray (RHP)
Trevor Bauer, when not being a spin rate detective, has been pitching really well for the Indians in 2018. After the first month of the season, Bauer has pitched in 40.1 innings and has allowed 11 earned runs while walking 16 and striking out 46 (which translates to an ERA+ of 188). His most recent start came on April 30 against the Texas Rangers; in that game, Bauer went 6.2 innings and allowed 2 earned runs on 4 hits while walking 3 and striking out a season high 11 hitters.
Sonny Gray has had a rough start in 2018. He’s far removed from his Cy Young caliber year in 2015, and it’s unclear whether he will get back to that level again. This season, Gray has pitched in 27.0 innings and has allowed 20 earned runs while walking 19 and striking out 23 (which translates to an ERA+ of 68). His most recent start, however, was actually a pretty good one. On April 30 against the Houston Astros, Gray went 6.0 innings and allowed 2 runs on 4 hits while walking 3 and s triking out 4.
Sunday, May 6 1:05 p.m. ET: Mike Clevinger (RHP) v. Domingo German (RHP)
Mike Clevinger, much like Trevor Bauer, has taken off so far this year. In what may be considered his best stretch of games yet in his MLB career, Clevinger is off to an incredible start to 2018. In 38.1 innings, Clevinger has allowed 12 earned runs while walking 10 and striking out 29 (which translates to an ERA+ of 164). His last start was solid; on May 1 against the Texas Rangers, Clevinger went 6.2 innings and allowed 3 runs on 7 hits while walking 1 and striking out 7.
Domingo German made his MLB debut last June out of the bullpen for the Yankees. He spent the majority of last season in AAA and he only pitched 14.1 innings at the major league level. This year, German has pitched in 5 games (all out of the bullpen); he’s thrown 14.1 innings and has allowed 6 earned runs while walking 7 and striking out 18 (which translates to an ERA+ of 122). Sunday will mark the first time that German has started a game at the MLB level, so expect the Indians to get shutout for 7.1 innings. His last game was on May 1 against the Houston Astros; in that game, German went 4.0 innings out of the bullpen and allowed zero runs on 4 hits while walking 1 and striking out 4.
Players to watch
- Didi Gregorious - If Gregorious’ numbers carried over the entire season, he would probably be the AL MVP. He’s off to an absolutely scorching start. In 134 plate appearances so far, Didi has a slash line of .333/.418/.712 (which translates to a wRC+ of 191). He’s also hit the third most home runs in baseball (10) and he’s walking way more than usual (13.4% v. 5.9% career) while striking out roughly the same amount (14.2% v. 14.5% career). His BABIP is slightly elevated (.314 v. .289 career), but not to the point where you can point to luck as the determining factor of Didi’s success. Didi Gregorious may just be that good of a hitter.
- Aaron Judge - The power hitting phenom from 2017 has continued his headline-grabbing career so far in 2018, albeit on a smaller scale. After slugging .627 last year, Judge has slugged only .544 in 2018. His overall slash line is fantastic; .298/.426/.544 (which translates to an ERA+ of 161). He’s walking as much as you would expect (17.7% v. 17.6% career), and while he’s still striking out a ton, he’s doing it less than he did last season (29.1% v. 31.8% career). Judge’s BABIP is fairly elevated (.403 v. .357 career), so he is enjoying some good luck right now, but not a ton. He’s a fantastic hitter and will probably prove to be a pain for Cleveland this weekend.
- Chasen Shreve - With a bullpen that consists of Chad Green, David Robertson, Dellin Betances, and Aroldis Chapman, anyone else will get overshadowed. Chasen Shreve is a name you may not be familiar with, but he should be. He’s got three pitches (4-seam, slider, splitter) and they all can do damage against hitters. His splitter is his primary weapon and he’ll use it to get ground ball outs when he’s in a jam. Think Dan Otero but really, really good. His 2018 campaign is off to an amazing start; in his 12.0 innings, Shreve has allowed just 1 earned run on 7 hits while walking 4 and striking out 16. The Yankees basically have the opposite of the Indians’ bullpen; Shreve would be one of the top arms in Cleveland, he’s merely the #5 guy in New York.
- Aroldis Chapman - He’s good at throwing a baseball really, really hard. He’s continued to do so in 2018. In 14.0 innings, Chapman has allowed 2 earned runs on 7 hits while walking 5 and striking out 27. I hate this man.
How will the pitching hold up?
Josh Tomlin v. New York Yankees seems like a bad idea. It seems like an even worse idea the day after a rain delayed, extra inning double header that went through every pitcher in the bullpen. Thanks to the length provided by Adam Plutko, the bullpen is only completely taxed as opposed to very completely taxed. But thankfully, help may be on the way because...
Andrew Miller may be back
The former Yankee may be activated from the DL this weekend to suit up against his former team, and he couldn’t come at a better time. The Indians bullpen is somewhat of a mess without Miller, so having him back will do wonders for the team as a whole. Please come back healthy, Andrew.
The Indians just faced off against the Blue Jays, the team that has the most home runs in all of baseball (48). They now will take on the Yankees, the team that has the third most home runs in all of baseball (44). Which team has the second most? Why, the Cleveland Indians (45)! What I’m saying is expect a lot of home runs this weekend.
New York Yankees roster
How many games will the Indians win against the Yankees?
This poll is closed