A fun, broom-filled series against the Kansas City Royals was a fantastic way to end the most recent home trip for the Cleveland Indians. Now, the Tribe heads home for their final stretch of games before the All-Star break, starting with a weekend series against the Oakland Athletics.
The Indians just have two more series’ following this one before taking a week off for the All-Star break. After the A’s leave town, the Indians will welcome the Cincinnati Reds for three games followed by the Yankees for four games. For Oakland, they’ll head to Houston to take on the Astros for four games before heading back to California to visit the Giants for three games.
Friday, July 6 7:10 p.m. ET: Paul Blackburn (RHP) v. Carlos Carrasco (RHP)
Paul Blackburn has made five starts this year: two were good, one was decent, and two were raging dumpster fires. His most recent start was against the Tribe, and it was one of his good starts. As you’ll recall, he stymied the Indians last week when he went 6.1 innings and allowed zero runs on 3 hits while walking 1 and striking out 5. His numbers are dragged down due to the two dumpster fire starts, where he gave up a combined 14 earned runs in 6.1 innings of work. Hopefully we see more of that Paul Blackburn and less of the Paul Blackburn that made the Tribe hitters look completely helpless at the plate last week.
Carlos Carrasco’s last start was cut short when a line drive hit him in his throwing elbow. I’m sure I speak for most when I say that the first two thoughts that went through my head were “[redacted] not again” and “I hope he’s okay”. Thankfully, Carlos avoided any significant damage and just needed some time to rehab and heal from a bad bruise. He makes his return to the Cleveland rotation later tonight, and folks are excited to see Cookie back on the mound before the All-Star break. He’s been having a down year by his standards, but he’s still been an above average starter for the Cleveland Indians. In 91.1 innings this season, Carrasco has allowed 43 earned runs while walking 22 and striking out 96 (which translates to an ERA+ of 104).
Saturday, July 7 4:10 p.m. ET: Edwin Jackson (RHP) v. Corey Kluber (RHP)
Edwin Jackson has already made history this season by pitching for the 13th big league club of his career, and so far he’s been doing a great job. He’s only had two starts this season, but both have been quality. He last pitched against Cleveland last week on June 30 and he went 6.2 innings and allowed 2 earned runs on 2 hits while walking no one and striking out 6.
Corey Kluber bounced back after his worst start of his career and turned in a quality start a few days ago against the Royals. On July 2, Kluber went 6.0 innings and allowed 3 earned runs on 7 hits while walking zero and striking out 5. It’s not the start we’re used to seeing from Kluber, but it was just a normal, solid outing as opposed to the robotic death machine outing that we’ve become accustomed to. I’m hoping that this start is of the robotic death machine variety.
Sunday, July 8 1:10 p.m. ET: Frankie Montas (RHP) v. Shane Bieber (RHP)
Since Frankie Montas has been added to the Oakland rotation, he’s been pitching well for the A’s. The Indians saw him at the beginning of this month in Oakland. Frankie pitched fine (5.2 innings, 3 runs, 9 hits, 0 BB, 6 K), but his bullpen completely imploded and gave up 12 runs in Cleveland’s dominating victory.
Similarly, since making his debut with the Tribe earlier this season, Shane Bieber has been pitching incredibly well for Cleveland. He had somewhat of an off game on July 3 against the Royals where he went 6.0 innings and allowed 4 runs on 9 hits while walking 1 and striking out 2, but this marked the first time that Bieber had allowed 4 or more runs since his debut on May 31. His offense was able to come through for him and the bullpen held strong to get him his fourth major league victory.
Players to watch
Since we last saw the A’s a week ago, the team has been hitting with authority with a collective slash line of .263/.358/.475. A big part of that offensive surge has been thanks to Jed Lowrie (.222/.533/.333, what a strange slash line over his last 4 games), Matt Olson (.167/.375/.500; again, a weirdly unbalanced slash over the past 4 games), and most notably Mark Canha (.300/.417/.700 over his past 4 games). The pitching, on the other hand, has not been good. Hitters have been slashing .277/.346/.475 against A’s pitching, including 13 doubles and 5 home runs. Blake Treinen continues to dominate despite the rest of his teams struggles, and the rookie Lou Trivino allowed no hits in the last week and only allowed 3 base runners total via walks.
How will Carlos Carrasco do?
A healthy, effective Carlos Carrasco would be a huge boost to an already incredible rotation, so it’ll be important to watch to see if there are any lingering after effects from his injury. And hopefully players can stop hitting the ball right at him. Thankfully, the Indians aren’t playing an AL Central team this upcoming week, so Cookie should be good to go.
Can Cody Allen continue his stretch of dominance?
Cody Allen recently became the all-time saves leader for the Cleveland Indians, and it’s no surprise because the Cleveland closer has rebounded after a rocky start to the beginning of the year and has pitched like the ace closer we’ve all come to know and love. Batters have made some noise against Cody recently in terms of hits and base runners, but over his last 8 appearances, he’s allowed just 2 runs and 6 hits. Keep it up, Commander.
Oakland Athletics roster
How many games will the Indians win against the Athletics?
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