With their sweep last weekend, the Indians topped the Tigers 20 straight times, dating back to last April. That run is the second longest winning streak against one opponent in MLB history and they have a chance to top the record (the ‘69-’70 Orioles won 23 straight against the Royals) with this three-game set in Cleveland.
The Tigers will try to prevent history by going against the bottom of the Indians rotation with Adam Plutko making another start and top pitching prospect Triston McKenzie making his long awaited MLB debut. Despite not starting in a minor league game since August 2018, the Indians feel confident enough in his progress and his outings at the alternate site in Lake County that they are giving him a shot.
The Indians have won eight of their last 10 and sit a half-game back of the AL Central-leading Twins. Yet another sweep over the Tigers would do wonders for the division race. Not only will the Tigers be trying to avoid the unsightly history of getting beat 23 times in a row by the same team, they are also currently on a nine-game losing streak.
There is hope for the Tigers’ future, though. Earlier this week they promoted three prospects, including top pitching prospect Casey Mize. Luckily the Indians will avoid him and his nasty splitter for this series.
Team in a box
2020 Pittsburgh Pirates
Friday, August 21, 7:10 p.m. ET: RHP Michael Fulmer vs. Adam Plutko
The Indians got to Fulmer early in their last meeting, knocking the veteran out of the game after just 2.2 innings. two walks, and and a pair of homers. Fulmer’s season as a whole has been miserable, and he sits in the bottom 10-15% of almost every Statcast measurement
Saturday, August 22, 7:10 p.m. ET: LHP Matthew Boyd vs. Triston McKenzie
Matthew Boyd has not faced the Indians yet this season, but he has looked bad in just about every outing. He’s allowed 25 runs in 23.1 innings and has yet to make it out of the sixth inning. Boyd has four pitches to work with, but relies heavily on his fourseam fastball, which just isn’t very effective.
Sunday, August 23, 1:10 p.m. ET: LHP Tarik Skubal vs. Carlos Carrasco
Tarik Skubal was a ninth-round pick in 2018 but rocketed through the Tigers’ minor league system with absurd strikeout potential at every level. Skubal features a fastball that can touch 97 and a trio of potential plus-pitches. He had a rough debut against the White Sox (2.0 IP, 4 ER, 1 SO, 1 BB), but his raw stuff alone should worry the Indians. Not to mention that he’s a lefty.
How many games will the Indians win against the Tigers?
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