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Guardians return home to face Padres

Old friends will battle on the mound in the opener

Cleveland Guardians v. New York Yankees Photo by Rob Tringali/MLB Photos via Getty Images

There has already been a battle of former Cy Young Award winners this season, but for my money, this two-game series between the Cleveland Guardians and San Diego Padres has the most narratively interesting pitching matchups of the year so far.

The first game will feature Mike Clevinger making his season debut with the Padres, and it will be his first against the team that traded him two years ago. Opposing him will be one of his clubhouse friends, Zach Plesac, who will be looking to rebound from a disastrous outing against the Angels last week.

In Game 2, the Guardians will start Cal Quantrill, the headlining pitcher of that Clevinger deal in 2020. He’s coming off his best start of the season — four strikeouts in six innings and one earned run against the Angels.

The Padres will counter in Game 2 with their top pitching prospect, MacKenzie Gore. Gore struck out a career-high 10 batters in a win against the Reds in his last start. So far this season he has 20 strikeouts over 15.1 innings of work with just three earned runs off 12 hits. So far he has relied heavily on his four-seamer (64.4% of total pitches), but he also throws a slider (18.3%), curveball (12.9%), and changeup (4.2%).

It’s a top prospect, friends facing off, and both ends of trade taking the mound. None of these narratives will matter when the games actually start, but hey, it’s something to think about before the game. Play the Duel of the Fates while you think about it if you want, it makes it way better.

For the Guardians, this series will be a chance to prove that they can actually win without sweeping or getting swept in a three-game series — because it seems like that’s all they’ve done this season. It’s just a two-fer before the Blue Jays come to town.

Team at a glance

  • Record: 15-8 (4th in NL)
  • Runs Scored: 109 (2nd in NL)
  • Run Differential: +20
  • Last 10: 6-4
  • Slash: .234/.326/.376
  • wOBA: .317 (6th in NL)
  • wRC+: 110 (4th in NL)
  • ERA: 3.51 (8th in NL)
  • SIERA: 3.31 (5th in NL)
  • K-BB%: 16.6% (5th in NL)

Projected starters

Tuesday, May 3, 6:10 p.m. ET: RHP Mike Clevinger vs. RHP Zach Plesac
Wednesday, May 4, 1:10 p.m. ET: LHP MacKenzie Gore vs. RHP Cal Quantrill

Roster

Poll

How many games will the Guardians win against the Padres?

This poll is closed

  • 19%
    2
    (18 votes)
  • 49%
    1
    (46 votes)
  • 31%
    0
    (29 votes)
93 votes total Vote Now