The Los Angeles Angels and Cleveland Indians traded wins the last two days and will meet in the rubber contest Sunday. Corey Kluber was fantastic, as he rolled over the Angels lineup in a 3-0 shutout. It was night and day from Friday when the Angels got to the Indians for 7 runs. The Indians have been that kind of team, a team that relies on its offense one day and pitching the next. They don’t necessarily have a strong identity as a hitting or pitching club.
Meanwhile, when the Indians went to the World Series, their bullpen was the clear unit that led them to that point. It’s been a little bit of everything for the Indians in 2018. The wildcard for the Indians in the postseason is going to be reliever Andrew Miller. If he can find his stroke, I wouldn’t be so quick to discount the Indians. Rightfully so, they are being talked over in favor of the Red Sox and Astros, but don’t write them off yet.
Injuries have devastated the Angels’ pitching staff over the past few years. It’s nothing new for a team who has been trying to get their rotation in line for a decade. The death of Nick Adenhart almost put a dark cloud over the pitching in Anaheim. Adenhart was their top prospect at the time and was coming off the best start of his career before the accident.
Tyler Skaggs will miss a scheduled start on Sunday and more as he’s back on the 10-day DL. Ohtani is back hitting, but he hasn’t returned to the mound thus far. Garrett Richards has dealt with injuries as well and its hit him again in 2018. Richards has opted for Tommy John surgery so who knows what’s going to happen with him in the future. If they could ever get healthy, the Angels would have a nice combo with Ohtani, Skaggs, and Richards. However, getting them healthy at the same time seems like a pipe dream in Anaheim. Prospect Deck McGuire is expected to get a spot start to replace Skaggs on Sunday. The Indians are scheduled to counter with Shane Bieber. Get our free Angels vs. Indians pick for Sunday afternoon below.
L.A. Angels vs. Cleveland Indians Pick
Deck McGuire (0-1, 6.12 ERA) vs. Shane Bieber (5-2, 4.73 ERA)
Deck McGuire has spent the majority of the season down in the minors. Between the Blue Jays, Rangers, and Angels minor league system, McGuire has gotten around in a short amount of time in 2018. McGuire has made two starts in the Angels’ system in Salt Lake. He got reamed for a 15.00 ERA in those two showings. McGuire lasted just 3 innings while allowing 7 hits and 5 runs in that time. His WHIP was also sky high at 3.33.
He didn’t look ready for Triple-A ball, nevermind going to the majors. Between 25 innings with the Blue Jays and Angels, McGuire has posted a 6.12 ERA and 1.60 WHIP. His last three appearances have produced an ERA of 7.71 and 1.71 WHIP. The Angels don’t want to start him in this spot, but their hand is being forced with all the injuries. In a perfect world a healthy Skaggs would be pitching here.
Rookie, Shane Bieber, will get the nod for the Indians on Sunday. Bieber had a nice couple of weeks for the Indians following his debut. He allowed just 2 runs in three starts, but he’s learnt that the major leagues isn’t quite that easy. His ERA went from a 2.22 to a 4.73 ERA entering Sunday. Bieber has been touched up for a 7.80 ERA and 1.47 WHIP in his previous three starts. He has been a bit worse at home with a 4.94 ERA vs 4.50 on the road. Bieber has allowed 14 earned runs in his last 13.2 innings at home. After getting fooled by ace Kluber, the Angels should appreciate seeing Bieber in this one. We will look for some runs to develop in Cleveland at Progressive Field Sunday afternoon.