The Cleveland Indians head to Anaheim after an opening stint in Seattle against the Mariners. The Indians didn’t hit the mark in Seattle, as they dropped two out of the three games. At this point in the season, that doesn’t really matter much. But nevertheless, when September rolls around, a game or two is sometimes the difference between postseason and no postseason. The Tribe should be able to win the American League Central without too many issues, though, but look out for the Twins.
Their number one foe this season looks like it’s going to be the Twins, as the Tigers and Royals have fallen to the wayside, and the White Sox are still the White Sox. Not long ago we were talking about whether the Royals or Tigers were going to win the division, with everyone else a distant third. Things can change fast, and the Tigers look like a team who may lose 100 games this season.
Things are going to get ugly in Detroit this season, but the Indians should be able to make another run at it. The Twins are surging and on the upswing, however, the edge has to go to the Indians at the moment. Jose Berrios put on a clinic yesterday, and I think if he hits an elite level in 2018, the Indians may need to work a little harder. How Ervin Santana comes back from injury will tell a lot, too. Mike Clevinger who was an unsung commodity for the Indians will take the hump this evening. The Angels will counter with JC Ramirez. Get our free Indians vs. Angels pick below.
Cleveland Indians vs. L.A. Angels Pick
Mike Clevinger (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. J.C. Ramirez (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
This is the season opener for the Angels, after they got off to a fine start against the Athletics. They picked up a trio of wins with one loss. The much talked about Shohei Ohtani took the mound for the first time in his career and delivered a win on Sunday. Sure there are things he must patch up, but Ohtani is going to be a star, and a name you will hear for a long time.
Ramirez has been pitching in the majors since 2013 and it’s been up and down to say the least. He’s a career 4.60 ERA pitcher and that pretty much explains what he is, an average hurler. Ramirez hasn’t been too bad in an Angels’ uniform. Note that he came into the majors as a reliever and never transitioned to a fulltime starter until a year ago.
The Angels needed somebody to fill the rotation due to a lack of bodies and they went with Ramirez. He yielded an ERA of 4.15 and 1.34 WHIP in 24 starts. In fact, last year was the first season he started at all, so not bad when you look at it that way. This is essentially a sophomore year for him as a starting pitcher. Clevinger is entering his third season in the majors. He improved mightily from his rookie campaign, as he improved from a 5.26 ERA to a 3.11 ERA.
Lost in the mix amongst some good pitchers on this roster, including a good bullpen, Clevinger was the most underrated on the team. The last time he was in Anaheim, he nailed the Angels down for just 3 hits and 1 run across 6 innings of work. He may not be as proficient as that Monday night, but I like the price we’re getting on him against Ramirez.