The Cleveland Indians don’t have to go very far to find their next opponent Monday. The Tribe stay in the state of Ohio and go to Cincinnati for the next three days for some interleague fun. Cleveland just took two of three against the White Sox, as they wrapped the series up with a 9-7 victory Sunday. The Indians have a monster lead in the AL Central by 12 games. The Twins are a distant memory as they fell off a cliff in 2018.
They’re 54-63 and were never able to gain much traction this year. After losing to the Yankees in the Wild Card Round a year ago, the Twins have gone backwards. The Lance Lynn acquisition was supposed to put them over the top, but he was a colossal failure in Minnesota. Lynn has been pitching much better in the Bronx thus far with the Yankees. Also, Ervin Santana has made just four starts in 2018 due to injuries.
The Indians haven’t had to do much this season. The Indians could have won this division with a record below .500. And with that, they are going to be able to avoid the play-in game. It doesn’t matter whether the Yankees finish ahead of them or not in the win column.
The Yanks would currently be going in to the postseason as a wildcard at 74-43, while the Indians at 66-51 get to skip wildcard festivities. The Yankees can thank their rival, the Red Sox, for making life just a little more difficult on them. Bad news for the Indians recently, though, as Edwin Encarnacion went on the DL with a bicep injury. He has been struggling since getting hit in the hand by a pitch before the All-Star break, so it’s best that he takes the time to get it together on the DL. Mike Clevinger is slated to take on Homer Bailey tonight in Cincinnati. Head below for our free Indians vs. Reds pick.
Cleveland Indians vs. Cincinnati Reds Pick
Mike Clevinger (7-7, 3.38 ERA) vs. Homer Bailey (1-9, 6.19 ERA)
Homer Bailey made his return to major league ball on July 24th. He’d been on the DL since May and came back looking the best we’ve seen of him in a long time. You have to go back to 2014 to find the last season he was respectable. In each ensuing season, Bailey has been rattled for ERA’s above 5.00. That isn’t all because of an injury, either.
He doesn’t have much to blame it on. Bailey started this year off in the dumps again, which got him a trip to the DL with a knee injury. He came back and pitched two impressive outings, allowing 2 runs to the Cardinals and Tigers. But against the Mets, he was exploited for 11 hits and 5 runs in 3.1 innings. That’s the same Homer Bailey we’ve watched over the last few years. He’s also been at his worst at home, with an ERA of 6.44, 1.66 WHIP, and, .365 OBA.
Clevinger has been solid on the road with a 2.69 ERA and 1.17 WHIP. He’s allowed more than 3 runs on the road just once, when he gave up 4 earned runs to the Twins in early June. He’s also been sharp lately, with an ERA of 3.00 and 0.94 WHIP in his previous three starts. Even though Bailey came off the DL and responded nicely with a couple of productive outings, I wasn’t convinced that it was going to continue. He had been serving up BP balls for 2.5 years before getting some time off, so just two quality outings didn’t sway my opinion much. I’m going to fade him here and expect Clevinger to take care of the rest for the Indians in Cincinnati.