The Cleveland Indians and Detroit Tigers will conclude their three-game series on Sunday at Comerica. Trevor Bauer beat Michael Fulmer on Friday, 4-1, while the Indians and Tigers went to extra innings last night. The Tigers ended it on a 2-run jack by Jeimer Candelario for a 4-2 win. Good win for the Tigers who have been a pesky bunch in 2018. They may not have the most talented roster, but they are giving their all in what is a rebuilding year for them.
Any time you are 2nd in the division in a rebuilding year there is nothing to be frustrated about. Even with the win on Saturday, we don’t expect the Tigers to catch the Indians or make a run at the AL Central, but credit to Ron Gardenhire for having this team ready to play. Perhaps if he was hired in 2014 instead of Brad Ausmus, the Tigers would have had a competent manager to make a run. They still had lots of talent at that point to give it a go.
The Indians dropped to 33-29 with the loss, but still maintain 1st in the AL Central. They are benefiting greatly from a down year in the division. The Tribe have failed to hit their stride yet, but they may just win it by default. Detroit have been battling hard this season. However, I’d be surprised if it’s going to be enough, though.
Effort and playing hard is one thing, but eventually talent gaps between teams will catch up later in the season. The Tigers dumped some salaries in the past two years, and there are still one or two they’d like to shed, cough Victor Martinez. The Tigers will go with Artie Lewicki on the hump, while the Indians counter with ace Corey Kluber. Get our free Indians vs. Tigers pick and the rest of our writeup by heading below.
Cleveland Indians vs. Detroit Tigers Pick
Corey Kluber (9-2, 1.96 ERA) vs. Artie Lewicki (0-1, 3.86 ERA)
Lewicki will be making the second start of his career on Sunday. He received one spot start in 2017 in his first-year getting a taste of major league hitters. Lewicki was moved to the bullpen where things got better for him, but it wasn’t enough to raise his numbers up to a point of respectability. Lewicki finished with an ERA of 6.10. The Tigers put him in the bullpen to begin 2018 and just ushered him into the rotation. He’s been decent out of the pen, so the Tigers want to see what they have with him.
He missed out on a win in his first start, as he didn’t get any run support in a 6-0 loss to the Red Sox. Lewicki allowed 5 hits and 2 earned runs across 3.2 innings of work. There were an additional 2 runs that weren’t accredited to him. He enters with a 4.91 ERA in his last three outings. The most worrisome thing, though, is the fact he is putting way too many runners on base. Lewicki posted a WHIP of 2.18 and .444 OBA. That must get better or he will eventually get severely burned.
Kluber enters with phenomenal numbers for the Indians. He is right there alongside Justin Verlander in the Cy Young race. In his last three appearances, Kluber has been nearly perfect with a 0.47 ERA and 0.88 WHIP. He’s given up just 1 run in 19.1 innings of work. Lewicki has his work cut out for him in this one against Kluber. This would be a bad loss for the Indians if they lose to Lewicki with Kluber getting work on Sunday. I would side with the Indians to win by 2 runs or more here.