If the Cleveland Indians want to show they can compete with the best in the American League, they can’t go and struggle against teams like the Chicago White Sox. The Indians had a rude welcome to Chicago on Tuesday, as they had to settle for a 5-1 loss. They responded last night by losing to the White Sox by a score of 3-2. With the loss, the Indians dropped to 35-31 but still maintain top honors in the division. The AL Central is going to be the Indians to lose.
They don’t have much competition in the division, with the next closest team, the Minnesota Twins, well under .500. Barring a major change or trade, I don’t foresee the Twins catching on. They should just feel fortunate to be a team five games under .500 and within striking distance. It’s close yet so far for the Twins. Any team struggling to get above .500 shouldn’t be a postseason team to begin with.
A lot can change between now and then, though. Despite playing the Indians hard over the last two days, the White Sox are well out of the picture. They’re sitting at the bottom, battling the Royals to avoid last in the division. The only team that has really been halfway impressive is the Detroit Tigers. Even though they aren’t 1st, or won’t finish 1st, they were expected to be one of the worst teams in the major leagues with their roster.
With that in mind, they’ve been showing up to play and will now be down Miguel Cabrera for the rest of the year. What a waste of money he’s been and will continue to be throughout the duration of his mega contract. The Indians don’t mind seeing him falling apart. The Tribe will look to one of the more underrated pitchers in the majors on Thursday, Mike Clevinger, on Thursday afternoon against the White Sox. Get our free Indians vs. White Sox pick below.
Cleveland Indians vs. Chicago White Sox Pick
Mike Clevinger (4-2, 3.31 ERA) vs. Carlos Rodon (0-1, 3.60 ERA)
The White Sox have been a bit all over the place. There is no consistency whatsoever from any unit on the White Sox. One day it’s the pitching that is dead and another it’s the pitching. They were able to nab another win over the Indians last night by riding the hot hand of Dylan Covey to a 3-2 win. It doesn’t happen often that Trevor Bauer gets outdueled, but Covey had the upper hand. They didn’t get much offense, but it wasn’t needed. The White Sox are 26th in the majors with an average of 3.86 runs scored per game.
They may need to win another one in similar fashion with Clevinger on the mound for the Indians. Clevinger has flourished on the road this season, with a 2.43 ERA and 1.08 WHIP. He’s also looked good against this White Sox lineup, as they’ve hit .213 against him with 1 deep ball in 47 at-bats. Clevinger enters with an ERA of 3.26 in his last three outings.
For the White Sox, Carlos Rodon will be making his second start of the year after returning from a bicep injury. He was okay against the Red Sox, allowing 2 earned runs across 6 innings. His ERA is a bit deceiving, though. He allowed 2 deep balls and had a WHIP of 1.60. The Red Sox also scored an additional 2 runs that weren’t accredited to him. My takeaway here is that the Indians will avoid getting embarrassed by losing three in a row against the White Sox. The offense springs to life and Clevinger handles his business. I will look for a bounce back game for the Indians here on Thursday afternoon.