The Cleveland Indians salvaged their three-game series against the Athletics with a 5-3 win Sunday. They avoided the sweep, but still came up short with two out of three being losses. The Indians already had the AL central in the bag at this point last season. There was no competition with the Twins nowhere in sight to provide any competition. This year is a little different, with the Twins going to be present and ready to jump on the wounded Indians and make a leap forward.
The Indians lost Corey Kluber to a broken arm and it isn’t a guarantee that he returns and provides solid support. He was not pitching up to his standards before the injury occurred, so it’s not a sure thing Kluber, who has been so reliable for the Indians in the past, is going to be able to provide solid work for Cleveland when he returns.
The Indians have been slipping with a four-game deficit in the AL Central. This is not anything like what we saw from them a season ago, but with that said, it is early and the Twins can certainly tank. Minnesota certainly look like a fancy pick right now, though. They got better in the off-season, while the Indians sat on their hand and didn’t take too much of an initiative to improve their roster.
At least so far, it doesn’t look like a wise decision. And with Francisco Lindor back, nothing much has changed for the Indians. Shane Bieber has been a bright spot, as the 23-year old has enjoyed a nice season thus far. The White Sox will counter with a youngster of their own with Reynaldo Lopez getting the call. Head below for our free Indians vs White Sox pick.
Cleveland Indians vs. Chicago White SoxPick:
Shane Bieber has provided the Indian pitching staff with a needed lift. Kluber may not be at par, but Bieber has been a pleasant surprise for a 23-year old. Teams are likely already eyeing Bieber up as they consider offering him a contract. Lets see how he holds up as this season progresses, but it has been a promising start for him. Note that Bieber enters this contest with an ERA 3.32. He faced the White Sox in his last showing and he held them to 3 runs across 6.1 innings. Bieber has been pitching better on the road where he has been solid with an ERA of 2.14 and WHIP of 0.95.
I don’t expect Bieber to be perfect in this game, but I see it being enough to get a win here. He should be in line for a win against Reynaldo Lopez. The White Sox are being patient with him, though he hasn’t been returning the favor. He had a career day with 14 strikeouts against the Tigers but there isn’t enough of that solid play from Lopez. Lopez heads into this one with an ERA 6.38. He’s been at his worst at home as well with a terrible ERA of 7.18 and 1.78 WHIP. The White Sox can be patient with Lopez because there isn’t anyone behind him in the minors. I’d consider selecting the Indians to get it done a Sunday.