With the American League Central in their back pocket, it’s time for the Indians to stay the course and go into the postseason playing focused baseball. They’ve had the division under wraps for months now, so it wasn’t a big shocker to see the Indians popping bottles in the locker room already. They clinched this past weekend against the Tigers. The most important thing for the Tribe is staying healthy for October.
Nothing would be worse then a marquee player getting injured. If Carlos Carrasco gets out of this game with a healthy shoulder and he was productive enough, then it’s a good night at the office. Trevor Bauer is getting closer to returning to the mound. The return of Bauer will provide the Indians with some more firepower. Bauer is listed as second in the rotation behind Kluber.
Before getting sent to the shelf, Bauer posted an ERA of 2.22 and was looking the sharpest we’ve seen him in his career. If Bauer can hop back in the rotation and produce similar results, they’re going to be more than a dark horse in the American League in the postseason. They get to skip the play-in game and go straight to the ALDS due to their AL Central crown. An abysmal division may have helped them out with that.
As far as the White Sox are concerned, it’s been another lackluster year for them. They are heading to their sixth straight season with a losing record. The last time they reached the postseason was back in 2008, a 3-1 series loss to the Rays in the ALDS. That was essentially the end of an era for the White Sox. They were three years removed from a World Series and the kings of Chicago, while the Cubs continued to struggle. Second-year hurler Dylan Covey will hit the mound for a scheduled start on Wednesday. Carrasco will counter for the Indians. Head below for our free White Sox vs. Indians pick.
Chicago White Sox vs. Cleveland Indians Pick
Dylan Covey (5-13, 5.64 ERA) vs. Carlos Carrasco (16-9, 3.43 ERA)
Thanks to an iffy starting rotation for the White Sox in 2018, Dylan Covey has had his chance to impress management. He hasn’t played the part on the biggest stage in baseball, though. Covey tallied an ERA of 7.71 in 12 starts as a rookie. That’s clearly not good, but nor is his ERA of 5.64 this season. Nevertheless, it’s an improvement over his really bad numbers from a year ago.
Covey is either going to have to improve in the offseason or the White Sox might be pressed with a decision. They can’t survive with a guy churning out starts like this, but he does get a longer leash given he has only made 30 starts in his career. The White Sox moved him to the bullpen for six appearances, but in his first start back as a starter, he got shelled for 6 hits, 3 walks, and 5 runs against a bad Royals team.
Covey made a start against the Indians on August 12th and it didn’t go anywhere. He allowed 7 hits and 6 runs in 2.2 innings. In 92 at-bats, the Indians are hitting .315 with a .396 OBP against Covey. He also holds a poor ERA of 6.75 and 1.60 WHIP on the road in 2018. His last 12.2 innings on the mound were shaky, as he got out of it with an ERA of 9.24, 1.97 WHIP, and .410 OBA.
The White Sox only hope of upsetting the Indians might be with their offense. They have some decent power numbers against Carrasco with 6 long balls. Carrasco enters with an ERA of 3.80 and 1.22 WHIP in his last three starts. He’s been better on the road, with a 2.88 ERA compared to 4.14 at Progressive Field in Cleveland. He’s allowed at least 3 runs in three of his last five outings. Carrasco is a nice compliment in the rotation next to Kluber and Bauer, but he comes up shy of being an ace. Their bullpen is still a liability as we get closer to October, with their 4.60 ERA, 24th in the majors. The White Sox aren’t the best in that department as well, as they sport an ERA of 4.44. The Indians are far too pricey here for me, even on the run-line. The best play here looks like the OVER at 8.5.