The Cleveland Indians and Los Angeles Angels will open up a three-game series at Progressive Field on Friday night. There isn’t much riding on this series, as the Indians are pretty much a lock to reach the playoffs, while the Angels really don’t have a chance.
Jose Ramirez Making MVP Case
Indians third baseman, Jose Ramirez, is quickly emerging as one of the best all-around players in Major League Baseball. Ramirez leads the Indians in almost every offensive category and is near the top of the American League as well. He has blasted 32 homers in 2018, while also sporting a healthy .408 on-base percentage. A huge final two months could propel Ramirez to the top of the MVP race in the American League.
Clevinger, 27, is having a solid season as a member of the Indians rotation. The righty is 7-7, but has a solid earned run average of 3.43. Clevinger has struggled at home this season and faces a tough Angels team on Friday night. The Indians will need to score plenty of runs in support of Clevinger if they will earn a series-opening wins, which is something that Cleveland is very capable of doing.
Angels Trying To End Skid
The Los Angeles Angels head to Cleveland suffering through a four-game losing streak. The recent skid has the Angels 9.5 games back in the AL Wild Card race, with little hope remaining this season. Mike Trout is putting together the best year of his already amazing career, but the Angels have struggled to surround him with top talent.
Rookie Jaime Barria is set to start for the Angels on Friday night. Barria has been solid in his first season in the big leagues but has lost six of his last seven starts. The young righty did pitch six solid innings in his last outing against the Mariners. He will have to deal with a deep and talented Indians lineup in this one.
Trout’s Big Night Isn’t Enough
Mike Trout is just 1-8 against Clevinger in his career, but that trend should change on Friday night. Trout is too good, and will eventually figure out the Cleveland pitcher. Clevinger has had good results against many of the players in the Los Angeles lineup, but Trout will have a huge night on Friday.
Jaime Barria got off to a great start in his career but has struggled in the last few months. The Cleveland Indians are tough on the best pitchers in baseball and should give Barria a few headaches on Friday night. Jose Ramirez will have a big night in the series opener in helping to lead the Indians to a win. Take the Cleveland Indians -170 over the Los Angeles Angels on Friday.