Series Preview: Cleveland Indians vs. Kansas City Royals

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Pitching Matchups:

David Richard-US PRESSWIRE

In game one we get to welcome back a familiar face for the Indians. Josh Tomlin makes his first start since going on the disabled list with a wrist problem. Supposedly Tomlin is healthy once again and good to go in his first live action since taking on the White Sox back on May 7. One can only hope Tomlin doesn’t struggle in his return because the Indians need a dominating performance to help get them back on track. Should the fans expect vintage Tomlin? Probably not. For a pitcher who relies heavily on location and pin point accuracy, the rust from missing so much time is such to have a negative effect. If Tomlin can give the Indians five solid innings and keep things close it will have been a successful return start.

As for the Royals, they’ll throw out Nate Adcock for his fifth major league start. In his short time in the big leagues Adcock has served primarily has a reliever and spot starter. In his career he is 1-3 with an ERA just over 4.00. So far this year Adcock has been solid in five outings. His velocity maxes out in the high 80′s. he doesn’t issue many walks and instead relies primarily on ground ball outs. In a way, he’s a lot like Tomlin, so this should be a good matchup.

In game two, Justin Masterson takes the mound after a rather impressive start against the Tigers that saw him outduel Justin Verlander. Sure, the outing wasn’t as dominating as his opening day start, but it was effective nonetheless. The most impressive part was him convincing Manny Acta to keep him in the game and then getting himself out of a jam. That took a great deal of mental fortitude and once again proved that Masterson is the rock of this rotation.

Opposing Masterson will be the one and only Will Smith. I have to admit, I like to see that he’s branching out a little bit and pursuing a career outside of acting. Those multi-million dollar movie deals aren’t going to be around forever.

Wait a minute, wrong Will Smith. The Royals’ Smith wasn’t West Philadelphia born and raised. The Royals’ Smith is making his second career start after a rather horrific debut that saw him give up five runs to the Yankees in only 3.1 innings pitched. Hopefully the Indians will be able to take advantage of his inexperience, put some runs on the board and take the pressure off of Masterson.

Peter G. Aiken-US PRESSWIRE

Finally, the series will provide Jeanmar Gomez the chance to bounce back after a less than impressive start Friday night in Chicago. For whatever reason, the White Sox just seem to have his number this year. Two of his three losses this year have come at the hands of Chicago and in neither start did he look quite right. From what we’ve seen of him, I fully expect Gomez to bounce back and have a strong start on Wednesday. He’s been too good and too reliable this season by getting himself into a good rhythm and commanding the zone.

The Royals will counter Gomez with lefty Bruce Chen. After a superb 2011 campaign in which he went 12-8 with a 3.77 ERA, Chen has fallen back to Earth a bit in 2012. While his strikeout rate is up and his walk rate is down, his BABIP has ballooned from .278 to .301. This is helping to account for more runners on base and more high stress innings. It’s also a clear indicator of why his ERA has risen combine that with a lack of run support and it’s no wonder why Chen has had a not so great year so far. However, at times he can be a very solid pitcher capable of shutting a team down for upwards of six to seven innings. The Indians shouldn’t underestimate him.

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