Probable Pitching Match-ups:
Game 1: Corey Kluber (2-1, 3.06 ERA/3,18 SIERA) vs. Max Scherzer (4-0, 3.43/2.19)
Game 2: Ubaldo Jimenez (2-2, 6.37/4.39) vs. Justin Verlander (4-2, 1.55/3.10)
Game 3: Zach McAllister (3-3, 2.63/4.18) vs. Rick Porcello (1-2, 7.52/3.82)
This weekend’s pitching match-ups should be interesting to say the least. In game one, the Tigers have a distinct advantage. Scherzer has been spectacular in 2013 so there would be no surprise if he shut down an Indians lineup that has been firing on all cylinders right now. Kluber on the other hand is a wild card. He could be great, or he could be not so great. Depending on which version of Kluber shows up is anyone’s best guess.
In game two, the advantage is once again in the Tigers’ favor. Verlander is a beast and much like Scherzer, he could shut the Indians down on Saturday night. There’s no shame in that though, it’s just what he does to opposing lineups. Meanwhile, this will be a good test for this new versions of Ubaldo Jimenez we are all trying to get used to. After a few good starts in a row in which he looked not just competent, but also dominant, It will be interesting to see how he responds against a lineup boasting MVP candidates and an assortment of well above average complimentary pieces. I hope I’m wrong, but I’m expecting some regression with Jimenez on Saturday.
Finally, In game three the advantage shifts back to the Indians. McAllister has been superb of late. In his latest outing, he threw 7.2 innings of shutout baseball against the A’s picking up the win in a 1-0 game. He just continues to do what he does best and that is pound the zone and be overwhelmingly consistent. As for the Tigers, they need to find a way to get Porcello back on track. He has posted an ERA well over 7 in 2013 and has done very little to endear himself to Tiger fans. This should be a match-up the Indians should be able to exploit.
Player to Watch: Tigers
Miguel Cabrera: I’m not getting back into the reasons why Cabrera is a player to watch. ALl you need to know is that he’s a freak when you place a bat in his hands. How well, or not well, the Indians are able to keep him in check the next three days will more than likely determine their success in this series.
Player to Watch: Indians
Jason Kipnis: Kipnis is finally starting to hit. Credit that to refocusing on taking the ball to the opposite side of the field. This is causing him to stay on the ball and really drive it with authority, as his recent home runs to left field would indicate. It’s no surprise that the Indians’ recent success coincides with Kipnis’ bat starting to come around.