Series Preview: Cleveland Indians @ Chicago White Sox

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Pitching Matchups:

Corey Kluber is set to make his second start since returning from the disabled list. In his first go around against the Mets he pitched well over the course of five innings of work. He allowed two runs on five hits and looked every bit like the pitcher we saw prior to the DL stint. The Indians will need him to really step up. With Justin Masterson dealing with an oblique injury they could definitely use the boost Kluber could potentially provide them down the home stretch.

Meanwhile, John Danks is having a pretty rough go of it in 2013. With a 4-12 record and ERA quickly approaching five, he certainly has hasn’t had many seasons worse than this. Given where the White Sox are it would appear more than likely that Danks is just playing out the string of his career as a Chicago White Sox. This is an opportunity for the Indians offense to right itself as they head into the weekend.

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Danny Salazar has been spectacular for the most part since being called up for full-time duty as a starter. However, his limited pitch count is really making it hard on the bullpen as they are continually forced into long relief duty, especially during the starts when he has struggled to get through the fourth inning. If Salazar can keep his pitch count down, expect good things. But, if the pitch count gets high early it could turn into a long night for the Indians and their bullpen.

Hector Santiago has had a decent run over his past ten starts. While he is only 1-3 over that stretch, he has limited the opposition to two or fewer runs seven times. That’s impressive, but also indicative of how little run support he gets out of the anemic White Sox offense. In other words, don’t be surprised if he is able to stifle the Indians offense over the course of five or six innings. This game may come down to how well Salazar can limit the Sox offense.

Ladies and gentlemen… UBALDO JIMENEZ! He has been great and finally looks like the pitcher we were hoping for when we traded Alex White and Drew Pomeranz to get him. If he can keep his pitch count down, locate his pitches, and avoid giving up free passes then the Indians will definitely have themselves a shot at winning this game. With how well he’s pitched of late, there’s no reason to expect anything but that.

Andre Rienzo made his big league debut against the Indians and pitched pretty well. Since then, it’s been a mixed bag. He’s been great during some starts and dreadful in others. Like with most young pitchers, if the Indians can get to him early and get into the Chicago bullpen then expect good things. If Rienzo is allowed to get comfortable and get into a groove then the Indians could be facing an uphill battle.

Zach McAllister has been roughed up over his last three starts. Over that stretch, he has given up 13 runs and hasn’t looked anything like the pitcher we have come to know and love. He has been consistently consistent over the course of his career and right now he has been consistently bad. The Indians need him to come up huge, especially since he is going up against Chris Sale.

Speaking of Chris Sale, he is the poster child for why wins and losses for a pitcher don’t really matter. Sale has been outstanding for much of this season, but because he gets some of the worst run support in baseball he has been saddled with 12 losses. For the average Joe baseball fan this is seen as a bad season. It’s been anything but for Sale. His ERA is below 3.00 and he has notched yet another 200 strikeout season. In other words, Sale has been awesome despite being wasted by a poor Chicago team.

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