Series Preview: Los Angeles Angels @ Cleveland Indians

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Pitching Match-Ups   Jered Weaver (7-5, 3.51 ERA, 4.18 SIERA) vs. Trevor Bauer (1-3, 4.24 ERA, 3.48 SIERA)   Watching Jered Weaver pitch is absolutely amazing. He never throws more than 90 mph but he gets you out. He also looks like he should be throwing 100 at your head, maybe that has something to do with it. Pitchability has become a new buzzword in looking at prospects and valuing pitchers when they  can’t just blow guys away and Weaver has been doing it his whole career. At 31 and not reliant on high power he’s sure to last a while in the league, though his numbers have slipped some this season but a fractured elbow will do that to you. He’s also given up 12 runs so far this month and is quite a bit better at home than on the road. He’s like the ultimate garbage pitcher. Santana is hitting .529 in 17 at-bats against him, Cabrera is at .320.   Trevor Bauer has looked… alright this year, right? He’s getting a lot of strikeouts, but he seems to nibble a bit when he gets up on hitters. He’s also still elevating his fastball sometimes. That sweeping curve he has is pretty dirty though, when it’s on. He’s never faced the Angels so it’ll be a nice test for the young gun, facing Trout and Co. as he surely will for years to come.   Matt Shoemaker (3-1. 4.19 ERA, 3.09 SIERA) vs. Josh Tomlin (4-3. 3.33 ERA, 3.48 SIERA)   Looking at his headshot, I’m not sure Shoemaker is who he says he is. That’s not real facial hair, and that’s a ridiculous name. This is his second year, first time facing the Indians. He works in the low 90’s with a four and two-seamer as well as a cutter, mixing in a change, curve and slider. Most of his K’s have come on his change-up. According to Wikipedia, his beard is more powerful than Iron Man, Superman or Captain America. He’s appeared as a reliever twice this month though, and combined with his last start he’s lasted 5.2 innings, allowing five runs. I’m excited to see what we see. It could be terrifying.   My compatriot Ed Carroll noted the other day the irony that it was Tomlin who committed teh error preceding his routine homer per game. For a guy who has to minimize mistakes whenever possible to last in the league, it was uncommon. The strikeout rates have held steady though and so has he, one of the Indians’ better starters. It’s nice to have him back. Only Howie Kendrick has hit against him, 2-for-5. I figure Hamilton will homer, that guy likes to swing and can really get ahold of one.   C.J. Wilson (7-6, 3.50 ERA, 3.57 SIERA) vs. Justin Masterson (4-5, 5.05 ERA, 3.96 SIERA)   Wilson might think everyone is dumber than him, but I like watching him pitch. He got a lot of money a few years back and while he might not be Super Ace material, he’s certainly good. Last time out the Braves got to him early with four runs and two homers in the first inning, but he settled down. The Indians should try that. He held the Tribe to a run on two hits in eight innings back in April, he was electric. With him and Weaver at the top of the rotation and Richards rounding into form, they’re a solid team, playoff style.   You can’t really do worse than what Masterson did his last time out. Two innings, five earned runs, the shortest of his starting career. He just has no control. Nearly five walks per nine, a .324 BABIP twenty points higher than his career and his velocity is down everywhere. I guess it’s a good thing the Indians didn’t extend him, huh.   Garrett Richards (6-2, 2.87 ERA, 3.36 SIERA) vs. Zach McAllister (3-4, 5.89 ERA, 4.07 SIERA)   Man, Richards can deal. He’s having the best year of any Angels pitcher whether you look at traditional or advanced stats. He certainly enjoys the comforts of home with his home run numbers, only two in 87.2 innings. Tenable? Maybe, who knows. He’s never faced the Indians though, maybe they can give him some PTSD. That’s not insensitive, is it? He throws hard, mid-90’s on the fastball with a strong slider as an out pitch. There’s whispers he has a changeup, but it probably goes the other way too much. He’s only allowed one run this month. Let’s change that, shall we?   McAllister is likely to be the man here, TJ House will be sent down. The kid is good, but Zach shouldn’t lose his place to injury unless House was Kershaw Mk. 2. Zach will be coming back from injury to face a team that knocked him out after 4.1 innings allowing five runs. Hopefully he’s better this time around. And doesn’t give up a homer to Hank Conger. He was dominant in his rehab outings because he’s a major league pitcher, so all that mattered was him being healthy. Back issues are tricky and it might lead to him elevating his pitches some, not being able to finish if he’s not comfortable. I don’t expect him to last more than six innings, but it’s kind of necessary for him to go that far.

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Tags: Cleveland Indians Los Angeles Angels Mike Trout

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