|CLEVELAND ( BAUER )|
HOUSTON ( MORTON )
|973||CLEVELAND||+130||Ov 9,-110||+115||Ov 8.5,-105|
|974||HOUSTON||-140||Un 9,-110||-125||Un 8.5,-115|
|vs Right-handed Starters||13-10||-1.3||10-12||5.0||0.250||0.326||0.422||0.748||4.3||0.253||0.314||0.423||0.736|
|Past 7 Games||2-5||-5.8||5-2||4.6||0.233||0.305||0.397||0.701||5.1||0.268||0.337||0.498||0.835|
|vs Right-handed Starters||23-7||+14.7||15-13||5.4||0.282||0.342||0.456||0.798||3.3||0.219||0.282||0.365||0.647|
|Past 7 Games||6-1||+5.2||3-3||6.6||0.271||0.331||0.424||0.754||3.6||0.227||0.290||0.345||0.634|
|5/5/2017||SALAZAR(R)||@ KANSAS CITY||HAMMEL(R)||1-3||L||-170||8 un||U||4||4||0||10||9||0|
|5/6/2017||TOMLIN(R)||@ KANSAS CITY||VARGAS(L)||3-1||W||100||8.5 ov||U||9||9||1||4||4||0|
|5/7/2017||CLEVINGER(R)||@ KANSAS CITY||DUFFY(L)||1-0||W||-115||8.5 ov||U||7||7||0||1||7||0|
|5/8/2017||BAUER(R)||@ TORONTO||STROMAN(R)||2-4||L||105||8.5 un||U||8||6||0||6||4||1|
|5/9/2017||CARRASCO(R)||@ TORONTO||BOLSINGER(R)||6-0||W||-170||8 un||U||7||7||0||4||2||0|
|5/10/2017||SALAZAR(R)||@ TORONTO||LIRIANO(L)||7-8||L||-150||7.5 ev||O||11||6||1||11||8||0|
|5/15/2017||CARRASCO(R)||TAMPA BAY||ARCHER(R)||8-7||W||-145||7.5 un||O||9||9||0||11||11||1|
|5/16/2017||SALAZAR(R)||TAMPA BAY||ODORIZZI(R)||4-6||L||-160||9 ov||O||8||4||0||10||6||0|
|5/17/2017||TOMLIN(R)||TAMPA BAY||COBB(R)||4-7||L||-165||9.5 ov||O||7||6||0||12||5||0|
|5/19/2017||BAUER(R)||@ HOUSTON||MORTON(R)|| |
|5/20/2017||CLEVINGER(R)||@ HOUSTON||FIERS(R)|| |
|5/21/2017||SALAZAR(R)||@ HOUSTON||MUSGROVE(R)|| |
|5/22/2017||TOMLIN(R)||@ CINCINNATI||FELDMAN(R)|| |
|5/23/2017||CARRASCO(R)||@ CINCINNATI||GARRETT(L)|| |
|5/26/2017|| ||KANSAS CITY|| || |
|5/5/2017||KEUCHEL(L)||@ LA ANGELS||CHAVEZ(R)||7-6||W||-130||8 un||O||12||4||0||10||2||0|
|5/6/2017||MCCULLERS JR.(R)||@ LA ANGELS||RAMIREZ(R)||1-2||L||-120||7.5 un||U||9||8||0||5||5||0|
|5/7/2017||FIERS(R)||@ LA ANGELS||SHOEMAKER(R)||5-3||W||-110||8 un||P||6||3||1||6||6||0|
|5/11/2017||KEUCHEL(L)||@ NY YANKEES||PINEDA(R)||3-2||W||115||7.5 un||U||9||8||2||7||9||0|
|5/12/2017||MCCULLERS JR.(R)||@ NY YANKEES||MONTGOMERY(L)||5-1||W||-115||8 ov||U||11||8||1||7||7||1|
|5/14/2017||FIERS(R)||@ NY YANKEES||SEVERINO(R)||6-11||L||130||8.5 ov||O||9||8||3||11||5||1|
|5/14/2017||MORTON(R)||@ NY YANKEES||TANAKA(R)||10-7||W||110||8.5 ev||O||10||4||1||10||9||1|
|5/15/2017||MUSGROVE(R)||@ MIAMI||STRAILY(R)||7-2||W||-115||9 un||P||8||6||0||12||9||1|
|5/16/2017||KEUCHEL(L)||@ MIAMI||KOEHLER(R)||12-2||W||-175||7.5 un||O||14||8||3||4||5||1|
|5/17/2017||MCCULLERS JR.(R)||@ MIAMI||URENA(R)||3-0||W||-150||8 un||U||8||10||0||3||9||1|
|5/23/2017||MCCULLERS JR.(R)||DETROIT||ZIMMERMANN(R)|| |
|5/26/2017|| ||BALTIMORE|| || |
|CLEVELAND: 2016: 94-67, first place, AL champions, lost to Chicago Cubs in World Series.
Manager: Terry Francona (fifth season).
He's Here: 1B-DH Edwin Encarnacion, OF Austin Jackson, LHP Boone Logan, RHP Carlos Frias, OF Wily Mo Pena, CF Bradley Zimmer, SS Eric Stamets.
He's Outta Here: 1B-DH Mike Napoli, OF Coco Crisp, OF Rajai Davis, C Chris Gimenez, 1B Jesus Aguilar, OF Marlon Byrd, RHP Jeff Manship.
Projected lineup: SS Francisco Lindor (.301, 15 HRs, 78 RBIs, Gold Glove, league-leading 15 sac flies in first full MLB season), 2B Jason Kipnis (.275, 23, 82, career-high 156 games), LF Michael Brantley (.231, 0, 7 in 11 games following shoulder surgery; .310, 15, 84, MLB-best 45 doubles, 15 SBs in 2015), DH Edwin Encarnacion (.263, 42, AL-high 142 RBIs for Toronto), 1B Carlos Santana (.259, 34, 87, 99 BBs, 99 Ks), 3B Jose Ramirez (.312, 11, 76, played 4 positions) or Giovanny Urshela (.225, 6, 21 in 81 games for Cleveland), RF Brandon Guyer (.333, 2, 14 in 38 games with Indians; .241, 7, 18 in 63 games with Rays; led majors with 31 HBP) or Lonnie Chisenhall (.286, 8, 57), C Yan Gomes (.167, 9, 34 in 74 games due to shoulder injury), CF Tyler Naquin (.296, 14, 43) or Austin Jackson (.254, 0, 18 in 54 games with White Sox before left knee surgery).
Rotation: RH Corey Kluber (18-9, 3.14 ERA, 227 Ks, third in Cy Young voting), RH Carlos Carrasco (11-8, 3.32, 25 starts due to injuries), RH Danny Salazar (11-6, 3.87, 25 starts, limited in postseason by injury), RH Trevor Bauer (12-8, 4.26, 28 starts, began season in bullpen), RH Josh Tomlin (13-9, 4.40, 5.90 strikeout-to-walk ratio).
Key relievers: LH Andrew Miller (10-1, 1.45, 12 saves, 70 appearances with Yankees and Indians), RH Cody Allen (3-5, 2.51, 32/35 saves), RH Bryan Shaw (2-5, 3.24 in league-high 75 games; 70 games in each of past four seasons), RH Dan Otero (5-1, 1.53, 70 2/3 innings), LH Boone Logan (2-5, 3.69, 66 games with Rockies).
Hot Spot: Brantley's Right Shoulder. An All-Star in 2014, Brantley missed out on the fun last season as the Indians won the pennant without him. His return is vital for Cleveland as it tries to make another deep run because he can help provide lineup protection for Encarnacion and stabilize an outfield that was under constant change in 2016. Brantley may not hit for the same extra-base power he had in the past, but he could still offer a high average and excellent defense.
Outlook: With perhaps the league's deepest pitching staff, the Indians are an AL favorite and appear poised to return to the World Series. Last year, they exceeded expectations and built a 3-1 Series lead against the Cubs before losing three straight ' including a dramatic Game 7 at home. One elusive win from the franchise's first championship since 1948. This season, the Indians will try to finish the job. There are injury concerns with Brantley and Kipnis, who won't be ready for the start of the season because of shoulder inflammation. Ramirez could slide over to help fill in at second base. But the addition of Encarnacion finally gives Cleveland the intimidating, middle-of-the-order slugger the club has coveted since the glory days of Jim Thome, Manny Ramirez and Albert Belle. Cleveland is a baseball town again as Indians fans spent on tickets this winter and are rallying around the club the way they did back in the mid-1990s. Lindor is on the cusp of superstardom, and one of the Indians' top priorities should be signing him to a long-term deal while he's still affordable.
|HOUSTON: 2016: 84-78, third place
Manager: A.J. Hinch (third season)
Who's new? RF Josh Reddick, CF Carlos Beltran, LF Nori Aoki, C Brian McCann, RHP Charlie Morton
Who's gone? C Jason Castro, INF Luis Valbuena, OF Colby Rasmus, RHP Doug Fister
Projected lineup: CF George Springer (.261, 29 HR, 82 RBI), 2B Jose Altuve (.338, 24, 96, 30 SB), SS Carlos Correa (.274, 20, 96, 13 SB), DH Carlos Beltran (.295, 29, 93 with Yankees and Rangers), C Brian McCann (.242, 20, 58 with Yankees) or Evan Gattis (.251, 32, 72), 3B Alex Bregman (.264, 8, 34 in 49 games), RF Josh Reddick (.281, 10, 37 with A's and Dodgers), 1B Yulieski Gurriel (.262, 3, 15), LF Nori Aoki (.283, 4, 28 with Mariners)
Rotation: LH Dallas Keuchel (9-12, 4.55 ERA), RH Collin McHugh (13-10, 4.34), RH Mike Fiers (11-8, 4.48), RH Lance McCullers (6-5, 3.22), RH Charlie Morton (1-1, 4.15 in four games with Phillies)
Key relievers: RH Ken Giles (2-5, 4.11, 15/20 SV), RH Luke Gregerson (4-3, 3.28, 15/21 SV), RH Will Harris (1-2, 2.25, 12/15 SV), RH Chris Devenski (4-4, 2.16), LH Tony Sipp (1-2, 4.95), RH Michael Feliz (8-1, 4.43)
Hot spots: Fifth starter and catcher. Hamstring issues limited 33-year-old Morton to four starts with the Phillies last season. That didn't stop the Astros from signing him to a two-year contract worth at least $14 million. Now, veteran Fiers and 24-year-old Joe Musgrove are on the bubble for the fifth starter's job. McCann and Gattis give the Astros a pair of veteran catchers with slugging potential. McCann has fewer weaknesses behind the plate; Gattis is the better all-around hitter. With Beltran aboard as the primary designated hitter, McCann and Gattis won't both be in the lineup on most nights.
Outlook: After slipping to third place in the AL West last year, the Astros' front office decided to double down on dingers rather than upgrade a rotation that lacks a true ace. The result: A lineup with eight potential 20-home run hitters, including possible MVP candidates in Altuve and Correa. Everyone returns from an impressive young bullpen with high strikeout potential. If the Astros are in contention by the trade deadline, the front office should have the financial flexibility to add a front-line starter. Then again, if Dallas Keuchel looks like the pitcher who won a Cy Young Award in 2015, Houston might not have a problem.
|Surging Astros kick off homestand vs. Indians|
HOUSTON -- In what was a sign of how his club longs for more even in the midst of dizzying success, Houston Astros manager A.J. Hinch was quick to point out how close his club came to completing a perfect seven-game road trip through New York and Miami.
Undermined by their usually reliable bullpen in the seventh inning of the third game of their four-game set with the Yankees, the Astros nevertheless won three of four in the Bronx before rolling to a three-game series sweep of the Marlins.
Their 6-1 roadie boosted the Astros (29-12) to the best record in baseball and continued a torrid stretch where they've won nine of 10 with just two of those contests at home.
And now, armed with a sizable lead in the American League West, the Astros return to Minute Maid Park for a 10-game homestand that could add to that cushion. Houston opens against the Cleveland Indians on Friday night.
"We had a good trip and we've been playing well and that's good for us, but we've got to go home and play some tough teams there," Astros center fielder George Springer said. "We just have to keep doing how we're doing."
Right-hander Charlie Morton (5-2, 3.97 ERA) will get the start for the Astros. Morton, 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA in one career start against the Indians, has been victorious in each of his last four starts, posting a 3.70 ERA with 35 strikeouts over 24 1/3 innings. Opposing hitters have produced a .662 OPS during that span.
If the Indians (20-19) possess kryptonite to counter Houston's dominance, it is right-hander Trevor Bauer (3-4, 6.92 ERA), their starter for the series opener.
Bauer has enjoyed unfettered success against Houston, going 6-0 with a 2.61 ERA over six career starts. His 10.9 strikeouts per nine innings against the Astros is his best against any opponent (minimum three starts), with Bauer recording eight strikeouts over six innings in a 7-6 home victory over Houston on April 26.
Bauer defeated the Astros twice last season, including seven shutout innings with seven strikeouts at Minute Maid Park to pace a 4-0 win on May 10.
In his previous start, an 8-3 win over the Minnesota Twins on May 14, Bauer allowed three runs on seven hits with seven strikeouts over six innings. It marked just the second time in seven starts that he allowed three earned runs of fewer. The Indians might need similar effectiveness to rebound from their recent woes.
After climbing to a season-high four games over .500 on May 9, the Indians have dropped five of seven games and allowed at least six runs four times during that stretch. In losing two of three against the Tampa Bay Rays, Cleveland surrendered 10 home runs -- a three-game series club record for Tampa Bay. A strong pitching performance would be welcome and beneficial.
"They hit a lot of home runs and they strike out," Indians manager Terry Francona said of the Rays, a description that was uttered about the Astros as recently as two seasons ago. "In this series the homers outdid the strikeouts."
|Last Updated: 7/24/2017 1:35:53 PM EST|