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Cleveland Indians vs. Los Angeles Angels
Star power will be on full display Monday as Jose Ramirez, and the Cleveland Indians (21-17) take on Mike Trout and the Los Angeles Angels (17-22). This three-game series will be played at Angel Stadium, and 9:38 pm ET is the scheduled first start for Monday’s contest.
Both of these teams are coming off of series losses over the weekend. The Indians dropped three of four to the Seattle Mariners while the Angels lost two of three against the Boston Red Sox.
The Angels are the favorites in this one as they are -142 to win. The moneyline for Cleveland is +120, while they are also +1.5 on the runline. The over/under is set at nine for total runs.
By The Numbers
Cleveland’s pitching staff holds the advantage in this contest. Their collective earned run average is 3.56, good for seventh in the majors. The Angels’ staff ranks last in ERA at 5.33.
In terms of batting average, the Angels hold the upper hand. They rank sixth, hitting .250 as a team. The Indians rank 29th, batting a disappointing .210.
Cleveland Turns To Youngster In Series Opener
When the series opens Monday night, it will be 24-year-old Sam Hentges getting the start. Making just his second start of his young career, the lefty is 1-0 in five games (one start) with a 3.29 ERA, 1.76 WHIP, and 14 strikeouts in 13.2 innings pitched.
The batting average against (.316) and walks (six) are a bit concerning, but Hentges has the potential to keep the Indians in this one.
They will need to get a little help from their offense, and there are a few hitters who have been hitting well as of late. Over the last week, third baseman Jose Ramirez is hitting .286/.348/.762 with two home runs and three runs batted in.
Also, in that time frame, Cesar Hernandez, Josh Naylor, Franmil Reyes, and Harold Ramirez have homered.
Angels Will Need To Get Good Production From Bullpen And Offense
While the Angels are not exactly going with an opener, it is still a little bit of a bullpen day. They are sending Patrick Sandoval to the mound to make his first start of the season. On the year, Sandoval has pitched in three games and sports a 6.14 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, and has struck out eight in 7.1 innings.
He will likely be on a limited pitch count, so the Angels’ bullpen will have to pick up a lot of slack Monday night.
It is not too often that you can say this, but the Indians might be catching Mike Trout at the right time. In the last week, over 16 at-bats, Trout is hitting just .063/.318/.063 with no home runs and no runs batted in. Granted, he can break out at any time, but it is not too often that he is mired in a slump.
Shohei Ohtani is hitting just .192/.192/.462 in that same stretch, but he does have two home runs and three runs batted in.
Something Has To Give
This is an interesting matchup. While the Indians’ pitching staff has been one of the best in the majors, the offense has been a disappointment thus far. On the flip side, the Angels have a potentially potent lineup with very little pitching.
On Monday, something is going to have to give. Can the Indians give enough run support to help Sam Hentges, or are Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani going to win out?
One thing is for sure, this should be a really good matchup to watch against teams with playoff aspirations.
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