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Indians Welcome Cardinals To Town For Two Game Interleague Series
Tuesday night will start a brief, two-game interleague series between Central teams as the St. Louis Cardinals (50-50) will take on the Cleveland Indians (49-48). The Indians will host this series at Progressive Field starting Tuesday.
St. Louis comes into this one off of a series loss to the Cincinnati Reds. They dropped two of three but were able to salvage Sunday’s game, 10-6. In the win, St. Louis hit four home runs, including Nolan Arenado’s 20th.
The Indians, who have lost six of their last ten, also had a rough weekend as they lost three of four to the Tampa Bay Rays. Like St. Louis, their lone win came on Sunday in a 3-2 win. James Karinchak picked up the win in relief while Cesar Hernandez hit his 17th home run of the season.
The schedule for the two-game series at Progressive Field is as follows:
- Tuesday, July 27 - 7:10 pm ET
- Wednesday, July 28 - 1:10 pm ET
Here is the pitching matchup for each game of the series:
- Tuesday: Adam Wainwright (7-6, 3.56 ERA) vs. Cal Quantrill (2-2, 3.84 ERA)
- Wednesday: Kwang Hyun Kim (6-5, 2.88 ERA) vs. Zach Plesac (5-3, 4.30 ERA)
Looking At Odds
Currently nine games back in the division, the Indians are +3300 to win the AL Central. They are +20000 to win the World Series.
The Cardinals are in third in the NL. Central, eight games back, and are +1800 to win it. They are +12000 to win the World Series this year.
By The Number
Offensively, the Indians hold the edge. They rank 17th in the majors averaging 4.28 runs per game. The Cardinals fall to 26th overall averaging 4.03 runs.
The Cardinals hold the edge on the defensive side. They rank 13th in scoring defense allowing opponents 4.38 runs per game. The Indians rank 17th, allowing 4.60 runs.
Cardinals Try To Avoid Road Woes
At 50-50, the Cardinals can look solely at their road performance this season as to why they trail in the standings. They are 28-20 when playing at Busch Stadium, but they are a disappointing 22-30 on the road. That is a mark they will try to improve on starting Tuesday.
Nolan Arenado has led the way for the Cardinals on offense. He is currently hitting .261/.314/.504 with a team-leading 20 home runs and 61 runs batted in.
Over the last week, outfielder Harrison Bader has been the most impressive hitter for the Cardinals. In that span, he is hitting .2478/.520/.870 with a couple of home runs and seven runs batted in.
Indians Have Tough Decisions To Make This Week
While they may technically sit in second place in their division, the Indians are not in the conversation as a postseason contender. As a result, potential trade conversations off the field may be just as important as the play on the field.
While anything is possible, one player likely not to be traded is Jose Ramirez. Reports have indicated that the Indians would have to be overwhelmed to move the third baseman, and it makes sense given the fact he leads the team in home runs (20), runs batted in (57), runs (64), and stolen bases (10).
One player that could be moved is also the Indians' hottest hitter over the last week, Cesar Hernandez. In his last 24 at-bats, he is hitting .292/.370/.625 with a couple of home runs and five runs batted in.
Short Series Gives Indians Opportunity To Add To Win Column
There are a lot of similarities between the Indians and the Cardinals this season. They both were hoping to contend for a postseason spot this year, but both have also fallen short of those expectations.
Neither side has an electric offense or pitching staff, so this is a series that the Indians have a shot at sweeping, especially with the Cardinals’ road struggles. As always, it will come down to the pitching for Cleveland, but if they can keep the Cardinals’ bats in check, then the Indians have a good chance to win it.
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