Fantasy Preview Indians vs Angels of Anaheim 19th Sep 2017
One team is running away with the American League Central title. One team is right in the thick of the American League Wild Card race. But both the Cleveland Indians and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have plenty of work to do, as far as the remainder of the regular season. So, this three-game series between the two of them is certainly crucial, these series start on the 19th September @ Angels.
For the Cleveland Indians, it all starts with superstar pitcher Corey Kluber, who’s a virtual shoo-in to win the American League Cy Young award. There hasn’t been a more dominant pitcher in all of baseball since the beginning of July, than the “Klu-bot.” He’s lost only one game since then, lowering his ERA to 2.35, good for second best in the league. His 17 wins puts him in a three-way tie for the most wins in the majors, and his 0.85 WHIP is tops in baseball. However, the Angels might get lucky and not have to face Kluber in this series, as he just picked up a win on Sunday evening against Kansas City.
The Angels might also get the benefit of not seeing another one of the Indians’ star players who could win postseason hardware: third baseman Jose Ramirez. Cleveland may choose to rest the MVP candidate over the next few games, as Ramirez has been a little beat up over the past couple weeks with a bruised forearm and this slight hamstring problem; the Indians want to make sure he’s right heading into the home stretch of the season. That’s great for Los Angeles, considering he started the last series against Kansas City going 4-for-4 with a walk and scoring the game-winning run Cleveland’s 3-2 walkoff victory.
Obviously, any conversation about the Angels will begin with Mike Trout, who is not only the best player in fantasy baseball, but very likely in the majors overall. If it weren’t a for a thumb injury that cost him six weeks of action this year, Trout almost certainly would’ve turned in his second 30-homer, 30-steal season. Even with that absence, Trout still has 29 homers and 21 stolen bases, meaning the 30-30 mark is still potentially in play. Nonetheless, Trout’s .315/.452/.638 slash line is still incredible, and his 1.090 OPS leads all major-league hitters. He’s even filled in for teammate Brandon Phillips as the leadoff hitter, when the latter was out due to a back injury.
Right-handed pitcher Mike Clevinger will take the mound for Cleveland in the first game of the series. The last time Clevinger pitched, he allowed only one earned run on six hits, while striking out six batters en route to helping Cleveland set a new American League record with 21 straight wins; Clevinger has won a career-high four straight starts during said winning-streak while allowing just one earned run over 23.2 innings. His 10 wins this year is easily the highest of his two-year career.
In the third game of their series, the Angels will feature a second-year pitcher of their own in right hander Parker Bridwell. Bridwell (8-2) struck out seven over six scoreless innings in a win over Texas on Saturday, rebounding from a tough stretch where he allowed 19 runs over 24 innings in his past five outings. Still, his eight wins this year is good for second-most on the team.