The Detroit Tigers will give the ball to their ace Jordan Zimmermann (4-2 with a 3.97 ERA) for Sunday's finale of their three-game series against the AL Central foes Cleveland Indians at Comerica Park.The series is tied after the Indians took an 8-3 win in Friday's series opener, but the Tigers responded with a 2-1 victory in the middle game yesterday.
The veteran right-hander is coming off two straight rough outings, as he was knocked around for four runs in 6 2/3 innings and was charged with a loss to the Rays on July 11 (2-4), before surrendering 7 hits and 4 runs (including two homers to Mike Moustakas and Slavador Perez) over five innings in the Tigers' 4-5 loss to the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday.In the matter of fact, those two outings were on the road, while Zimmermann is doing much better at Comerica Park, where the 32-year-old has posted a 2-0 record with a 2.59 ERA in five starts (compared to a 2-2 mark with a 5.15 ERA in eight road contests), though there is comething that should be taken into account here: the Indians are one of his most undesirable opponents, as Zimmermann has gone 0-4 with an awful 10.57 ERA in six career starts versus Cleveland (0-4 with a 10.50 ERA in five starts since joining the Tigers in November 2015).
Jason Kipnis is hitting .636 (7-for-11) with three doubles, two triples and 4 RBI against him, Jose Ramirez is 5-for-10 with a pair of triples and a two-run homer, Yan Gomes has 2 hits in 4 at-bats off Zimmermann, Yonder Alonso is 6-for-16 with a pair of doubles, 3 HR and 5 RBI, Michael Brantley is 3-for-8 with two doubles and 5 RBI, Edwin Encarnacion is 3-for-10 with 2 RBI and two walks, while Melky Cabrera is 6-for-22 with a double and a solo home run.
The Cleveland Indians will send Corey Kluber (12-6 with a 2.88 ERA) to the mound for Sunday's series finale.Kluber is going through a difficult period, as the 32-year-old gave up 17 hits and 13 runs (nine earned) over 11 1/3 innings in the Indians' 4-7 home loss to the Yankees on July 12 and in Monday's 0-7 loss to the Pirates at Progressive Field and is 2-4 with a 5.21 ERA in his last seven outings, compared to a 10-2 record with a stellar 1.99 ERA over his first fourteen starts this season.
On the other hand, the right-hander has fared well against the Tigers, against which he threw sixteen solid innings in two starts in 2018, allowing just 2 runs on 5 hits of a 2-0 home win on April 9 and in the Indians' 9-2 victory at Comerica Park on June 10, with 21 strikeouts.Kluber owns a 10-7 record with a 3.47 ERA in 21 career starts verus Detroit.Miguel Cabrera is hitting .365 (23-for-63) with three doubles, 6 HR and 12 RBI against him, but the Tigers slugger will miss the rest of the season with ruptured left biceps.Victor Martinez is 15-for-49 with three homers and 7 RBI, Nicholas Castellanos has 12 hits in 43 at-bats off Kluber, with a pair of doubles and an RBI, but James McCann, Niko Goodrum, Jose Iglesias and Jeimer Candelario are a combined 5-for-51.
I think that the Cleveland Indians are capable to cover this handicap.