Monday, June 27, 2016

Series Preview: Indians v Braves June 27-29, 2016

I'm back from my week-long vacation, and the Braves went 3-3 while I was gone, so that's pretty good. I'm also not going to recap an entire week because that's silly and pointless. You saw all the games, and it's not worth our time to rehash them this far after the fact. Instead, I'll just dive into the preview of another hated Interleague series. Burn it with fire.

Game 1 - Gant v. Bauer
Game 2 - Wisler v. Kluber
Game 3 - Some Guy v. Salazar

As per usual, I don't waste a whole lot of time recapping interleague games because we hardly ever play each other. So, unless there's something unique about the series, I usually don't bother with a whole lot of stats.

Something unique in this series is Cory Kluber for the Indians. He's a 5 year veteran out of Birmingham, went to college at Stetson, and is a 6'4" righty many of the Braves hitters have seen quite often. Why? Because more than a few of them like AJ, Markakis, Flowers, and Aybar saw the guy while playing on AL teams. The bad news? Even with those extra looks, Kluber still managed a .596 team OPS against the Braves lineup. That's really bad. Even worse is that Kluber carries a 3.59 ERA in the AL, which is highly respectable, a 1.01 WHIP and 103 strikeouts. The Indians only lost 2 of his last 7 starts. Kluber's impressive, and I think there's a solid chance he will eat the Braves hitters alive if they get into bad counts, which sets up his strikeout stuff.

The other factor here is that our rotation in this series is Gant, who has been part of one Braves win this year as a starter, Wisler who is coming off two straight wins but has been extremely erratic, and some guy we haven't announced yet. Not exactly an awe-inspiring rotation going into a series where the Indians scored over 7 runs a game last week. Yeah, they are on a bit of an offensive tear right now.

The Braves have a lot of goodwill built up over this last week when they really competed well and won some games. They played hard with the Mets and the Marlins, who are both struggling. The Indians aren't struggling. They've won 9 games in a row, and this has the potential to be a coming off the rails, disaster kind of series at home if the pitching isn't spot-on.

CPA Predictions:

Amazingly the CPA went 0-6 on the week. I blame the fact that I phoned it in and didn't care since I was headed on vacation. 29-37 on the year now. Yuck.

Game 1 - Indians by 3
Game 2 - Indians by 1
Game 3 - Indians by 1

We'll see, but I'd say the Indians will sweep the Braves at home if they continue their hot play. The CPA agrees. We'll need Gant and Wisler to pitch like Aces to get out of this one unscathed.


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