The Cleveland Indians try to get things turned around when they host the Chicago White Sox in the opener of a four-game series on Monday. Cleveland comes into the game on a three-game losing streak after getting swept in a weekend series by Tampa Bay. The White Sox have dropped six in a row and are coming off back-to-back sweeps by Minnesota and Atlanta.
Cleveland’s dreams of an American League Central title are fading fast, as the Indians now sit 5.5 games behind the first-place Twins. The chances at a postseason berth are starting to be in peril as well, as the Rays moved past Cleveland for the top Wild Card spot in the American League with the weekend sweep, and the Indians are only a half-game ahead of Oakland heading into Monday’s action. The White Sox are more playing out the rest of the schedule, as they sit 24 games behind Minnesota in the AL Central and 18.5 games behind Cleveland.
The moneyline for this contest has the Chicago White Sox +200 and the Cleveland Indians -230. The over/under has been set at 10.
Looking To Future
The White Sox have some nice young pieces but just haven’t been able to put together the winning formula this season. Left-hander Ross Detwiler will take the mound for the series opener, making his ninth start and 15th appearance of the season. Detwiler is 2-4 in 2018 with a 6.45 ERA. He’s coming off an ugly relief appearance that saw him last just 1/3 of an inning against Atlanta, walking two and allowing a hit and allowing three earned runs. His last start, against Minnesota, was a four-inning outing in which he allowed six hits and five earned runs.
Chicago was actuallly playing pretty well prior to its current losing skid, winning five of seven including two of three at Minnesota. But the offense just hasn’t been able to keep up with the opposition lately, leading to the setbacks. Jose Abreu continues to lead Chicago with 28 home runs and 103 RBI, the latter number ranking second in the American League, but he hasn’t hit a home run since Aug. 20.
The Indians had an emotional Sunday, with Carlos Carrasco making his first appearance in a game since he was diagnosed midseason with chronic myeloid leukemia. But they must now focus on the task at hand, which is getting back on the winning track before falling out of the playoff race. Cleveland will turn to rookie Aaron Civale to open the series with Chicago. The right-hander is 2-3 with a 1.96 ERA this season and is coming off his first win since Major League debut in June. Civale went seven innings against Detroit, holding the Tigers to six hits and two earned runs.
The Cleveland offense needs to get things going, as the Indians have managed just 14 runs in their last five games. Carlos Santana has just two home runs since Aug. 15 but still paces the club with 31 on the season, ranking eighth in the American League. Santana is second in the AL in walks with 98 and seventh in runs scored with 96. Franmil Reyes has been swinging a hot bat of late, batting .389 with a double, a home run and three RBI over the last week.
Indians Take Opener
Cleveland is starting to feel some desperation to get some wins, while Chicago is likely just counting the days until its offseason. Look for a solid performance from Civale on the mound for the Indians, as they snap their losing streak. I’m going with Cleveland -230 to get the win.