Cleveland Indians (82-56 SU, 67-71 RL, 53-75-10 O/U) vs. Chicago White Sox (54-83 SU, 71-66 RL, 64-68-5 O/U)
MLB: Thursday, September 7, 2017 at 8:10 p.m. EST
The Line: Cleveland Indians -270/Chicago White Sox +225. Total: 7.5.
The Chicago White Sox and Cleveland Indians will wrap up a four-game series when they meet again at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago on Thursday night. Cleveland took the first of the set, thus extending its winning streak to 13. The White Sox have lost six of their last eight contests.
Winning breeds winning
The American League Central-leading Indians went into Tuesday looking to match a franchise record with their 14th consecutive victory. Cleveland rolled to a 9-4 win on Tuesday for its 13th in succession–one shy of the mark set by last year’s team. Jose Ramirez belted two homers during Tuesday’s triumph as the Indians extended the longest winning streak in Major League Baseball this season. The hot-hitting Ramirez has hit five dingers in his last three games, turned in three multi-homer performances in his last eight contests, and is an impressive 19-for-38 with seven homers over his last nine games. Cleveland has outscored its opponents 93-25 during the 13-game winning streak. Outfielder Jay Bruce (neck) has missed four consecutive contests and his status for the remainder of the series is uncertain.
Right-hander Corey Kluber is taking the mound for Cleveland on Thursday. Kluber is an outstanding 14-4 with 2.52 ERA this season. Nothing has changed of late, as six of his last seven starts have been quality and the only one during this stretch that has not qualified has such was a 5.1-inning performance in which he allowed just a single run. Kluber’s worst line since May 2 is four runs in 6.1 innings. Yes, that is his worst outing in a span of more than four months.
Not pitching, not hitting
Chicago has dropped six of its last eight and are a dreadful 29 games below .500. Matt Davidson bashed a three-run homer on Tuesday but is just 3-for-32 over the last eight contests. The White Sox recently requested waivers on disappointing left-hander Derek Holland and activated second baseman Yoan Moncada (shin) from the 10-day disabled list. Moncada went 1-for-5 on Tuesday.
Carlos Rodon will oppose Kluber on Thursday. The left-hander is 2-5 with a respectable 4.15 ERA through 12 starts in 2017. He has underwhelmed of late, with six runnings allowed–all earned–across a combined nine innings in his last two appearances.
The Cleveland Indians are:
- 13-0 in their last 13 overall
- 19-7 in their last 26 road games
- 24-8 in their last 32 games against the American League Central
The Chicago White Sox are:
- 17-38 in their last 55 overall
- 15-40 in their last 55 games against teams with winning records
- 2-6 in their last eight games against right-handed starters.
Kluber has been awesome in 2017 and the White Sox know it almost as well as anyone. He is 2-0 with a 2.95 ERA in three starts against the Sox this year. The Indians are 13-0 in their last 13 overall, 19-7 in their last 26 on the road, 24-8 in their last 32 against the American League Central, 20-8 in their last 28 against left-handed starters, 36-15 in Kluber’s last 51 starts, 14-3 in Kluber’s last 17 starts against losing opponents, 5-0 in Kluber’s last five road starts, 5-1 in the last six meetings between the two teams, and 4-1 in their last five on the road against the White Sox. Chicago is 17-38 in its last 55 overall, 15-40 in its last 55 against winning opponents, and 2-6 in its last eight against right-handed starters. Look for those trends to continue.