Game-one of a two-game interleague matchup versus the visiting Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians will take place in Cleveland, Ohio, at Progressive Park on Tuesday night. The Cubs enter the matchup winners of eight of their last ten games, despite falling on the road in the finale of a two-game set versus the Kansas City Royals August 6th. The Indians are just as hot as they have picked up wins in seven of their last eight games, with their recent series win coming on the road versus the Chicago White Sox in a three-game set.
Important to note that the Cubs will return to the field of play since their blowout loss to the Royals. Chicago was supposed to travel to St. Louis for a three-game series versus the St. Louis Cardinals; However, after players and managers tested positive for Covvid-19, the series was called off. Also, the city of Chicago is certainly dealing with a healthy amount of unrest and looting after an officer involved shooting occurred over the weekend. Getting back on the field may be the best remedy for the Cubs at this moment. And with a solid pitching duel on tap for both teams during the opener, expect the contest to certainly be one that is competitive.
Clevinger seeks second straight winMike Clevinger (1-1, 3.34 ERA) will make his way to the mound for the Indians in game-one attempting to win his second straight contest. The right-hander atoned for allowing a total of six earned runs on ten hits in eleven and two-third innings in his first two starts (4 homers) to shutting out the Cincinnati Reds in his most recent outing as he gave up only two hits in five and two-third innings along with four strikeouts in a 2-0 home victory. The win was also the first for the Indians in 2020 with Clevinger on the mound.
Here's a video of Shane striking out 16 batters this week. Dude's filthy. pic.twitter.com/47utMEmkSZ— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) August 10, 2020
Clevinger now faces a Cubs offense that ranks within the top ten in runs scored per game (5 rpg), team batting average (.238), along with on base percentage (.757). However, it should be noted that the Indians boasts the best pitching staff in the MLB as it relates to ERA (2.04) along with WHIP (0.89), which makes the matchup very interesting. This will be Clevinger's first matchup versus the Cubs in his career as he has only faced Steven Souza, Jr. (0-3).
Lester seeking third-straight dominating performanceJon Lester (1-0, .89 ERA) will come to the mound after a set of starts which saw him surrender just one earned run on four hits (HR) in eleven innings of work in wins over the Reds on the road along with the Pittsburgh Pirates at Wrigley most recently. Expect the left hander to enter this contest with an extra amount of momentum considering the way that he has dominated the lineup for Cleveland throughout his veteran career. The Indians lineup is batting just .218 versus the Tacoma, Washington, native with first baseman Carlos Santana (.278 on 18 AB) along with second baseman Cesar Hernandez (167 on 12 AB) having the most experience.
We knew Vic's slide yesterday looked familiar! pic.twitter.com/zT3ZnoClzu— Marquee Sports Network (@WatchMarquee) August 6, 2020
However, Lester has really made his presence felt versus the remainder of the lineup for Cleveland with batting average leader in Delino DeShields going hitless in two at bats while home run leader for the Indians in Jose Ramirez hitting just .187 on six at bats lifetime. Important to note that Cleveland has one of the worst offensive stats in the MLB at his moment. On the other hand, they are facing a player in Lester that has won his last two starts versus the Indians, including picking up a victory in his last start at Progressive Park while suiting up for the Oakland Athletics in a 6-3 win where he gave up two earned runs on four hits in seven innings of pitching.
Stats & Trends
- The under is 4-2 in Cubs last 6 games
- The under is 4-2 in Cubs last 6 interleague games
- The under is 2-8 in Indians last 10 games
- The under is 6-2 in Indians last 8 home games
I will certainly play the under in this contest. The Indians, despite going on a winning streak, continues to struggle on the offensive end a bit too much. Expect for them to become even more frustrated when they face a confident Lester on Tuesday night. The Cubs will get some runs across the board early; However, remember that Clevinger is also coming off a strong performance in his most recent start. Expect a low-scoring pitching duel in the opener with the Cubs picking up a slim victory in the end.