Cleveland Indians vs. Los Angeles Angels Preview

Cleveland Indians (3-3) PK, 8 at Los Angeles Angels (4-3), 10 pm Eastern Monday
by Zman of

The defending American League Central Division champion Cleveland Indians continue a West Coast road trip with a three-game series with the defending AL West champion Los Angeles Angels beginning Monday night.

Baseball books list this game as right around a pick ’em, with an o/u of 8 .

After opening this season by taking two of three games from the Chicago White Sox, Cleveland went to Oakland and lost two of three to the A’s over the weekend, scoring just six runs in the process. In fact, since putting up 17 runs in their first two games, the Indians have scored just seven runs over their last four outings.

In this early going of this new baseball season, Cleveland sits in third place in the AL Central, a game behind both the White Sox and the Kansas City Royals.

The Angels opened this season by taking three of four games in Minnesota, but lost two of three games at home to the Texas Rangers over the weekend. So going into this second week of the season, LA leads the AL West by a half-game over second-place Texas.

Last year, these two teams split 10 games. And the o/u went 2-8 in those games, which averaged just 7.6 total runs.

Also last season, Cleveland went 44-37 on the road, while the Angels went 54-27 at home.

Fausto Carmona is slated to make his second start of the season Monday for the Indians vs. Joe Saunders for LA.

In his first start of this season, Carmona held the White Sox to one run on four hits over seven IP in a 7-2 Cleveland win last Wednesday. Last year, the Indians went 22-10 in Carmona’s starts, while the o/u went 10-21. This will be Carmona’s first-ever regular-season start vs. the Angels.

Saunders was also pretty good in his first start of this season, shutting out the Twins on four hits over eight innings of a 1-0 LA win last Wednesday. Last year, Saunders made one start vs. Cleveland, holding the Tribe to one ER and eight baserunners (hits + walks) in 6 2/3 IP of a 4-1 Angels victory. Also last season, Los Angeles went 11-7 in Saunders’ starts, the o/u going 10-7.

Cleveland hitters have combined to post a .307 team OBP so far this season, which ranks just 21st in the league. And the Indians have scored 24 runs total in their first six games.

On the other side of this match-up, the Angels own a .338 team OBP, which ranks 9th in the league, and have scored 29 runs over their first seven games.

On the injury front, Cleveland hopes to have catcher Victor Martinez back in the line-up Monday night. Martinez has missed the Indians’ last five games after tweaking a hammy in the season opener.

The o/u is 3-3 in Cleveland games this season, after going 72-84 last year. The totals are also 3-3 in Angels games this year, after going 75-80 last season.