The series against Kansas City didn't end quite the way the Indians wanted as they struggled scoring runs, losing the last two games of the three game series. The Indians are now 2-6 at home and 7-2 on the road. In fact, every team in the AL Central has a losing record at home (Kansas City is worse with an 0-10 record) and a winning record on the road (Cleveland is best at 7-2). This strange scenario has allowed the Tribe to remain in first place going into the series with Los Angeles.
Shin-Soo Choo comes into the series with an injured hamstring and it is unknown as of now when he will return. The injury is said not to be serious, but he has already missed two games for it. The Indians are really missing his defense as Aaron Cunningham is no comparison. Cunningham has fit well into the lineup, however as he has two RBI hits in his last two games.
It is safe to say that the Angels have been this years most disappointing team thus far as their Yankee like free agent signings have not been enough to give them a winning record (6-13). Currently they sit at the bottom of the AL West behind the rebuilding Seattle Mariners and Oakland A's. The Angels come into this game after losing 4 in a row and the Indians will look to continue that streak.
The Indians will need Masterson to step up his game in this match up as he goes against the Angels ace and multiple Cy Young candidate, Jered Weaver. He is one player who hasn't struggled and has recorded half of the Angels wins this season. Over time the Indians have performed slightly better than the average team against Weaver, but he is still good enough that you shouldn't see more than 2 runs scored while he is in the game. It is up to Masterson to keep it close until the Angels bullpen comes in. Their bullpen is currently ranked as the third worst in the AL with a 4.96 ERA and 5 losses.
Gomez's suspension is finally over and he will look to go deep into a game for the first time this season. His 1.93 ERA looks fantastic, but he has only pitched 9 total innings in his last three games. In his last start he was taken out in the 5th inning even though he had yet to give up a run and had only thrown 88 pitches. The bullpen gave up the runner that he had left on base which is one of the only two runs he's allowed this year.
He will be pitching against the Angels second ace, who has not been as successful this year as he was last season (Tenth in AL with 3.17 ERA). Haren struggled in his first game of the season, but has gotten progressively better each game. In his last game he went into the 8th inning and only allowed 2 runs with 9 strike outs. The first two games of this series will not be easy going for the Cleveland Indians.
If there ever was a good match up for the Tribe, this is it. Derek Lowe has been the Indians most consistent pitcher all season and currently leads the team in wins. Santana, on the other hand, has been the Angels worst starter and currently leads the Majors in losses. He hasn't been much better against the Indians in his career either, with a record of 1-6.
Roster Moves: Rafael Perez has been placed on the 15 day disabled list for a strained lat. He is eligible to come off the DL on May 11. In his place, the Indians have recalled another left-hander, Nick Hagadone. Hagadone pitched well in three games during his first stint with the Tribe this year and will look to earn a permanent place with the Tribe even after Perez's return.