This series is already off to a rocky start as Shin-Soo Choo was arrested this morning on a DUI charge. The 19-8 Cleveland Indians are leaving the friendly confines of Progressive Field (13-2 home record) to take on the 3rd place Oakland Athletics at the Overstock.com Coliseum. The Tribe is just 6-6 on the road and looks to improve against the A's, who are 15-14 at this early point in the season. Here's a look at the probable starters for this series:
Fausto Carmona (2-3, 5.15 ERA) v. Tyson Ross (1-2, 2.76 ERA)
This is Ross's second season in the Majors and Tuesday will be his third start of the season.Tyson also had 3 relief outings and has only allowed 12 hits in 16.1 innings. Last season Ross only made 4 starts out of his 31 appearances. In his career against Cleveland, Ross pitched 2 scoreless innings in one relief outing.
Josh Tomlin (4-0, 2.45) v. Trevor Cahill (4-0, 1.88 ERA)
Cahill is in his third year in the pros and has had a very good start to 2011. He has only allowed 43 base runners in 38.1 innings for a WHIP of 1.12 and has allowed more than one run in a game only once. Cahill is becoming one of the better pitchers in the American League and looks to be very hard to score against. Both Tomlin and Cahill have records of 4-0 and will be looking for their 5th win of the season.
Jeanmar Gomez (0-2, 6.23) v. Brett Anderson (2-2, 2.95 ERA)
Like Cahill, this is Anderson's third year in the league and is also off to a good start. However, it has been shown he is beatable as the Texas Rangers recently trounced Anderson, scoring 7 runs off in 5 innings. Before that game, Anderson had never given up more than 2 runs in a game.
The Indians offense has been very productive so far this season scoring 5.41 runs per game (first in the AL in runs scored) and will need to maintain that against some really tough Oakland pitching. Oakland has scored 44 less runs this year than Cleveland and is second to last in the AL in runs scored. If it weren't for that, the A's would probably have a record as good or better than the Indians. Oakland only has one hitter with a batting average above .300 (back-up third-baseman Andy LaRoche) and only Josh Willingham has more than 3 home runs (5). The Indians on the other hand have 5 batters above .300 (Travis Hafner, Grady Sizemore, Michael Brantley, Shelley Duncan and Adam Everett) and have 7 with 4 or more home runs (Asdrubal Cabrera, Shin-Soo Choo, Carlos Santana, Matt LaPorta, Jack Hannahan, Hafner and Sizemore). Looking at Travis Hafner, there is a possibility he will be back in the lineup as early as Tuesday after missing the last 4 games with an injured foot. According to Jordan Bastian was running in the outfield in Oakland before the game, and if all goes well, the power hitting DH could be back sooner than originally thought. Hafner has been available to pinch hit for the last 3 games, but has not been used and was apparently not needed as the Indians won all three games. Shelley Duncan has been a more than sufficient replacement knocking in two runs and scoring once in the two games he played in. I hope you can stay up late, because the next 6 games are in California, leading off with a 10:05 start time on Tuesday and Wednesday.