Just like the series against the Twins, this upcoming series will be almost completely meaningless. While the Indians do have some player evaluations to do for next year, there is little to be learned in series against teams in the same situation as the Indians. Both the Twins and Royals are also evaluating young talent, making these games more like the AAA games that most of these players were playing in a month ago.
End of Season Goals:
- Masterson to .500: Justin's start in game one of this series will be his third to last on the year, meaning he must win all three starts to get to .500
- 43 Saves for Pure Rage: This one is still possible, but he hasn't made any progress over the last two series as each of the Indians wins has been a walk-off.
- Not losing 100 games: At 62 wins, the Indians are almost to the point of being safe from losing 100 games. They only have to win one more game of their last twelve to do so and since they haven't lost 12 in a row all season, they should probably be able to handle this. As soon as they win one game, the new goal should be to move ahead of the Twins in the standings to end the season in fourth place.
The Indians continued on with their winning of a single game each series with a final game win against Twins. If they are going to continue that trend, this will be the game to win as the Indians have their best pitcher going and the best match-up against the opposing pitcher. In four games against the Tribe in his career, Mendoza has allowed 15 runs (11 earned).
Smith will be making his second start against the Indians this year. He won his first start which took place during the time of the year when the Indians were struggling against left-handed pitching (April through September).
This will be Huff's second start of the year after being fairly awful in his last outing. Huff will get two more starts this season, including this one and you can't really expect him to get any better. He has been hanging around for years at this point and the Indians have to have already seen everything they need to from the lefty.
The top Royals pitching prospect, Odorizzi will be making his Major League debut after a great year for the Omaha Storm Chasers. He was a first round pick in 2008 by the Milwaukee Brewers and came to the Royals in the Zach Greinke trade. The Royals have a lot of hopes laying on his shoulders as they plan on contending in the near future.