Detroit Tigers at Cleveland Indians
When and Where: Sunday, Sept. 16, Progressive Field, Cleveland, Ohio, 1:10 p.m. EDT.
Their third consecutive AL Central title secured, the Cleveland Indians look to begin their postseason preparations in earnest starting with Sunday’s series finale versus the Detroit Tigers.
Liriano looks to avoid sixth loss in seven decisions for Tigers
Francisco Liriano (4-10, 4.58 ERA) is hoping to pitch next season, whether it be in Detroit or somewhere else, but his late-season struggles will give teams pause.
The veteran left-hander was done in by his defense last time out, though, as all three runs he permitted Monday were unearned over six innings of a 3-2 home loss to the Houston Astros. Liriano is 1-5 with a 5.01 ERA over his last seven starts, but his earned run average hides the fact 10 of the 28 runs he has given up in those games have been unearned.
Opposing batters are hitting .303 in that stretch, cracking seven homers and racking up 40 hits in 32 1-3 innings. Liriano did end a five-game road losing streak in his last outing but is 2-6 with a 4.54 ERA in 15 starts outside Comerica Park.
This will be his fourth start and fifth overall appearance against the Indians this year and enters this contest 0-2 with a 4.96 ERA in their matchups. Both losses came at Progressive Field, and the veteran lefty has not won there since 2010 while pitching for Minneota.
Bieber looks to be first Indians rookie with 11 wins since 2009
Shane Bieber (10-3, 4.32 ERA) is looking to become the third rookie this century to win 11 games for the Indians, joining CC Sabathia (17 in 2001) and David Huff (11 in 2009).
The right-hander is looking to win a third consecutive start and for the fifth time in his last six. On Tuesday, Bieber turned in one of his best outings since being called up when he scattered three hits and three walks while striking out a season-high 11 in 6 2-3 innings of a 2-0 victory at Tampa Bay.
“I think he’s getting better as he goes,” Indians catcher Yan Gomes told the club’s official website. “He’s probably throwing more innings than he has before and he’s not showing any sign of slowing down.”
Bieber has not been as steady at home, going 4-3 with a 4.91 ERA in seven home starts while alternating wins and losses in the previous six there. His lone start against the Tigers was also a gem, firing seven shutout innings and fanning nine in a 10-0 rout June 22.
The Indians are:
- 8-2 in Bieber’s last 10 starts vs. sub-.500 teams.
- 5-1 in Bieber’s last six starts during game 3 of a series.
- 21-6 in their last 27 home games vs. the Tigers.
- The under is 5-2-2 in Bieber’s last nine starts.
- The under is 7-2-2 in their last 11 games vs. left-handed starters.
- The under is 7-2-2 in their last 11 home games vs. sub-.500 teams.
The Tigers are:
- 4-11 in Liriano’s last 15 starts.
- 3-7 in Liriano’s last 10 starts vs. AL Central teams.
- 5-12 in their last 17 games vs. AL Central teams.
- The under is 4-2-2 in their last eight road games.
- The under is 9-3 in the last 12 games Ryan Fletcher has been plate umpire