The Indians will be returning home after a rough road trip following the All-Star break. The Tribe is just 3-4 since the break and just split a series 2-2 with the Tampa Bay Rays. The Indians remain in 3rd place in the AL Central, 3 games behind 1st place Chicago and 1.5 games behind Detroit. The Indians should be better off in the upcoming series, facing 3 right handed pitchers and just one lefty. The Orioles come into the series in 2nd place in the AL East, but they have a 9 game distance between them and the Yankees.
Derek Lowe is coming off of 2 solid starts. He has thrown quality games, but usually has one rough inning where multiple runs are scored off him. His July starts have been consistent to his season stats, holding a 4.50 ERA for the month. His record of 5-1 and 2.86 ERA at home may prove advantageous to him this series.
Miguel Gonzalez will be making just his 3rd start of the season. He has only pitched in 5 games so far this season, but he can go deep into games when needed. Gonzalez walks 2-4 batters per appearance and is not a strike out pitcher. This will be the first time he faces the Indians.
Zach McAllister has had nothing but great starts since he was called up from Columbus. He took the win in his last start, pitching 6 innings and allowing no runs on 3 hits. McAllister finds himself in a good position to stay in the Majors the remainder of the season as the rest of the rotation has lacked his consistency.
Chris Tillman is another youngster, making just his 3rd start of his Major League career. In his first start against Seattle, he pitched 8.1 innings of shut out baseball. In his most recent start against Minnesota, he wasn’t able to pitch out of the first inning. That, however, should be no indication of his pitching ability, since only one of the 7 runs the Twins scored was earned. Tillman does not walk a lot of batters, but he is capable getting strike outs.
Josh Tomln has been inconsistent of late. He usually alternates good starts and bad, but luckily for the Indians, he is due for another quality start. July has been his best month this season, with a 3.55 ERA and a .188 batting average against. If Tomlin stays focused, he should have no trouble against the Orioles.
Zach Britton will be making his 2nd start of the season on Sunday. He is a lefty, so the Tribe bats may be fearful. His only start this year came against the Twins. He gave up 4 runs in 4 innings. He appears to throw a lot of pitches, averaging 25 pitches per inning. In his last outing, he walked 6 batters and only struck out one, so if the Tribe is patient, they may overcome Britton’s left-handedness.
Justin Masterson appears to be in the same pattern as Josh Tomlin, throwing a quality game every other start. Of late, Masterson has been either phenomenal or really bad. His last start proved to be awful as allowed 4 runs on 7 hits and walked 7 in just 4.1 innings pitched. The next outing, however, should be masterful.
Tommy Hunter is the seasoned veteran for the Orioles this weekend. He is coming off a quality start against the Twin in which he only gave up one run in 7.1 innings. He will not strike out many batters, but he won’t walk them, either. He usually gives up at least one home run a game; he has only had one outing in his past 10 games when he has not allowed a homer.