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Red Sox, Indians battle in Cleveland Wed.
By: Staff Writer - StatFox
Published: 8/22/2017  at  9:47:00 PM
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First pitch: Wednesday, 7:10 p.m. ET
Line: N/A, Total: N/A

Two of the American Leagueís best teams meet on Wednesday, when the Indians host the Red Sox.

Boston has been one of the best teams in baseball since the All-Star break, and this team is currently doing what it can to pull away in the AL East. The Yankees are still trying to hang around, but theyíll need to find a way to put together a winning streak. If they canít do that then the Red Sox will coast to a division title. But that doesnít mean that the Sox can afford to just start losing now. This game against the Indians is an important one, but itís also going to be one of the toughest for them to win. That is because RHP Corey Kluber (12-3, 2.67 ERA, 196 K) will be on the mound for Cleveland. Kluber is one of the best pitchers in the league, but itís not like Boston will have a slouch out there. The Red Sox will be sending LHP Drew Pomeranz (12-4, 3.31 ERA, 136 K) to the mound on Wednesday. Pomeranz isnít the pitcher that Kluber is, but he has been very good for Boston this year and is more than capable of holding his own out there. He also happens to be in a groove right now, and confidence is obviously of the upmost importance.

Drew Pomeranz is going to be starting for Boston in this game and that has been a good omen for the Red Sox lately. The Sox have won in eight of Pomeranzís past 10 starts, and the lefty has allowed one or fewer earned runs in six of those 10 starts. Pomeranz did have to leave a start against the Yankees on Aug. 18 with back spasms, but he insists that he is feeling fine now. If that is the case then itís very possible that heíll shut the Indians down in this one. His last start against Cleveland was on Aug. 15, 2016, and Pomeranz pitched 7.2 innings of two-run ball in that game. Another outing like that would be huge for the Sox here. As for the offense, OF Mookie Betts is somebody that might be able to spark Boston in this game. Betts is 4-for-10 with a double, a homer, and two RBI against Kluber in his career. It is not easy to hit the righty, so itís very impressive that Betts has had that type of success against him. Itíd be big if he can keep it up on Wednesday.

Corey Kluber has been absolutely ridiculous as of late, as he has allowed only one run in seven of his past 10 starts. Kluber has also racked up double digits in strikeouts in seven of his past 10. Heís in a groove and the Indians have won in each of his past six outings. Theyíll be expecting nothing but a victory when he gets back out there on Wednesday. Kluberís most recent start against the Red Sox was in the postseason last year, when he shut them out for seven innings in a 6-0 victory for the Indians. On offense, DH Edwin Encarnacion is a player to keep an eye on in this game. Encarnacion has only had two at-bats against Pomeranz in his career, but he homered in one of those. Itíd be huge for the Indians if he can go yard here and itís certainly possible with the way he has been swinging the bat lately.

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