The Cleveland Indians are not taking any days off despite already having their spot in the postseason locked up. The Indians will try to earn another big win and clinch home-field advantage throughout the American League playoffs when they host the Chicago White Sox on Saturday.
Cleveland began its final series of the regular season by pounding the White Sox 10-1 on Friday to improve to 32-3 in its last 35 games. The Indians (101-59) are still in a race for playoff positioning and lead the Houston Astros (100-60) by one game in the battle for the AL’s best record, while owning the tiebreaker. The White Sox haven’t been in a playoff battle in quite some time but are making strides toward that goal and are 12-8 over the last 20 games while giving the younger players starring roles. Chicago will showcase one of its promising youngsters on Saturday, when right-hander Carson Fulmer goes up against Indians ace Corey Kluber.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, WGN (Chicago), STO (Cleveland)
PITCHING MATCHUP: White Sox RH Carson Fulmer (2-1, 4.42 ERA) vs. Indians RH Corey Kluber (18-4, 2.27)
Fulmer recorded only one out and threw 20 pitches at Houston on Sept. 21 before being removed with a blister. Chicago pushed the 23-year-old rookie’s start back and will give him one final turn as he attempts to earn his third win this month. Fulmer made a relief appearance against Cleveland on Sept. 5 and allowed one hit while striking out one in 2 2/3 scoreless frames.
Kluber will get an abbreviated final start as he prepares to start Game 1 of the ALDS next Thursday. The Stetson product is trying to lock up his second Cy Young Award and did not allow an earned run in any of his last three starts, running his string of two or fewer runs allowed to eight consecutive turns. Kluber is 3-0 with a 2.86 ERA in four starts against the White Sox this season, including a 13-strikeout gem at Chicago on Sept. 7.
1. White Sox RF Avisail Garcia went 1-for-4 with a single on Friday to end a string of five straight games with at least one extra-base hit.
2. Cleveland RF Jay Bruce homered in each of the last two games after going 12 straight contests without a blast.
3. Chicago rookie 2B Yoan Moncada reached base safely in each of the last 10 games.
PREDICTION: Indians 9, White Sox 4