Los Angeles Angels vs. Cleveland Indians Series Preview

AL playoff contenders look to make their cases for October starting Monday, as the Cleveland Indians host the Los Angeles Angels for a four-game set.

The Cleveland Indians return home after a week-and-a-half on the road, sitting just 3.5 games behind the Detroit Tigers for first place in the AL Central.

Los Angeles has scuffled a little bit after winning five straight, dropping three of their last four to the A's and Braves. However, the Angels remain one game ahead of Kansas City for the AL's first Wild Card.


Home: Cleveland Indians (35-35, 21-11 home)

Away: Los Angeles Angels (37-30, 17-16 away)

Key Stat:

It's home sweet home for the Cleveland Indians in their return to Progressive Field on Monday.

The Tribe sport a ten-game gap between their MLB-best 21-11 home record and their 14-24 road record - the biggest such discrepancy in the Majors this season.

Angels Notes:

Hector Santiago's recent demotion to the minor leagues opened his eyes - so much so that, when he started falling back into bad habits in one of two bullpen sessions before Sunday's start, he stopped himself and reached back to his fundamentals.

“I never used to do that,” Santiago said. “I’d throw five bad ones and just keep going and then it was 25 bad ones.”

After he was the centerpiece of the Angels' haul in the Mark Trumbo trade this offseason, Santiago felt a ton of pressure being inserted directly into the #3 spot in the rotation.

However, he seems more apt at handling said pressure after his recent trip back to the minors - giving the Angels a needed weapon in the rotation as they try to gain ground on the division-leading Oakland A's.

Indians Notes:

An the end of a road trip full of highs and lows, the Cleveland Indians had a chance to end things on an emphatically positive note on Sunday.

Nick Swisher, recently off the disabled list, wrapped an 11th inning solo home run around Pesky's Pole at Fenway to lead the Indians to a 3-2 victory over the Red Sox - salvaging a split in the series and a winning record (5-4) on the nine-game road swing.

"No doubt it was a homer," Swisher said of his first round-tripper since May 16th, via Paul Hoynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group.

"I was so stoked I wanted to smile all the way around the bases."

What to Watch For:

The Angels and Indians get a chance to prove themselves in front of a national television audience on Wednesday night, with the team's squaring off on ESPN's Wednesday Night Baseball.

Los Angeles' CJ Wilson (7-6, 3.50) will be looking to put a rough start to June  behind him on Wednesday, as he opposes Cleveland's Justin Masterson (4-5, 5.05).

In three starts this month, Wilson has given up ten earned runs in 16 innings for a robust 5.63 ERA.

Masterson's up-and-down 2014 campaign hit another rough patch this weekend, as he lasted just two innings against the Red Sox at Fenway on Friday - giving up five earned runs while walking four without a strikeout.


What They're Saying About the Angels:

Mike Trout's effect on the Angels' lineup (Halo Hangout)

Was Erick Aybar the hero of the five-hour game? (Halos Heaven)

What They're Saying About the Indians:

Justin Masterson fights an old Ubaldo Jimenez habit (Akron Beacon Journal)

Swisher home run helps Tribe split series with Red Sox (Let's Go Tribe)

Back to the Cleveland Guardians Newsfeed