Cleveland Indians vs. Los Angeles Dodgers Series Preview

Just a short 84 years removed from their battle in the 1920 World Series, the (now) Los Angeles Dodgers host the Cleveland Indians for a three-game interleague series beginning on Monday.

The Indians have lost six of their last eight, falling to 6.5 games behind the AL Central-leading Detroit Tigers while seeing their AL-worst road record drop to 16-27.

Having won five of their last six and seven of nine, the Los Angeles Dodgers went to bed on Sunday in a virtual tie atop the NL West with the now-slumping San Francisco Giants.


Home: Los Angeles Dodgers (47-37, 21-21 home)

Away: Cleveland Indians (39-42, 16-27 away)

Key Stat:

Something's gotta give in this series at Chavez Ravine.

The Dodgers are ten games over .500 in every other ballpark but Dodger Stadium, where they are currently playing exactly .500 ball.

Conversely, the Indians are 11 games under .500 away from the friendly confines of Progressive Field and eight games over in their own home digs.

Indians Notes:

On Saturday in Seattle, Indians starter Josh Tomlin became just the 21st pitcher in the past 100 years to post at least 11 strikeouts, with no walks and no more than one hit allowed in a complete-game shutout.

To put that into perspective, there have only been 23 recorded perfect game in MLB history.

"So, that's been done just as seldom as a perfect game?" Tomlin stated, via Jordan Bastian of "We won. That's all that matters to me."

While the 5-0 victory is the only thing Tomlin cares about, his brush with (almost) absolute perfection still remains one of the most impressive pitching performances in baseball history.

Dodgers Notes:

Just three weeks ago, the Los Angeles Dodgers were 9 1/2 games behind the surging San Francisco Giants and Don Mattingly was starting to see his manager's chair warm up a little bit.

That was so 21 days ago.

Thanks to another Clayton Kershaw gem in a 9-2 victory over the Cardinals on Sunday, coupled with a 4-0 Giants loss to the Reds by the Bay, and the NL West is dead even heading into this week's action.

"Everyone in here is confident in this team’s ability,” said Kershaw, via David Felton of the Whittier Daily News. “When we were struggling, everyone knew in the back of their minds we could do it. … It goes back to being a veteran team and not getting too high or too low.”

What to Watch For:

Which Justin Masterson (4-5, 5.03) will take the mound for the Indians on Tuesday against Josh Beckett (5-4, 2.11)?

If it's the Masterson that got shelled for five earned runs and seven hits in just four innings of work against the Diamondbacks this past Tuesday, the Indians could be in trouble.

However, if it's the Masterson who threw seven sterling innings against the Angels the start before, giving up just one run and four hits while striking out five, we could have a top-tier pitchers' duel on our hands.

What They're Saying About the Indians:

Red Sox hitting coach Colbrunn to return Monday (Yahoo! Sports)

Josh Tomlin doesn't get what all the fuss is about (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

What They're Saying About the Dodgers:

Clayton Kershaw leads Dodgers back into first place (True Blue LA)

Haren looks to keep Dodgers' torrid pace going (Official Site of the Dodgers)

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