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Brewers (53-72) @ Indians (58-66) series preview

The Indians haven't fare a whole lot better than the Brewers this year but they may be a lot better than their record indicates.

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

I still don't know how the Indians have been as bad as they have. They're eight games under .500 and last in their division. At 6.5 games back of the second wild card they pretty much have zero chance at making the playoffs. And yet their team doesn't appear to be that bad on the surface.

Their offense ranks 11th in baseball with a 98 wRC+. Breaking it down by month shows that the offense was terrible in April and June. They went 7-14 in April and 11-15 in June. So nearly half their losses came in those two months. That goes a long way towards explaining their poor season record.

Their rotation ERA hasn't helped either. Despite ranking 9th in fWAR this season they've carried a 4.07 ERA. That's 13th in baseball. It's 3.69 FIP is a bit better ranking 11th. The bullpen has been around the same level of effectiveness ranking 12th with a 3.32 ERA, 3.50 FIP, and 3.0 fWAR.

Offensive Spotlight

Jason Kipnis remains one of the games best second baseman. This season he's already been worth 4.9 fWAR. He's hitting 320/396/465 with 6 home runs and 11 stolen bases. He pairs that offense with good defense making him one of the better well rounded players in the game.

Pitching Match-Ups

Tuesday August 25, 6:10 pm CST: Wily Peralta vs Josh Tomlin

Tomlin: 13.1 IP, 22.5 K%, 4.1 BB%, .149 BAA, 0.68 WHIP, 2.03 HR/9, 44.4 GB%, 2.03 ERA, 4.85 FIP

Josh Tomlin has that journeyman profile. He's just good enough to stick around but not good enough to really make a name for himself. He was hurt for part of this season which is partly responsible for his innings being so low. We should also ignore most of his stats from this season due to the small sample size. While that HR/9 is super high right now, he has had a problem with home runs his entire career. It could be do to his low fastball velocity.

He throws a fastball (88-89), cutter, curveball, and change-up.

Wednesday August 26, 6:10 pm CST: Jimmy Nelson vs Carlos Carrasco

Carrasco: 158 IP, 27.7 K%, 5.1 BB%, .230 BAA, 1.06 WHIP, 0.80 HR/9, 50.5 GB%, 3.53 ERA, 2.79 FIP

If I remember correctly Carrasco has had some problems this season and was even optioned to AAA for a short time before getting recalled after an injury forced the move. Outside of that he's still been really good this year. Yet I don't hear him talked about that much. It can't help being overshadowed by Corey Kluber. But if you look at their numbers, they're remarkably similar.

He throws a fastball (94-95), slider, change-up, and curveball.

Statistics courtesy of FanGraphs