What’s on Tap: Previewing Tuesday’s Action

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Indians starter Corey Kluber takes the hill tonight against the Astros, opposing right-hander Brad Peacock in a 7:10 PM EDT start at Progressive Field.

Kluber, 30, had an inconsistent first half of the season, entering the All-Star break with a 3.61 ERA. Though he won the 2014 American League Cy Young Award, he was maddeningly inconsistent last year, finishing with a 9-16 record and a 3.49 ERA, and it appeared to be more of the same through the first half of 2016.

Since the All-Star break, however, Kluber has been lights out. In his last nine starts, he has a 2.04 ERA with a 67/19 K/BB ratio in 61 2/3 innings. He now finds himself fourth in the AL in ERA at 3.09, behind only Aaron Sanchez (2.88), Jose Quintana (3.05), and Chris Sale (3.07). He’s right in the thick of things, potentially earning himself another Cy Young Award. Furthermore, Kluber has been the anchor of a faltering Indians rotation, which has a 4.58 ERA since the break. To name names, Danny Salazar has a 7.53 ERA since the break and Josh Tomlin has a 7.80 second-half ERA as well.

Kluber’s doing it in the middle of a pennant chase, too. The 79-57 Indians are 4.5 games up on the Tigers and 8.5 games up on the Royals in the AL Central. The Indians haven’t won the division since 2007 and haven’t been in the playoffs since 2013, when they lost the AL Wild Card play-in game to the Rays.

Kluber is on track to make six starts between tonight and the end of the regular season. Needless to say, they will all be important.

The rest of Tuesday’s action…

Atlanta Braves (Williams Perez) @ Washington Nationals (Gio Gonzalez), 7:05 PM EDT

St. Louis Cardinals (Luke Weaver) @ Pittsburgh Pirates (Ryan Vogelsong), 7:05 PM EDT

Toronto Blue Jays (Aaron Sanchez) @ New York Yankees (Luis Cessa), 7:05 PM EDT

Baltimore Orioles (Yovani Gallardo) @ Tampa Bay Rays (Jake Odorizzi), 7:10 PM EDT

New York Mets (Rafael Montero) @ Cincinnati Reds (Brandon Finnegan), 7:10 PM EDT

Philadelphia Phillies (Adam Morgan) @ Miami Marlins (Jose Urena), 7:10 PM EDT

Chicago Cubs (Jason Hammel) @ Milwaukee Brewers (Wily Peralta), 8:10 PM EDT

Detroit Tigers (Matt Boyd) @ Chicago White Sox (Miguel Gonzalez), 8:10 PM EDT

Kansas City Royals (Dillon Gee) @ Minnesota Twins (Ervin Santana), 8:10 PM EDT

San Francisco Giants (Jeff Samardzija) @ Colorado Rockies (Tyler Anderson), 8:40 PM EDT

Los Angeles Angels (Ricky Nolasco) @ Oakland Athletics (Zach Neal), 10:05 PM EDT

Arizona Diamondbacks (Shelby Miller) @ Los Angeles Dodgers (Ross Stripling), 10:10 PM EDT

Boston Red Sox (Clay Buchholz) @ San Diego Padres (Paul Clemens), 10:10 PM EDT

Texas Rangers (Martin Perez) @ Seattle Mariners (James Paxton), 10:10 PM EDT