CLEVELAND, Ohio- The Cleveland Indians will welcome in the Texas Rangers on Monday and attempt to put a stop to their rough stretch they're currently on. Cleveland is 2-4 in their last six games and has been struggling on the pitching side. They'll look to Trevor Bauer to snap their cold spell on the mound in the first of three against Texas.
The Rangers are 3-3 in their last six games and have split their previous two series against Oakland and Toronto. Left-hander Cole Hamels will take the bump in this showdown against Bauer.
Let's look at the three keys to a victory amidst the Tribe's longest homestand of the season.
1. Relaxing On The Mound- The Tribe's pitching hasn't been too good lately. Cleveland's arms have been the reason for extended success over the last few years and this year is no different despite the rocky run currently.
Trevor Bauer will head to the hill for the fifth time this year. Bauer is 2-2 with a 2.41 ERA and has started to show more flashes of what he can become. The third starter for the Tribe has kept the ball in the park this year, something that will really help against Texas on Monday. The Indians bullpen will try to garner some rest after working extensively over the weekend against Seattle and a longer start from Bauer will help that cause.
2. Follow Yonder- Tribe first baseman Yonder Alonso was brought in with high expectations as the replacement for Carlos Santana. This far into the 2018 campaign, Alonso is on pace to surpass the expectations set.
Not only is Alonso leading Cleveland with eight home runs but he also is the team's leader in RBI in 19. He's been the middle-of-the-lineup burst that is needed while Edwin Encarnacion figures out his swing. And for the Indians, the offense would be smart to continue following the slugger's lead while they weave through the early portions of the season.
3. Making The Most Of The Homestand- This is the longest homestand the Indians have in 2018. Cleveland has only won two games and half of the visit at Progressive Field is over. To steal a line from the Cav, the Tribe will need to do "Whatever It Takes" to pick up some victories in front of their home fans. These games could be vital when we look back in September.
Texas and Toronto will finish this homestand and Cleveland will need to string some wins together before hitting the road again.