The 2016 MLB season kicks off in just 10 days and the LT Profits Group are profiling every team to help with your MLB picks before opening day. Up next is the Cleveland Indians.
The start of the 2016 MLB season is now just 10 days away as it begins with three games next Sunday, April 3rd, followed by the rest of the league commencing play Monday, April 4th. In an attempt to assist with your MLB picks, we are profiling all 30 MLB teams in advance of opening day, and now our profiles now continue with the Cleveland Indians, who finished in third place in the American League Central in 2015 at 81-80.
To begin, here is a summary of the Cleveland betting statistics for the 2015 season. Note that these stats are always for regular season games only and that the units won or lost are based on betting one unit every game, with those units and Over/Under records based on the closing lines from Pinnacle Sports.
Cleveland Indians 2015 Betting Stats
The Indians could not match their surprising playoff run of two years ago last season, and they probably have their inexplicably bad play at home to blame. After being one of the best home teams in baseball the previous two seasons, the Indians went two games under .500 at Progressive Field last season at 39-41 while actually going three games over .500 at 42-39 on the road!
Next up, we take a look at the Indians’ statistical summary for the 2015 season.
2015 Cleveland Indians Team Statistics
|Runs per Game||4.16||18th|
The Tribe have one of the best young pitching staffs in baseball and the staff did its job well last year. Unfortunately the offense underachieved, resulting in most of the pitchers not having the records they deserved, especially 2014 Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber as he finished at 9-16 despite a 3.49 ERA and 245 strikeouts in 222 innings.
2016 Cleveland Indians World Series Futures
These rather moderate odds to win the World Series seem to be giving the Indians respect, and they are the second choice to win the American League Central behind the World Champion Kansas City Royals at most spots. That is a testament to the great Cleveland top three starters, with Kluber backed up by hard-throwing youngsters Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar, not to mention a nice bullpen that was fourth in the majors in ERA last season.
2016 Cleveland Indians Batting Forecast
The Tribe had one of the top rookies in the American League last season in Francisco Lindor, and he now tops the Cleveland ZiPS projections for 2016 with a forecasted 3.8 WAR. Whether or not he does lead the team depends on the health of Michael Brantley, who is probably the best all around player on the club but who may possibly not be back until early June following shoulder surgery.
Cleveland tried to fortify the disappointing offense with some serviceable additions in Mike Napoli, Juan Uribe and Rajai Davis, which is a nice start although neither of them is a real game changer, meaning the Indians could use some nice bounce-back seasons from the likes of Jason Kipnis and Carlos Santana.
2016 Cleveland Indians Pitching Forecast
The Cleveland starting rotation could be among the best in the Major Leagues this season with the Big Three of Kluber (4.3 WAR), Carrasco (4.0) and Salazar (3.2) combining for a projected 11.5 WAR according to ZiPS. Also, Trevor Bauer could be an excellent fourth starter if he could fulfill his potential, and you could do worse than having veteran Josh Tomlin as your fifth starter.
However, we do have some doubts about a bullpen that may have quite possibly overachieved last season. Closer Cody Allen came out of nowhere to get that job last year and we would like to see him do it again before being sold on him. Then, we are not quite sure what to make of a group consisting of Bryan Shaw, Zach McAllister and Austin Adams leading up to Allen. Did the Tribe bullpen do it with smoke and mirrors last year?