MLB baseball handicappers and those making futures and props wagers are anxious to see how the American League Central will turn out with four legitimate teams that could win the division.
We went to Surprise, Az. to give a look at two of the contenders and needless to say, we were impressed by what we saw. The MLB Odds are absorbing for both squads for different reasons. Let’s examine each team and try and help you with your sports picks.
Cleveland – Projected Win Total 84 wins – 2nd in the AL Central
After rising from 68 to 92 wins in 2013 and making the wild card, there was thought of a natural regression and that was forecasted for the Indians last year. The preseason win total was 82 and for a good part of the season they looked and played like a .500.
However, Terry Francona is not ordinary manager and in his second season on Lake Erie, Cleveland surpassed market expectations and won 85 games. The Indians offense should again be a good group and adding Brandon Moss should enhance their performance. Having a healthy Jason Kipnis at second would help after he hit .240. His most telling stat was a .640 OPS, compared to .736 for his career. Stack Kipnis with Michael Brantley, Moss, Lonny Chisenhall, Carlos Santana and Yan Gomes and the Tribe can tally runs.
The starting pitching potential is strong with Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco, as long as Danny Salazar and Trevor Bauer do their part. Not everyone making MLB Picks is sold on closer Cody Allen, but 91 K’s in 69.2 innings is an indication of a lot of ability.
If you are looking for somebody to supplant Detroit as division champions, this would not be a bad choice in 2015.
Game Notes: Cleveland Indians vs. Kansas City Royals
Cleveland batters were spraying the ball all over the yard and had built a 4-1 lead after five innings. The only batter among the Indians starters that did not take good swings was Kipnis.
Shawn Marcum is attempting to make the Tribe’s roster and pitched three good innings. Who did not pitch well was Charles Brewer, who only retired one batter in surrendering six laser shots and a walk, amounting to five runs and he took the loss.