At +2000 betting odds to win the 2016 World Series, the Cleveland Indians are right where they should be. They have a bunch of underrated grinders on a deep pitching staff led by Corey Kluber.
In Need Of Run Support
I'm not going to say that Corey Kluber (9-16, 3.49) pitched as good last year as he did in 2014, but even at his worst, he still put up a spectacular ERA, held opposing hitters to a .231 BA and striking out 245 batters in 222 innings.
If that's his worst, it just show's how good he really is. Let's not forget that he didn't receive a ton of run support and it was a different story at home, where he pitched a 2.83 ERA.
Kluber was also a major foe concerning National Leaguers as they didn't know how to handle him. In 31 1/3 innings, he had a 1.44 ERA. That could come in handy if the Tribe make it to the post-season. I expect Kluber to comes out strong this season. It will be up to the offense to provide him with that much needed support or we'll see a lot of 2-1 and 1-0 games.
Carrasco and Salazar
Flying under the radar are the #2 pitcher Carlos Carrasco (14-12, 3.63) and the #3 guy, Danny Salazar (14-10, 3.45 ERA). These are two guys that will provide Cleveland with a ton of innings and it will be less tasking on the Indians bullpen.
Both pitchers pitched in the neighborhood of 200 strikeouts, had tremendous control, and we're tough for the opposition to get hits off of. The only difference is that Carrasco fared better on the road and Salazar was a better pitcher at home.
Ideally, a team would like for their starting pitcher to be solid at home and on the road or at least reliable in their own ball park. Carlos Carrasco will need to shake off the butterflies at the Jake otherwise Salazar could easily move up a spot in the rotation due to his reliability. Nonetheless, these pitchers are a great combination to have to back up Corey Kluber. Cleveland isn't lacking in the pitching department.
At 11-12 with a 4.70 ERA, starter, Trevor Bauer didn't have a fantastic season, but he's definitely acceptable in his spot in the rotation. He was an innings eater and kept the Tribe in the ball game.
Holding opposing hitters to a .232 batting average, Bauer was no pushover. It's that old two worded theme “run-support” that didn't do his record any favors and he's a .500 pitcher at worst. We should see a slight improvement from Bauer this season. He certainly has been there and can handle the pressure.
Along with Bauer, young Cody Anderson closes out the Cleveland starters and he also pitched well. While Anderson isn't a guy that's going to strike anyone out, the 6 foot 4, 235 pounder knows how to get hitters out thru the air and on the ground. He was 7-3 with a 3.05 ERA in 15 starts last season. Cleveland would be happy if they got the same results from Anderson this season.
Cleveland is a team with one of the most well-balanced pitching staffs in the majors which helps their Future MLB odds. I don't see many weaknesses. It's up to their offense to hold up their end of the deal for this team to be a winning baseball club & a winner when making your upcoming MLB picks.