- The Cleveland Indians’ average odds to win the AL Central have been shortened to +700
- The Indians have won six straight and have trimmed the Twins’ division lead to 5.5 games
- Is Cleveland a good bet to win the AL Central?
Don’t look now but the Cleveland Indians are back in the AL Central race. Considered an afterthought to win the Central just a month ago, the Indians reeled off six straight wins prior to the All-Star break and cut the Twins’ division lead to 5.5 games.
2019 American League Central Odds
|Chicago White Sox||+7500|
|Kansas City Royals||+500000|
*Odds taken 07/08/19
Their AL Central odds are still well behind Minnesota’s, but while Cleveland was red-hot prior to the break, the Twins had their worst 10-game stretch of the season.
Cleveland Looks Like a Contender
At the beginning of June the Indians were 11.5 games back of Minnesota and fresh off a dismal month of May. Since then, they’re 22-9 and have outscored their opponents 41-12 during their six-game winning streak.
— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) July 7, 2019
The offense is being paced by Francisco Lindor, who despite missing spring training and most of April, still made his fourth straight all-star game and Carlos Santana who’s enjoying a career season.
WALK-OFF CARLOS SANTANA
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) April 6, 2019
Santana ranks second in the AL in OPS and top-5 in slugging and runs. He’s on pace for a career high in home runs and RBI, and has made up for the disappointing first half by preseason MVP candidate Jose Ramirez.
Getting Production from Unlikely Candidates
While the offense has revved up over the last month, the pitching has been equally as impressive which is surprising given the amount of injuries their rotation has suffered. Corey Kluber, Carlos Corrasco and Mike Clevinger have started just 24 games combined due to injuries, leaving Jefry Rodriguez, Adam Pluko and Zach Plesac to pick up the slack.
— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) June 19, 2019
The trio has filled in admirably while Trevor Bauer and Shane Bieber have given the Indians a quality start nearly every time out. Bieber recently made his first all-star team, while Cleveland has won each of Bauer’s last six starts. Brad Hand has been dominant in the closer role and the Indians bullpen as a whole has a minuscule 0.73 ERA this month.
Cleveland Offers Way More Value Than Minnesota
Everything is clicking for the Indians and they finally resemble the team most experts expected before the start of the season. The production may be coming from different names than we’re used to, but the talent is there to make a postseason run especially once Kluber returns.
The Indians have picked up five games on the Twins in 19 days. pic.twitter.com/nHiszZaQsW
— Joel Hammond (@joelhammond) July 4, 2019
They currently hold the AL’s second wildcard and will kickoff the second half of the season with a 10 game home stand, beginning with a three game series versus the Twins. They’ve already cut Minnesota’s once lofty AL Central lead in half and there’s no reason they can’t eat into it more this weekend.
The opportunity cost to bet the Twins to win the division at -4000 is way too high, so if you’re looking to play a team from the Central, the Indians at +700 are the only logical choice.