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Indians’ World Series Odds Get Worse as Pitching Injuries Pile Up

Corey Kluber warming up for the Cleveland Indians.
Corey Kluber and the Cleveland Indians haven't looked as strong in their quest to win another AL Central title. Photo by Erik Drost. (Wikimedia Commons) [CC License].
  • The Indians opened the season as a strong +1200 bet to win the World Series and -195 favorites to repeat as AL Central champs
  • Injuries to Corey Kluber and Mike Clevinger have decimated the Indians’ vaunted starting rotation
  • Riding a 10-1 run and baseball’s best home record, the Astros look to have found their groove 

The Cleveland Indians have struggled since opening the MLB season on an 8-3 run. Hobbled by injuries to Corey Kluber and Mike Clevinger that will keep the starting pitchers out of the lineup indefinitely, the Indians have struggled to keep pace with the Minnesota Twins in the race for top spot in the AL Central.

Now trailing the Twins by four games in the divisional standings entering Wednesday’s MLB action, the Indians have taken a tumble on the World Series futures at Bovada, where they now sit  with +2500 odds, well back of the short +1200 World Series odds the club sported prior to Opening Day

2019 World Series Odds

Team 2019 World Series Odds at Bovada
Houston Astros +350
Los Angeles Dodgers +450
New York Yankees +650
Chicago Cubs +900
Philadelphia Phillies +900
Boston Red Sox +1000
Tampa Bay Rays +1200
Milwaukee Brewers +1500
Minnesota Twins +1600
St. Louis Cardinals +1900
Cleveland Indians +2500

*Odds taken 05/15/19. Click on the link in the table above to see odds for all teams.

Tribe Opened as Favorites to Repeat as Divisional Champs

The Indians have been the class of the AL Central for the past three years, last season outpacing the second-place Twins by 13 games to claim a third straight divisional crown.

More of the same was expected this season, with Cleveland emerging during spring training as a -195 bet to once again finish atop the division despite reducing payroll by parting ways with veterans like Yan Gomes, Josh Donaldson, Michael Brantley, and Andrew Miller.

While the budget-conscious Indians declined to participate in the offseason free agent market, the club opened the season expecting to ride arguably the best starting rotation in the majors to the top of what has become the weakest divisions in baseball.

Injuries to Kluber, Clevinger Threaten Indians’ Postseason Hopes

However, with Kluber now expected to remain on the shelf as he recovers from a forearm injury, and Clevinger sidelined until at least June while he battles to overcome a back injury, the Indians have now lost six of 10 outings, and have tallied consecutive wins on just two occasions over their past 16 games.

The Indians were also forced to open the season without star shortstop Francisco Lindor, who missed the first 19 games of the season with an ankle injury suffered in Spring Training. While Lindor’s return is welcome, he has yet to regain the form that lifted him to career highs in 2018, when he had 38 home runs and 92 RBI.

Lindor has heated up in recent days, producing hits in nine of his past 11 outings to lift his average to a respectable .279. But the Indians’ moribund offense sits near the bottom of the MLB with just 150 runs scored and a meager .221 team average through 41 games.

The Indians’ moribund offense sits near the bottom of the MLB with just 150 runs scored and a meager .221 team average through 41 games.

And while the Indians remain an attractive +100 wager to rebound and claim a fourth straight AL Central divisional pennant, it is hard to envision this club emerging as a serious threat to win the World Series for the first time since 1948.

Astros Remain the Team to Beat

The Houston Astros currently sit atop the World Series odds as +350 favorites, and with good reason. After a somewhat streaky start, the Astros have found their groove during a dominating 10-1 run.

While the club is without former AL MVP Jose Altuve, who is currently on the 10-day IL, Houston hitters have racked up an eye-popping 8.45 runs per game during their current surge while Astros hurlers have limited opponents to two or fewer runs during that stretch.

Currently sporting an MLB-best 16-4 record on home turf, the Astros also look to be turning the corner after some shaky early-season performances on the road, and take a four-game win streak away from Minute Maid Park into Wednesday’s road date with the Detroit Tigers as heavy -360 chalk.

The Astros are already sporting a seven-game lead atop the AL West. If they can stay healthy, they look like a strong bet to claim their second World Series title in three years.

Pick: Astros (+350)

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