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At +10000, Are The Indians Worth Risking To Win The AL Central?
As we head towards the middle part of August, we are about two months from the MLB playoffs getting underway. As teams fight for their postseason lives, it is a good time to reflect on what teams are contenders and pretenders.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the Cleveland Indians and determine if, at +10000, they are worth risking to win the AL Central.
How Have They Performed Thus Far?
At 53-54, the Cleveland Indians are second in the AL Central, but they are 9.5 games behind the Chicago White Sox. Despite being second in their division, they have just the 10th best winning percentage (.495) in the American League. Needless to say, with just 55 games remaining, they have a lot of work to do to catch Chicago.
In terms of the Wild Card, they are seven games behind the second spot, currently held by the Oakland A’s. To get to that point, though, they would have to leapfrog four other teams who are on the outside looking in as well.
While the Indians have been a respectable 27-23 at home, they have struggled this season on the road. They currently sit at 26-31 away from Progressive Field.
Cleveland is currently 4-6 in their last 10 games and has started out the month of August just 2-4.
By The Numbers
Offensively, the Indians have been in the bottom half in terms of scoring. They sit 19th, averaging just 4.28 runs per game. They are averaging 4.57 at home and 4.07 on the road.
They also rank 26th in batting average (.230), 18th in slugging percentage (.399), and 29th in on-base percentage (.297).
Between an inconsistent offense and pitching staff, they currently sit 19th in run differential at -37.
Their pitching staff, which has been brutalized with injuries this season, ranks 21st in earned run average at 4.53. Their scoring defense ranks 17th as they are allowing opponents an average of 4.63 runs per game.
Trade Deadline Pickups?
Unfortunately for Indians fans, they seemed to wave the white flag a bit at the trade deadline. The biggest move saw them ship second baseman Cesar Hernandez to the division-rival White Sox for a minor league left-hander.
The deadline also saw them trade Eddie Rosario to the Braves and Phil Maton to the Astros. Of note, in the Astros deal, they did receive speedy outfielder Myles Straw in return. Straw is 8 for 27 with a home run since being acquired.
Also worth noting, during the trade deadline drama, it was announced that their manager, Terry Francona, was stepping away from the team for the rest of the season due to health issues. DeMarlo Hale has taken over as interim manager.
One bright spot for the Indians is that they have one of the easiest remaining schedules left in baseball. In fact, their SOS (strength of schedule) puts them with the fifth easiest schedule as opponents have a combined winning percentage of just .485.
The team they are trying to catch are the White Sox, who rank 14th in terms of easiest SOS as their opponents have a combined winning percentage of .499.
While the White Sox have put together a solid team this year, the Indians do still have five games remaining with Chicago. Obviously, the easiest way to cut their deficit is to beat them straight up, so taking advantage of those five games is huge.
Luckily for Cleveland, all five of those remaining games are at Progressive Field. In 14 games thus far against the White Sox, the Indians are 7-7 against them.
Are They Worth It At +10000?
Unfortunately, the short answer to this question is no, the bet is not worth it. Fangraphs currently has Cleveland with a 0.3% chance to win the division, 0.1 percent to win the Wild Card, and a 0.0 percent chance to win the World Series.
As previously mentioned, it seems as if the Indians’ waved the white flag and surrendered the season at the trade deadline.
Despite another strong season from Jose Ramirez, who is currently hitting .254/.341/.525 with 24 home runs, 65 runs batted in, and 70 runs scored (leading the team in all three), it will be an early exit for Cleveland this year.
Stay away from betting the Indians to win the division, as their last game will likely be on October 3, in the regular-season finale against the Rangers.
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