Indians marvelous streak shows they can match up with anyone
September 12, 2017 3:02 AM
by Ramon Scott
It didn’t take the second-longest winning streak over the last 50 years to convince the Cleveland Indians and their fans that they could seriously contend again for a World Series title.
The defending American League champions may have taken an arduous route to get to the top of the Central Division, but with an incredible run differential of around four and-a-half runs during their record-setting streak, the Tribe now knows they can matchup again with the Red Sox and Astros into late October.
The Indians had moved to around 2.5-to-1 to win the American League pennant at the end of the weekend, closely rated with the Astros, while the Red Sox were primarily getting around 3-1. Cleveland has moved to generally around 5-1 to win the World Series, sharing the same odds with the Astros.
Of course, the Dodgers, with all their current struggles, still rate as the 3-1 consensus favorite to win the Commissioner’s Trophy.
The Dodgers have had multiple long winning streaks of their own this season, but that seems a distant memory with their recent double-digit slide, especially with the way the Indians were able to steal the headlines during the opening week of the NFL season even in Cleveland, where many diehards from The Land still shift their focus come September out of habit.
The Washington Nationals seem to still rate the futures’ choice of sharps as the injury to Bryce Harper has kept the price reasonable. They still have an elite ace in Max Scherzer along with a top No. 2 starter in Gio Gonzalez.
Harper’s return date is still in doubt, though he has started some minor activity such as throwing. A return just in time for the postseason, even if limited, may not be unreasonable.
Will Cleveland’s monumental winning streak help them get past all these strong rivals in the postseason? Of the 26 teams that have had single-season winning streaks of 16 games or more in baseball history, only four have gone on to win the World Series.
Colorado Rockies (+108, 9o15) at Arizona Diamondbacks (Wed., 6:40): The Diamondbacks’ Patrick Corbin has won five of his last six starts and is 8-4 at home with a 3.31 ERA there. Colorado rookie German Marquez has a 3.90 ERA away from Denver and is up over six units for his backers, but has just one win to show for his last eight starts. Arizona’s Paul Goldschmidt returned from a minor injury and homered on Sunday.
Houston Astros (-109, 9.5o15) at Los Angeles Angels (Wed., 7:07): Tyler Skaggs hasn’t won in seven appearances since coming back to the Angels’ rotation. He has a 6.15 ERA at home, but is coming off a nine strikeout effort over six innings at OAK last out. The Astros’ Lance McCullers Jr. is coming off of his first start off a DL stint and the returns were positive, although hasn’t won in his last six outings and has a 4.78 ERA on the road.
Baltimore Orioles (+140, 10o15) at New York Yankess (Thu., 4:05): The Yankees' Masahiro Tanaka has a 3.56 ERA at home and holds this BAL lineup to around a .225 avg. in nearly 150 PAs. He had an uncharacteristic very poor start last time out. The Orioles’ Wade Miley now has a 5.27 ERA on the road. He has been a bit better over the last month, but still has a 1.66 WHIP.
Toronto Blue Jays (+120, 8.5o20) at Minnesota Twins (Thu., 5:10): Minnesota’s Jose Berrios has been a huge part of the team›s run into Wild Card playoff position. His 8-1 record at home with a 2.54 ERA has made him one of baseball’s most successful home hurlers. Toronto is using Brett Anderson here in his fourth start with the Jays, as he has a 5.90 ERA with a 1.61 WHIP.
St. Louis Cardinals (-105) at Chicago Cubs (Fri., 11:20): John Lackey might get the start here in preparation for the return of Jake Arrieta possibly on Saturday. Lackey is 2-1 with a 2.50 ERA in six career starts against the Cards and has a 3.67 ERA in the second half. Michael Wacha allows this Cubs group nearly a .325 average in over 100 PAs, but he has won his last three starts.
Boston Red Sox (-160, 7.5o15) at Tampa Bay Rays (Fri., 4:05): Chris Sale may have had a few of his lesser efforts of late, but he got right back into form with eight strikeouts over six innings in a win at home against these same Rays last Saturday. Jake Faria certainly has the talent and desire to give his best effort in this matchup, although he has lost his last three starts. Still, he has an ERA at home of 3.35 since entering the rotation.
Milwaukee Brewers (-133, 8.5o15) at Miami Marlins (Sat., 4:10): The Marlins’ Giancarlo Stanton is making this season memorable for Fish fans, as they send out Cuban Odrisamer Despaigne, who worked his way into a starting spot. He gave up six walks and five runs in Atlanta on Sunday. The Brewers are still fighting and have their ace here in Zach Davies, who has a stellar 8-2 mark with a 2.10 ERA on the road producing over 10 units for backers this year.
Kansas City Royals (+160, 9.5u15) at Cleveland Indians (Sat., 4:10): Carlos Carrasco has done his part in the Indians’ streak and then some, as he had a 1.90 ERA over his last six starts entering Monday’s outing against the Tigers. Kansas City’s Jason Hammel is about as mediocre as they come, but he has won three of his last four starts and has allowed these Tribe bats just a .241 mark over nearly 150 PAs.
Arizona Diamondbacks (-130, 8.5) at San Francisco Giants (Sun., 1:05): The Giants' Chris Stratton has had some small success against this expected Arizona lineup, holding them to a .195 mark over 35 ABs. Stratton is coming off a start last Monday at home against the Dodgers. Taijuan Walker goes for the Diamondbacks as he continues his finest season of his career and could be in line to start Game 1 of the NLDS should they get the spot and beat Colorado.
Los Angeles Dodgers (+118, 9u20) at Washington Nationals (Sun., 5): Gio Gonzalez has a pretty good track record against these Dodger hitters, holding them to a .161 avg. over 150 ABs, allowing just one home run. Kenta Maeda is the expected Sunday night starter, as we rank him as L.A.’s No. 5 right now. LA just looking for wins to rebuild some of the lost confidence after the long losing streak following a near record pace start.