On the season for those betting baseball, you’re always friendly MLB handicapper has been doing his job for readers at 31-14, +13.35 units. On Sunday, we go after another winner being televised on TBS.
After playing better than average baseball since the All-Star break, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim beginning August 4th started losing and have been taking a real beating sense. Cleveland on the other hand has been mostly a .500 club since the break and has seen Detroit make a run at them in the AL Central, only to fall back in recent days.
If you have been a fan of watching Jered Weaver (8-9, 5.19 ERA and 1.47 WHIP) like this handicapper, this is not easy on the eyes. Weaver was never a hard thrower, but early in career owned low 90’s fastball and a quality variety of breaking pitches, along with plus-plus changeup (scouts talk). Those days are in the rearview mirror and today he barely manages to get by on guile and pitching knowledge. Weaver has only struck-out 67 batters in 128 1/3 innings, while permitting 154 hits, 25 which have cleared the fence.
Trevor Bauer (8-5, 3.88, 1.32) will never be the ace of a staff, but with each passing season, the still just 25-year old is making annual improvements. Surrounded by an excellent supporting cast of starting pitchers, Bauer has been reducing his walks, trusting his fastball more and is on pace for career-lows in on-base percentage allowed and slugging percentage surrendered. Under the guidance of manager Terry Francona, he’s just learning to pitch and allow batters to make outs.
Seeing Cleveland in spring training, you knew the pitching was in place, but where was the offense going to come from? To the Indians credit, it has been a team effort. Cleveland averages 5.1 runs per game on the season, thanks to a plethora of continual base-runners. Jose Ramirez, Tyler Naquin, Francisco Lindor, Jason Kipnes and even Lonnie Chisenhall have OBP’s percentages at or north of .350, with Mike Napoli and Carlos Santana being the big boppers. This has all been accomplished without Michael Brantley, their best bat coming into the season.
Outside of Mike Trout and a resurgent Albert Pujols, the Halos 4.6 runs a game is rather hallow.