The Cleveland Indians sit atop the American League Central. Although, it doesn’t mean much if they aren’t still there are the end of the regular season. Whoever had the Indians to win the division, I tip my hat to you, because myself and 99% of other people didn’t have them winning it either. The Tribe avoided hitting the panic button with a win last night. They were in danger of losing another one, which would have made for their fifth loss in the last six games. The Detroit Tigers have been finding their stride, so there is no room for them to completely collapse away their lead in the AL Central. The Tigers are 4.5 games back now, with the Royals and White Sox trailing. This looked like a divisional race between the Royals and Tigers, but not so fast, the Indians have taken that spot right from underneath the Royals.
The Cavaliers are still celebrating their NBA Championship, and the Indians would love to party all the way through the offseason as well. The Cavs’ run was probable, but not so much the case with the Indians. The guy on the hump for the Indians today, Josh Tomlin, is a big reason why the team is in this superb position today. When Corey Kluber was struggling, Tomlin, along with Carrasco held the pitching staff up. Now with Kluber finding his groove, the Indians have a three-headed beast on the mound. The Tribe got the weekend started with a 5-3 win against the Athletics a night ago. It was yet another great pitching performance, this time from Trevor Bauer. Bauer is another pitcher who could prove to be valuable down the stretch. For today, it is Tomlin’s turn against the A’s. The struggling Dillon Overton will get the call opposite Tomlin.
Oakland Athletics vs. Cleveland Indians
Dillon Overton (1-1, 8.40 ERA) vs. Josh Tomlin (4-8, 3.48 ERA)
With a record of 47-56, the A’s would have to embark on a monster run to get into consideration for the postseason. Erasing last night’s loss with a win could be a tall order with Overton providing his services for Oakland. This is his chance to stake his claim in the rotation. Overton is getting the start today in place of Daniel Mengden. There is a bit of a bottleneck in the rotation between Mengden, Overton, and Jesse Hahn. It’s a carrousel which the Athletics are trying to figure out. Not necessarily for this season, as it appears it’s in the toilet, but they want a good look at what they’re working with for next season. Overton’s last start came on July 19th against the Astros, where he allowed 3 runs across 6.1 innings. He has two other starts to his credit in 2016, 8 runs allowed against the Giants and 3 against the Angels.
Tomlin is looking to bounce back from an uninspiring start in his last outing. Against the Orioles he gave up 4 runs, but he always has a knack of responding in a strong way. After allowing 5 runs to the Tigers on July 6th, Tomlim came back with a 1 run showing. On May 5th he surrendered 4 runs to the Rangers, and then responded by allowing 1 run against the Royals. I think the Indians are in a position to pound the A’s. The Tribe are 28-17 at home, one of the best home teams in baseball. I smell a blowout in favor of Cleveland today.
PICK: INDIANS -1.5 (+110)