The Cleveland Indians’ winning streak may have come to an end, but the Indians could just be getting going. Records are great and all, at the end of the day though, it’s about winning a World Series. Their 22-game streak was impressive, no doubt about it. However, without a World Series it will feel just a bit hollow. They came short against the Cubs, but are nevertheless going to be in contention again in 2017. The Royals had to make another attempt after losing to the Giants in 2014 and made good on their next opportunity. We’ll see if the Indians will be able to play a similar song at the end of October. With their 22-game winning streak, the Indians have propelled to the top as World Series favorites.
The Tribe have already clinched the American League Central, but there is some unfinished business to still take care of. At 93 wins and the Astros at 91, the race for the American League and home field advantage throughout the postseason is alive. It isn’t worth tiring any arms out over, but there is at least something to play for down the stretch. Over in the American League West, the Astros have clinched their division as well. The only thing left to decide is the wildcards in the American League. It’s looking more and more likely that the Yankees will clinch, as they added to their lead with a five-game cushion.
The Yankees are still trailing the Red Sox by 3 games and are running out of time. It feels like they’ve been stuck in mud when it comes to that race. The Yankees win, the Red Sox win and the Yankees don’t get anywhere. Meanwhile, the Twins are 1.5 games up on the Angels for the final wildcard. The play-in game would consist of the Twins and Yankees at Yankee Stadium. The Yanks are heating up at the right time, but all it takes is one loss to be gone in a play-in game format. Exciting times around baseball. Let’s find a winning pick in Anaheim.
Cleveland Indians vs. L.A. Angels Pick
Mike Clevinger (10-5, 3.21 ERA) vs. Tyler Skaggs (2-5, 4.37 ERA)
Despite having their 22-game winning streak snapped, the Indians jumped right back on the train and came back with two wins in a row. They are now 24-1 in their last 25 games. If only they could carryover some of those wins towards the postseason. Perhaps the hottest pitcher in baseball takes the hump tonight for the Indians. No, it isn’t Corey Kluber, it’s Mike Clevinger. Clevinger enters with an ERA of 0.51 and only 1 earned run allowed in his last four outings. That is 23.2 innings of only 1 run surrendered.
The question is whether Clevinger can keep this going. I think like the rest of the team, people are wondering if the Indians are peaking too early. The Tribe really don’t want to mess with variance in October. Clevinger has also been earning his money on the road. Note that he owns a 2.56 ERA and 1.19 WHIP away. Tyler Skaggs returned on August 5th, his first action since April. Skaggs was expecting on having a breakout year for the Angels, but injuries derailed that plan. He is coming off no runs and 3 hits allowed against the Astros on the 13th. The Angels have gone UNDER 7-3 in their last ten matchups. Likewise, the Indians have gone 8-2 to the UNDER. The UNDER is also 7-3 in Skaggs’ last ten starts at home. Banking on a low-scoring game with that Indians’ bullpen is always a winning proposition, too. I like a pick on the UNDER here at 8.5.
PICK: UNDER 8.5 (-115)