For the Cleveland Indians, it must feel like just yesterday that they were in the World Series. If you ask me, it feels like they were in the World Series the other day, so I would say that they are still trying to get over what transpired against the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs snapped their 100+ year old World Series drought at the expense of the Indians.
The circumstance surrounding the Cubs’ championship was so immense, that you are going to have a hard time finding people who remember who they beat. Well, other than Indians’ fans that is. The saying that nobody remembers second place is certainly true in sports. It’s something that the Indians have probably discovered this past winter.
It was an improbable run to the World Series for the Indians, who weren’t even favored to finish 2nd in the AL Central, let alone win the division and reach the World Series. The Royals and Tigers were viewed as the two contenders, with the Indians a distant 3rd. If you ask me what the Indians yearly outlook looks like, I’d speculate that we’re going to see some regression from this ball club.
For the Rangers, they watched their postseason go up in flames against their new found rival, the Toronto Blue Jays. I expect some more fireworks from the Rangers and Blue Jays when they meet this season.
A healthy Yu Darvish will be key for the Rangers in 2017. The Rangers generally kept their cards close to them this offseason. The Indians on the other hand, went out and acquired the biggest prized possession. Edwin Encarnacion took the money to become an Indian, after swatting 42 HRs as a Blue Jay in 2016.
It was looking like Jose Bautista was on the way out of Toronto as well, but he ultimately signed on for another year. The Tribe are hoping he is the guy to get them over the hump, which would be winning a World Series.
I never really like the formula of throwing money at a player and hoping for the best, and like the Indians as a whole, I could see some regression from Encarnacion after signing that generous contract. There was no MLB pick from us yesterday, after the Tigers and White Sox were rained out. Let’s look for our first winner, with our Indians vs. Rangers pick below.
Cleveland Indians vs. Texas Rangers Pick
Carlos Carrasco (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. Martin Perez (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
Corey Kluber was rocked in his first start of the season yesterday against the Rangers on Opening Day. Kluber had a slow start to last year as well, over about the first month of the year, and then he torched everything in his way at the plate. In other words, I wouldn’t read too far into his bad start. That pretty well goes for any player and team, though.
It isn’t easy pitching in Texas for most pitchers, either. Carlos Carrasco will do his best to tame the Rangers’ lineup tonight in Arlington. He posted a 3.32 ERA a season ago, surpassing his mark of 3.63 in 2015. However, he fought injuries in 2016, and is nearing 30 years old.
It’d be difficult for him to match his ERA of 3.32. The current Rangers’ lineup has hit him for an average of .297. Note that while his ERA went down, he allowed more dingers a year ago, along with more fly balls. Fly balls can be a disaster here in Arlington against the Rangers.
Texas counters with Martin Perez on the hump. He can be a hit and miss hurler. Last season he posted a 4.39 ERA and 1.41 WHIP, which is around his career average. There is no reason to believe that we won’t see runs scored this evening in Texas. Something similar to yesterday should be in the fold, with the OVER cashing us a pick on Tuesday night.
PICK: OVER 8.5 (-110)