Going into the season, the Cleveland Indians knew that they could count on their starting rotation and bullpen whenever their offense struggled. To start the year, the rotation has left a little to be desire, but lately, No. 1 and No. 2 starters Corey Kluber and Carlos Carrasco have been dominant. For their efforts in the first half of the season, Kluber and Carrasco have the third- and seventh-best odds to win the American League Cy Young Award at season’s end, according to Vegas Insider.
Prior to going to the disabled list for a back injury, Kluber was struggled to start the season. Since he returned from the DL, the ace has been nothing short of dominant. He has a 7-3 record with 123 strikeouts and two complete games while holding a 2.80 ERA. Whether it was truly a back injury or just that Kluber needed the rest, it worked:
- Prior to going to the DL: Six starts, 3-2, 41 strikeouts, 5.06 ERA, .262/.323/.476 opposing slash line in 37.1 innings
- After the DL: Eight starts, 4-1, 82 strikeouts, 1.29 ERA, .156/.205/.208 opposing slash line in 56 innings
Carrasco has been nothing sort of consistent so far. Although his ERA is a little higher than he wants it to be, the right-hander has a 10-3 record with 114 strikeouts and a 3.44 ERA (3.41 FIP) in 104.2 innings.
The Indians rotation seems to be playing their best, and even if the lineup is in a struggling at times. The main reason why the rotation is doing so well on the mound is due to both Kluber and Carrasco. Not only does the bullpen know that they will most likely not have to pitch as much, but the lineup knows that they won’t have to score as many runs with them two on the mound either.
If the rotation continues to pitch well, the Indians will run away with the division. Through the first half of the season, the rotation is one of the best in baseball by several key metrics.
Indians AL starting rotation ranks
Top 3 pitch value by staff
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With Chris Sale’s dominance and the fact that Houston is on top of the AL by a wide margin, it may be tough to catch both him and Dallas Keuchel. Then again, if the Indians can put up a fight against Houston, Kluber may just have what it takes to win the AL Cy Young if he continues his dominance.
The top 10 odds:
- Chris Sale, Red Sox: 2-to-5
- Dallas Keuchel, Astros: 11-to-2
- Corey Kluber, Indians: 8-to-1
- Jason Vargas, Royals: 12-to-1
- Lance McCullers, Astros: 14-1
- Craig Kimbrel, Red Sox: 20-to-1
- Carlos Carrasco, Indians: 25-to-1
- Luis Severino, Yankees: 25-to-1
- James Paxton, Mariners: 33-to-1
- Ervin Santana, Twins: 33-to-1