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Cleveland Indians Betting - Cleveland Looking To Miss Playoffs Again

Posted by Dale “Skip” Lalonde on 3/29/2012 3:45:34 PM
cleveland indians betting

The Cleveland Indians ran out of steam last season, losing the American League Central Division to the Detroit Tigers. What does the new season have in store for the Tribe? We'll find out soon enough.

If you are interested in betting on baseball this season, you should bet on the Cleveland Indians to finish closer to the middle of the American League Central Division than the top. The Minnesota Twins suffered through a very difficult and injury-plagued 2012 campaign, meaning that they should be better this year. The Chicago White Sox remain an enigmatic and inconsistent club, having failed to sustain much of any momentum after the 2005 World Series championship. The heavy favorite in the A.L. Central is the Detroit Tigers, the team that has to stand out as a very attractive choice for legions of sports betting experts. Detroit has made some high-profile acquisitions, particularly first baseman Prince Fielder, that will make it very hard for Cleveland to overthrow the Tigers over the course of the next six months.

The big reason why Cleveland is not likely to finish particularly close to the very top of its division is that it can't hit with power in the American League. The National League will enable a light-hitting team to play deep into October, but the A.L. simply demands a copious supply of big bats, and the Indians just don't have them. The only three players who have hit with any appreciable degree of consistency this past spring are Chin-Soo Choo, Travis Hafner, and Shelley Duncan. Everyone else in the lineup has performed rather poorly. Yes, Spring Training does not count toward regular season standings, but Cleveland's performance at the plate has been so markedly dreary that it's hard to find enough reasons to trust this team over a 162-game schedule.

It's true that the new 2012 playoff format will encompass 10 teams, five in each league, meaning that a second wild-card team will now be part of the postseason. This will give Cleveland and other not-quite-annual playoff teams the chance to sneak into October with 85 or 87 wins. If the non-division winners in the American League do not produce excellent seasons, it's very possible for a team to win fewer than 90 games and still crash the postseason party. This will have to be Cleveland's path to the playoffs, because the Tribe do not have dynamic hitters, particularly on their infield. Only Asdrubal Cabrera at second base is a bat that conveys a certain degree of fear to opposing pitchers.

Speaking of pitchers, when you do your homework and assess your sports bet on this team, you'll find that Derek Lowe is the most high-profile acquisition this team made in the offseason. That's not particularly impressive, given that Lowe is a solid No. 4 starter, maybe a third starter at best. Ubaldo Jimenez, acquired from the Colorado Rockies last season, has a weaker arm and is nothing close to the pitcher he was in Colorado. An 85-win season would seem to be a good accomplishment for this team. Something close to a .500 finish and a third-place showing in the A.L. Central seems likely for this ballclub.

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