Have LA Angels done enough this off-season to make playoffs?
By David Rice
The Cleveland Indians had a rough first half of the 2017 season, but they seemed to put it altogether in the second half winning an AL record 22 straight games. They marched into the AL Playoffs as the favorite to return to the World Series where they had just barely missed winning a title in 2016 to the Chicago Cubs.
The Indians easily dispatched the Yankees in the first two games and seemed primed to move on to the ALCS when the Yankees pulled off an epic three-game comeback winning the series 3 games to two.
The Indians also are built on pitching with a strong line-up to back them up. Corey Kluber and Carlos Carrasco are a a great one-two punch winning 18 and 17 games in 2017. Kluber won his second Cy Young Award in the process. The Indians also have Josh Tomlin who was injured part of 2017, but he is still a solid #3 starter. Then you have the egimatic Trevor Bauer who also won 17 games in 2017 and your rotation is pretty much set. Then when you add up and coming righty Danny Salazar and Mike Clevinger to the mix you can make a case that the Indians staff may be the best in the AL.
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Bullpen wise Andrew Miller is still one of the best in baseball along with closer Cody Allen the back end of the Indians bullpen is solid. Zach McAllister, Dan Otero, and Tyler Olson are among the names that will be in charge of getting the ball to Miller and Allen which is a pretty good group.
Hitting wise you have star shortstop Francisco Lindor, 3B Jose Ramirez, DH Edwin Encarnarcion, 2B Jason Kipnis and newcomer Yonder Alonso making a formidable line-up that scored a lot of runs in 2017 and looks to do the same in 2018.
So the Indians are definitely the odds on favorites to win the AL Central and are another team that it will be tough for the Angels to beat.