The Cleveland Indians visit the Houston Astros on Sunday night. The contest begins at 7:08 pm central. Cleveland is 22-22 on the year, good enough for first place in the seemingly weak American League Central division. Meanwhile, Houston stands at 29-18 so far this year. That record means they are currently in first place in the American League West division. Carlos Carrasco will take the hill for Cleveland. Carrasco has had a successful 2018 campaign so far, sporting a 5-2 record combined with a 3.66 ERA. He will look, in this game, to build on his already good stats.
Lance McCullers Jr. will toss it for the Astros. McCullers has earned stats nearly identical to those of Carrasco. McCullers has the same record, at 5-2, and a 3.63 ERA. Carrasco also has 57 strikeouts, while McCullers has 58. Houston is favored in this matchup: at -140.
Cleveland is in playoff position, despite their .500 record. This speaks volumes, of course, about the division in which they play. The AL Central consists of them, Detroit (20-25), Minnesota (18-23), Kansas City (14-31), and the Chicago White Sox (12-30). It’s safe to say that, at this point, Cleveland’s division is the weakest in baseball. This would make many question whether Cleveland would even have 22 wins if they played in a different division. This series against the world champions could prove to be a proving ground for Cleveland’s status as one of the elite teams worthy of the postseason.
Despite only playing in half of Cleveland’s games, Erik Gonzalez has been hitting it will for them. Gonzalez is hitting .361 which could count him among the hottest hitters in the game. He has also driven in 7 runs, while crossing the plate 7 times himself. Cleveland will be counting on him to provide some offense against the elite Astros.
Having earned the status of world champions, any team facing off against Houston knows that they are in for a challenge.
Unsurprisingly, Jose Altuve is leading the charge for Houston. He is hitting .312 through 47 games that he has played in. He is also having a good year with his power numbers with a .418 slugging percentage. One measure of a hitter’s performance during big moments in a game is the number of runs batted in. Altuve has batted 20 runs in so far this year. He is the man that Houston wants to have at the dish with the game on the line. Look for the Astros to do everything they can to get men on base when Altuve is up to bat.
Other players to watch are George Springer and Carlos Correa. They can always impact the game offensively.
Astros top Indians
The Indians certainly aren’t a bad team, but there is some question as to how good they are. They have a .500 record in the weakest division and baseball, and that doesn’t exactly spell a good game against the world champions. It would be tough to bet against Houston in this one. Take Houston at -140.
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- Bet on the Cleveland Indians +125
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