Did you know that the Indians are in first place in the AL Central? The club just swept the Royals in a four-game series at home. Meanwhile, the White Sox were swept by the fourth-place Tigers, continuing a trend of Pale Hose incompetence dating back to nearly a month ago. And the Twins are, well, the Twins. So, the Central is thoroughly mediocre and seemingly up for grabs.
The Indians, seven games above .500, are slightly above average across the board. Their .324 weighted on-base average (wOBA) as a team ranks 10th in baseball despite Yan Gomes and 169 plate appearances of .578 OPS and Juan Uribe (155, .634). This is also despite Michael Brantley taking only 43 PA this season, and carrying Michael Martinez on the active roster.
Their rotation ERA of 3.98 is 11th-best in baseball, thanks in large part to Danny Salazar, whose 2.24 ERA over 11 starts isn’t quite representative of how he’s pitched thus far. And their bullpen ERA of 3.43 is 10th-best even with closer Cody Allen and set-up man Bryan Shaw owning mediocre ERA’s of 3.70 and 4.70, respectively.
In a tougher division, the Indians might not even be at .500 and could very well be in last place. But they’ve lucked out thus far as the Central has been a hot mess and the Twins have been siphoning wins to everybody. (To the White Sox and Tigers, six; to the Royals, five; to the Indians, two.)
The rest of Monday’s action…
Toronto Blue Jays (J.A. Happ) @ Detroit Tigers (Michael Fulmer), 7:10 PM EDT