There are a couple of different paths that a team can follow when they win a division title. For some, the battle will come down to the final few days of the season, while others will have things locked up long before the end of the year. You can argue the merits of both, although most would probably suggest that the tight race is the way to go, as those teams essentially end up playing playoff type baseball all the way to the end, better preparing themselves for the postseason along the way. The Cleveland Indians have not yet officially clinched the Central Division in the AL, but it really is just a matter of time before they do. It has been a canter to the finish line, which makes you wonder how they are going to be able to adjust to the pressure of the playoffs. They will get a very solid test this weekend when they welcome in a Tampa Bay Rays team that has been hot for a couple of weeks now. Game 1 of this series is set for Friday night in Cleveland, with the Indians coming in as the MLB odds favorites.
Rays vs Indians MLB Odds & Expert PredictionTampa Bay / ClevelandLive Stream: MLB LiveMLB Odds: Cleveland -240 / -1.5 (-110)
- Clear: 24°C/75°F
- Humidity: 67%
- Precipitation: 3%
- Wind: 9 mph NE
- Cloud Cover: 16%
- Type of Stadium: Open
Why bet on the Tampa Bay Rays?When you look at the Rays, you see a team that is 21 games back of the Red Sox in the AL East, which might automatically make you assume that they should be written off. That is not the case, though, as they are on a great run of form that has seen them win 9 of their last 10 games. It’s a positive run that has come a little too late to have any impact on the Wild Card race, but it’s also a sign that this team is not ready to just casually play out the remainder of the season without worrying about the results.What may come as a surprise here is that the Rays have just 5 wins less than the Indians this season, so while they may seem like a distant second to the playoff bound Indians, the reality is that they are not. It will be Tyler Glasnow (0-1, 3.80 ERA) who gets the start here.
Why bet on the Cleveland Indians?The Indians are playoff bound, but they are not heading into the postseason in any real style. They have a 14-game lead in the division, but when you consider that none of the other 4 teams in the Central are even close to hitting .500, you get a sense of just how clear the path has ben for Cleveland this season. In fairness, though, they have been very good at home this season, going 41-25, although they did lose 2 of 3 the last time that the Rays came to town.The win-loss record of the Indians may not be totally convincing, but you have to like what they are doing offensively, as they are top 5 in many of the major batting stats. As far as pitching goes, they will send Corey Kluber (16-7, 2.91 ERA) to the mound for this one.
Latest MLB Betting Trends
- Tampa Bay is 4-1 ATS in the last 5 games
- Tampa Bay is 9-1 SU in the last 10 games
- The total went OVER in 4 of Tampa Bay’s last 5 games
- Cleveland is 2-5 ATS in the last 7 games when playing Tampa Bay
- Cleveland is 17-8 SU in the last 25 games
- The total went UNDER in 5 of Cleveland’s last 6 games at home