American League Central Preview: Can Anyone Stop the Tribe?
#1 Cleveland Indians
After falling just one game shy of becoming World Series champions, the Cleveland Indians immediately moved past that and look to be the class of the American League again in 2017. Cleveland has truly built itself something close to a super team in the past two years or so. Acquiring the best relief pitcher in the game Andrew Miller last season, and signing free agent power hitter Edwin Encarnacion this past offseason
Those two moves solidified the AL Central for the Indians and will indeed (barring a miracle) run away with this division. The starting pitching for Cleveland is quite possibly its best strength and weakness. A rotation headed by former Cy Young award winner Corey Kluber and backed up by strikeout specialists Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar, Cleveland’s pitching will keep them in almost every game in 2017.
They have also formed a three headed monster in the back of their bullpen as well. The aforementioned Miller setting up games along with Bryan Shaw, and closer Cody Allen closing things down at the back end. If Cleveland appeared to have one weakness last season it would be their starting lineup.
Next: Carlos Rodon Out 5-6 Weeks Due to Injury
That weakness has now converted into a strength as the Tribe will receive (hopefully) a full and healthy season from Michael Brantley, and all-star level contributions from Encarnacion, Francisco Lindor, Jason Kipnis, and Carlos Santana. While the Cubs are considered a super team in the National League, two time World Series winning manager Terry Francona has the team he needs to go deep into October once again. And it all starts with dominating in the AL Central.