AL Central Weekly Recap: The Cleveland Indians (2-3) are currently in rebuilding mode as this is the post- Francisco Lindor era. The Indians started the season by dropping their first two games against the Detroit Tigers due to the lack of run support. However, they did bounce back on Sunday in a 9-3 victory over the Tigers.
Aaron Civale went 7.0 innings strong, giving up three runs, and three walks with six strikeouts. After they dropped a game against the Kansas City Royals and won last night as Shane Bieber struck out twelve batters in 6.1 innings.
As expected 3B Jose Rameriz has been the team’s most consistent hitter, hitting a .350 avg. with two home runs. The Indians have the 9th best earned runs average but are 25th in scoring runs.
CHICAGO WHITE SOX
The Chicago White Sox (3-4) have the best odds to come out of the AL Central. The White Sox’s star shortstop was placed on the IL. The White Sox were only able to take one out of four games in the series against the Los Angeles Angels. Before the loss last night, the White Sox had two big wins against the Seattle Mariners.
The White Sox bullpen has struggled a bit as that was one of their weaknesses last season. Their bats have been average as they have the 14th best batting average as a team, 4th in runs scored, and 8th in home runs. The team should get back on track as they don’t have a tough schedule ahead this whole month.
The Detroit Tigers (3-3) made some good additions during the offseason. They opened up the season with two straight wins against the Cleveland Indians then lost the next two games. The last two games were close against the Minnesota Twins.
As expected the pitching staff was going to struggle as they have five pitchers who have an ERA over 12.00. On the positive side, Miguel Cabrera hit the first home run of the 2021 regular season and won in the 10th inning against the Twins on Tuesday.
KANSAS CITY ROYALS
The Kansas City Royals (3-2) could be a sleeper in this division as they made some key additions with a limited budget. The Royals started the season with two victories over the Texas Rangers by putting up a ton of runs in those two games.
Nicky Lopez currently has a .438 batting average, .474 OBP, and a .438 SLG. their star second baseman, Whit Merrifield, has been on an absolute tear, batting .400 batting average, .417 OBP, and a .900 SLG. Merrifield has three home runs and nine runs batted in through five games.
The Royals starting rotation has been solid, but the bullpen has really struggled as seven pitchers have above a 5.40 ERA in this very small sample. The Royals have the 4th best batting average and on-base percentage as a team. They are also 8th in home runs and 7th in runs batted in.
The Minnesota Twins (4-2) was just below the White Sox in the pre-season projection for the AL Central. The Twins took two out of three from the Milwaukee Brewers to open up their season. The team’s main concern was if the starting rotation can hold up as they struggle in the postseason due to their rotation being so thin.
Nelson Cruz has played better with age and went on hitting .471, .444 OBP, 1.059 SLG. Against the Tigers, on Monday he had two home runs. In one of the at-bats, he barely missed the foul pole but hit a home run on the very next pitch. Byron Buxton has also exceeded expectations by hitting .357, .438 OBP, and 1.143 SLG.
The Twins are 8th in batting average and 6th in runs scored. The Twins should have no problems in terms of the hitting, but pitchers like Jose Berrios and Kenta Maeda must build on their strong starts. If the team’s starting rotation can exceed expectations, look for them to be a bigger threat come playoff time.