KC Royals: Evaluating Division Rival Cleveland Indians

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Cleveland Indians catcher Roberto Perez (55) and relief pitcher Anthony Swarzak (51) – Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

If the Cleveland Indians can wake up their bats in 2015, they could give the KC Royals and other AL Central opponents a run for the division title. The impetus driving the Cleveland Indians this year is their tough starting pitching rotation led by 2014 Cy Young Award Winner Corey Kluber.

Aside from the Jobu reference, Clevelands bats really are in the bottom half of the team MLB offensive statistics. Through April 25, the Indians are 21st in MLB in batting average with .234, 20th in slugging percentage with .364. In terms of OPS (the statistic which gained fame in Moneyball) the Indians are 22nd in MLB with .657.

These offensive statistics for Cleveland have culmanated in acquiring only 58 runs (26th in all of MLB) and averaging 3.625 runs/game. Considering the Royals’ pitching rotation, bullpen, and defense together are third in all of MLB only averaging 3.12 runs/game and fifth in allowed batting average at .224, this gives the Royals a decisive advantage on paper.

Next: Starting Pitching