MLB Opening Day Countdown Series – Cleveland Indians

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Cleveland Indians

2017 Record: (102-60) 1st in AL Central

Off Season Transactions:

Lost Jay Bruce to Mets in Free Agency.

Lost Carlos Santana to Phillies in Free Agency

Lost Bryan Shaw to Colorado Rockies in Free Agency.

Acquired Yonder Alonso in Free Agency.

Projected Starting Rotation:

Corey Kluber – This guy has electric stuff and maybe the best slider I have ever seen. He is an elite pitching option on every slate he pitches and I have pitched him over guys like Kershaw and Scherzer multiple times. I love this guy.

Carlos Corrasco – He has really good strikeout stuff as well. He has massive upside but he is also risky because he has had stretches where he can get hit. The upside is so high though that it makes him an option on every slate. Just make sure you are aware of the risk.

Trevor Bauer – I liked pitching this guy last year. He is elite against righties so preferably pitch him against right handed heavy lineups. He has high upside with his strikeout stuff.

Josh Tomlin – He isn’t a guy I love to pitch but I can pitch him in smaller slates or in the right situation. He also isn’t a guy that you’re going to want to target hitters with all that much. One of those guys that kind of makes a game a cross out for the most part.

Danny Salazar – Massive upside but massive risk as well. He is another guy who you will really want to target when facing right handed heavy lineups because he posted a 37% strikeout percentage vs right handed hitters last year. Just know that he is risky as well.

Bullpen:

One of the best bullpens in the league if not the best with Andrew Miller and Cody Allen at the back end who can throw the 7th, 8th, and 9th if they can get 6 innings out of the starting pitcher and with this staff there is a great chance. They did lose Bryan Shaw to Colorado who was a great arm out of the pen.

Starting Lineup:

Francisco Lindor (SS) – This dude is awesome and one of my favorite players in the MLB. He is a switch hitter who hits better for average from the right side and more power from the left side but that isn’t to say he has no power from the right side, it’s fairly similar. He has stolen base ability and hits at the top of the order with guys behind him who can drive him in.

Jason Kipnis (2B) – He is a decent option when it comes the 2nd base position. Not a guy with a whole bunch of upside but has the ability to hit it out of the ballpark. Was hurt some last year so I expect him to have a better year this year.

Jose Ramirez (3B) – He is a really good hitter and like a lot of the Indians lineup he is a switch hitter. He has really similar numbers from both sides of the plate so he is really evenly in play no matter what handness the pitcher he is facing is. You will want to roster him especially when he gets on his heaters.

Edwin Encarnacion (1B) – Massive upside with Edwin here as he can go double dong in every game he plays. He actually hit better vs right handed pitching last year so keep that in mind.

Michael Brantley (OF) – He is a guy I find myself never really rostering outside of stacks because he is a little too expensive for my liking. He is a guy who hits for average but doesn’t have much power upside at all.

Yonder Alonso (1B) – A power hitter with upside who you are only going to want to take when he is facing right handed pitching because he is brutal vs left handed pitching which makes sense as he is a lefty.

Lonnie Chisenhall (OF) – He has good upside and is a great play when he is a cheap option but at times the sites will price him up when he is hitting well. You’ll want him when he isn’t going to be popular, never really like a chalky Chisenhall. If you ever want to differentiate an Indians stack you don’t included Chisenhall because he is most likely on most of them.

Bradley Zimmer (OF) – He had a decent stretch at the end of last year with a couple monster games where he hit a couple home runs but he is a guy who strikes out a lot and doesn’t hit for much power. I want to see more consistency from him before I start considering him.

Yan Gomes/Roberto Perez (C) – Good options on at Catcher when you want to punt. Perez has more home run potential and upside, but Gomes is more of a consistent hitter who can drive in runs.

Playing Field:

Progressive Field

Ball Park Factor- 14th

A very neutral ballpark. It isn’t going to favor the hitters or the pitchers, so not much of a boost here for anyone.

“Must Knows” of the Cleveland Indians going into 2018 MLB DFS:

Keep an eye on how the losses the Indians took in Free Agency impact the way this lineup performs. Jay Bruce and Carlos Santana were huge parts of this offense last year and they are now being replaced by Yonder Alonso and Bradley Zimmer.