As of Thursday, the Cleveland Indians have been on fire. Winners of four straight and eight of their last 10, they are in a three-way tie for first place in the AL Central. However, that doesn't mean that everything is in their favor this season.
Last week, the Indians were No. 17 in ESPN's MLB power rankings. Despite their winning record as of late, ESPN only bumped them up just three spots to No. 14 this week. There's no way around it: that's just flat out disrespectful.
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Even though the Indians have an identical 16-13 record as the Chicago White Sox and Kansas City Royals, they're still ranked below them in the power rankings. The White Sox and Royals are ranked No. 7 and No. 13 respectively.
One aspect that has led to the Indians' success this season is their discipline. Cleveland's batters are averaging just 8.48 strikeouts per game (9th best in the majors). At the same time, one thing that might be holding them back from climbing up the power rankings is their team batting average. The Indians are hitting at an embarrassing .209 (28th), which may indicate that they're a bit too passive at the plate.
FanDuel Sportsbook has given the Indians +4500 odds to win the World Series. That's far from being a legitimate contender, so it's a good thing there are a lot of games left to be played to improve their odds.
At the end of the day, ESPN's disrespectful placement of the Indians on their power rankings may just fuel Cleveland to be that much better.
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