Have the Cleveland Guardians finally turned a corner?

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Cleveland Guardians starting pitcher Shane Bieber delivers during the first inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals, Sunday, July 9, 2023, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Nick Cammett)

The Cleveland Guardians began to turn the corner in the final weeks before the All-Star break and began the unofficial second half of the season with a half-game lead over the Minnesota Twins in the AL Central.Cleveland will start their post-break stretch with consecutive road series against the Texas Rangers and Pittsburgh Pirates. The Guardians and Rangers are in a similar boat. Neither were thought to be favorites to win the World Series or even win the American League pennant, but both teams will likely have a say in the matter. Texas appears to be a solid bet to make the playoffs at -330, but the Guardians have seen their odds rise dramatically over the past few weeks and are now +154 at FanDuel Sportsbook to make the playoffs. If Cleveland can have a successful road trip this week don’t be surprised if those odds get closer to even money.As for the Guardians’ odds to win the AL Central, those have improved as well to +145, still slightly behind the Twins (-185), but with the rest of the teams in the Central considered long shots, it’s effectively become a two-team race.Cleveland remains a longshot to win the American League at +3000, a notch below the favorites like the Rays (+210), Astros (+440) and the Yankees (+900). The Guardians are +7500 to win the World Series, still among the bottom half of the majors in odds and lower than disappointing under .500 teams like the Padres (+400) and Mets (+6000).On the individual side of things third baseman Jose Ramirez just finished up another appearance in the All-Star Game and is having a solid season with a slash line of .289/.364/.506 with 14 home runs and 53 RBIs. He is a long shot in the American League MVP race at +8000, far behind the favorite Shohei Ohtani (-750).Shane Bieber remains on the board for the AL Cy Young Award, but at +20000 he’s unlikely to be a factor or get close to the favorite Framber Valdez (+220). With a strong second half of the season, Aaron Civale (3-2, 2,56 ERA) might be able to get on the board.

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