If the season ended today, one week early, the Cleveland Indians would be in the postseason as a Wild Card team. Going into the season, I would have expected the Indians to have an “E” next to their name in the standings by this point. The Tribe have turned it around this season after only having 68 wins last year. It seems as if everything is coming together in Cleveland. Off season acquisitions Michael Bourn and Nick Swisher have certainly added to this team, but what really sticks out with the Tribe is their young talent coming together this year, even with Asdrubal Cabrera having an off year. The young core of Michael Brantley, Jason Kipnis, Carlos Santana, and Yan Gomes have produced this season, and give the Indians hope for next year. With one week left in the regular season, can the Cleveland Indians hold onto their Wild Card spot?
The schedule certainly favors the Indians, who wrap up a four-game set with the Astros today, followed by a two-game set against the White Sox, and ending the season with four games at Minnesota. A half game behind the Indians, the Texas Rangers wrap up a three-game series against the Royals today, then they have a three-game set against the Astros, and finish with four games against the Angels. The Rangers have an easy schedule, but the Indians have an easier one, especially with the way both teams have been playing recently. In their remaining games, the Indians only face a pitcher with a winning record once, and the Rangers face a pitcher with a winning record three more times. Of course, wins and losses can be deceiving with pitchers based on the amount of run support they receive, but the point is, the Indians have the easier schedule.
There is not much holding the Indians back at this point. With the easy schedule, I see no reason why they cannot hold on to their Wild Card spot. But, if there was an area of slight concern, it would be the back end of the bullpen. Indians closer Chris Perez has not been consistent this year, even though he has pitched well as of late. Every time he enters the game, Indians fans are always cringing, hoping that Perez makes it an easy save. Sometimes they have a deep sigh of relief, and other times they stare at their television sets in anger and disbelief. If Chris Perez does not screw up this playoff opportunity, the Indians will be fine.
For the next week and a half, the Cleveland Indians will be one of the hot topics in the world of baseball. Most people (including myself) would have never thought that the Cleveland Indians would be in contention for the postseason this year. All I have to say, is that it is happening, and it is very likely that the Cleveland Indians will clinch a Wild Card berth this year. Roll Tribe!
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