Sep 20, 2013; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Indians relief pitcher Bryan Shaw (27) celebrates in the dugout after striking out Houston Astros first baseman Chris Carter (not pictured) to end the sixth inning at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland Indians Lead Second Wild Card Race

Sep 20, 2013; Cleveland, OH, USA; Indians fans wait for a rain delay to pass during the game between the Cleveland Indians and Houston Astros at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Following an 11 inning win 2 nights ago, the Indians and Astros evened things out by only getting 7 innings in before the game being called for rain. For the Indians they will take it as they led 2 to 1 when the rain finally ended the game. Their win, along with the Texas Rangers loss moved the Tribe into the driver’s seat for the 2nd Wild Card spot, up a half game on the Rangers. They are only .5 game behind the Tampa Bay Rays for the 1st Wild Card, and right to host the Wild Card game.

The Tribe have taken advantage of their weak September schedule, 13-6 so far, to push ahead in the race. In this month they have gone 8 and 1 against teams with winning records and 5 -5 against teams with winning records. Their remaining 8 games are against teams with losing records, including 2 more with Houston, 2 with the Chicago White Sox and 4 with the Minnesota Twins.

It is tough to tell if its poor hitting or good pitching this month but the opponent has averaged 3.21 runs. In Cleveland wins their opponents have averaged a paltry 2 runs exactly. The team’s lone loss against a team with a losing record they only gave up 2 runs. With Ubaldo Jiminez doing so well and the possible return of Justin Masterson the rotation looks like it will be able to carry the team.

Compared to the Indians, whose remaining opponents have a .383 winning percentage, the Rangers opponents have a .450 and the Rays a .504. The Rays are 6-4 in their last 10 games while the Rangers have slumped with a 2-8 record in the same time. The Rangers are 1 game into their toughest series against the Royals, who they lost to last night. The Rays have series against the Yankees and Orioles who are both within 3 games of a Wild Card spot. Those series will have meaning to both opponents where as the Rangers will finish up with the Astros and Angels who will just be playing out the season. Its possible the Angels will want to keep their rival out of the playoffs and put forth the needed effort.

After the Browns trading Trent Richardson and news Andrew Bynum might not be ready till the regular season, Cleveland fans need the positive of a Tribe playoff run. If the weather holds up hopefully the fans will come out to support the team.

Tags: Cleveland Indians MLB Playoffs Tampa Bay Rays Texas Rangers

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