Last year the Cleveland Indians rode a wave of excitement into the playoffs. A one game playoff, but the playoffs none the less. Last year’s team was driven a bit by luck, a bit by pitching and a lot by a finishing schedule that was a cake walk. The Indians had a stellar finishing kick to the season mostly due to playing teams that had mostly packed it in for the season. Could this year be similar?
So compared to the Kansas City Royals and Detroit Tigers, teams they are chasing for the division and the Wild Card, the Tribe’s schedule sets up fairly nice. Less then half of the Indians games will be against teams that currently have a winning record. The way the chart is written, teams above .500, would not include the Indians as of today but looking at the Tigers/Royals schedule it seems they did include the Tribe. Sitting at 59-59, the Tribe hasn’t shown the talent, consistency and often the drive to be a playoff team.
Yet here they are. With 44 games left only 17 of them will be against teams with better records then them. Being extreme, if they lose all 17 of those games, and win the remaining 27 they would end up with a 86-76 record. Close, but not likely to get them in to the playoffs. However the 7 games against the Tigers and 6 games against the Royals could be game changers. Taking 4 of 7 from the Tigers and 4 of 6 from the Royals would be huge, even though it only changes the standings a little directly.
Can the Indians fight their way through once again to the playoffs? Can they put a hurting on the Motor City Kitties in the #WarForTheDivision and push the Royals back into their historical losing ways? Needless to say their schedule sets up as nicely as possible for them to make a run.
Getting to 90 wins, whether they make the playoffs or not, is a positive sign for a team that struggled this year and sold off 2 players at the deadline.
Do you believe in a scheduling miracle again this year?