Cleveland Indians must make move on Minnesota Twins in AL Central

Cleveland Indians Franmil Reyes (Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images)
Cleveland Indians Franmil Reyes (Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images) /

Putting too much emphasis on one series goes against everything baseball stands for, but the Cleveland Indians must make a move on the Twins now!

No one ever wants to give a sense of urgency to the grand ole’ game, but geesh, it’s time for the Cleveland Indians to make a move on the Minnesota Twins in the AL Central standings.

Not much has changed since the All-Star break, when the Indians were 3.5 games behind the Twins in the AL Central standings. The Tribe came within a game of Minnesota, but mostly the Twins have kept a little buffer.

For Major League Baseball, these are the dog days. The Boys of Summer been playing for 3 1/2 months and still have another month and half to go. With the exception of the two Central races, the Divisions have been decided.

The Indians have been the best team in baseball since June 1. That was a date that FanGraphs gave the Tribe a season low 26.8 percent chance to win the division.

Now, their chances stand at 87.0 percent. The Twins chances of locking the central down are 98.3 percent.

It’s imperative the Tribe win the division, because the scars from the Wild Card loss to the Rays back in 2013 are still too fresh. The season just can’t come down to one game because anything can happen.

This is the first time the Indians will get a look at Minnesota’s pitching with their new acquisitions, Franmil Reyes and Yasil Puig, assuming the decision doesn’t come down that he’s lost his appeal for his role in the deadline day brawl against the Pirates.

On the bump, the Tribe will start Mike Clevinger and Shane Bieber in Games 1 and 2, respectively. These two hurlers are the Tribe’s best pitchers, right now. Both these games are winnable. Then, they’ve got get a split from the games started by Adam Plutko and Arron Civale.

The two rookies will go up against the Twins’ best starters in Jake Odorizzi and Jose Berrios. Berrios got shelled in his last start, allowing nine earned runs in 5.2 innings. Hard to see him being that bad for a second-straight start.

Both teams have handled their business since meeting up after the All-Star Game, as the clubs have beat up on baseball’s have-nots. Against contenders, the Indians were given a good ole’ fashioned slap in the face courtesy of the Astros, while the Braves scored a combined 23 runs against the Twins in taking the final two games of a three-game series.

Starting Aug. 7, the Indians and Twins will play each other 10 times through Sept. 15. The Division is going to come down to these three series. These gams should be treated like postseason games, because beating Minnesota is the easiest way to gain ground in the standings. Knowing baseball, it probably won’t be viewed that way, though.

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Hopefully Tribe fans aren’t left holding an empty cap at season’s end, saying, “What if?”