Last Week W-L: 4-2
Week In Review
The Cleveland Indians entered the week at 86-63 with a seven-game lead over the Detroit Tigers in the American League Central Division. They had one goal: chip away at that magic number of seven as much as they could. The Tribe began the week hosting the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday night. It’s fair to say that series went about as well as planned as the Indians swept the defending World Series Champions and pretty much eliminated them from postseason consideration. The Chicago White Sox then came to town for a three-game series over the weekend. After taking the first game of the series, the Indians lost the final two. All in all it was a good week for the Tribe, as they now stand at 90-65, still seven games ahead of the Tigers, but now with a magic number of just one. Any Indians win or Tigers loss the rest of the season will secure a division title for the Tribe.
Player of the Week
Carlos Santana- One player certainly showed up during the Indians’ final home stand of the season. Carlos Santana went 10-for-24 with two homeruns, six RBIs, and five runs scored. Santana’s homerun total this year is now up to a career-best 34.
Stat of the Week
Continuing the troubling trend from a week ago, Francisco Lindor keeps struggling. The Indians shortstop went 0-for-14 this past week and has seen his batting average drop to .302. On the bright side, he did draw five walks. He was given an off day on Sunday, and hopefully with another one or two this week if the team is able to clinch he’ll be rested and ready to go for the postseason.
Week of September 19 Results
Tuesday: 2-1 victory vs Kansas City
Wednesday: 4-3 victory vs Kansas City
Thursday: 5-2 victory vs Kansas City
Friday: 10-4 victory vs White Sox
Saturday: 8-1 loss vs White Sox
Sunday: 3-0 loss vs White Sox
Cleveland Indians, 90-65
Detroit Tigers, 83-72, 7 GB
Kansas City Royals, 79-77, 11.5 GB
Chicago White Sox, 74-81, 16 GB
Minnesota Twins, 56-100, 34.5 GB
Magic number to clinch the division: 1
The Indians begin next week in Detroit to take on the Tigers for the final time this year. In what is likely to be a division-deciding series, the Indians will look to build upon their current 13-2 record against Detroit. Just one win in the four-game series for the Tribe would be enough to clinch first place in the division. The team will then head to Kansas City for the last series of the regular season to face the Royals. Although KC is only two games above .500 overall, the Royals are 15 games over .500 at home in Kauffman Stadium.
Next Week’s Player of the Week
Corey Kluber- If Indians manager Terry Francona could hand pick one pitcher to start a potential clinching game, it would be Corey Kluber. Just so happens the Klubot will be on the mound to start the series in Detroit on Monday with the magic number down to one. Expect Kluber to turn in a Cy-Young caliber performance as the ace of the staff allows Francona to start focusing on prepping the team for the playoffs.
Upcoming Schedule September 26 – October 2
Monday: at DET (Kluber, 18-9, 3.11 ERA vs. Farmer, 0-0, 4.07 ERA)
Tuesday: at DET (Clevinger, 2-2, 4.65 ERA vs. Verlander, 15-8, 3.21 ERA)
Wednesday: at DET (Bauer, 12-8, 4.26 ERA vs. Fulmer, 11-7, 2.95 ERA)
Thursday: at DET (Anderson, 2-5, 6.34 ERA vs. Norris, 3-2, 3.59 ERA)
Friday: at KC (Tomlin, 12-9, 4.48 ERA vs. Ventura, 11-11, 4.40 ERA)
Saturday: at KC (Kluber, 18-9, 3.11 ERA vs. Volquez, 10-11, 5.37 ERA)
Sunday: at KC (Clevinger, 2-2, 4.65 ERA vs. Kennedy, 11-10, 3.64 ERA)
W-L Prediction of the Week Ahead
The only number that matters for the Indians this week is one. One win and they’re in. With that in mind, the Tribe will go 3-4 this week. After the team clinches (knock on wood), some of the regulars will be rested to prepare for the grueling October run ahead of them. That doesn’t mean they’re going to concede the remaining games, however. They are still in a battle with the Boston Red Sox and Texas Rangers to secure home field advantage throughout the playoffs. 1-6 would be a good week. No complaints with 3-4. Anything better than that is just a bonus.