Cleveland Indians: Three Reasons the Tribe Will Beat Boston
The Cleveland Indians are underdogs in the ALDS against the Boston Red Sox despite claiming the No. 2 seed and home-field advantage. What can the Tribe do to pull off the upset?
Based upon the standings, the Cleveland Indians should be considered the favorite, even if only ever so slightly, over the the Boston Red Sox in the American League Division Series. But talk throughout baseball media and from oddsmakers have the Tribe playing the role of clear underdog, a team that would need a miracle to pull off an upset.
That’s just fine with a Cleveland team that has been defying the odds all season long. Every Indians fan by now knows by heart the long list of injuries and setbacks the club has endured in 2016, and yet the Tribe just kept on rolling, winning 94 games, capturing their first AL Central Division championship since 2007, and securing home-field advantage in the ALDS.
“We’ve been looking forward to it,” Jason Kipnis said on Sunday. “I know a lot of guys have been saying we’re going to be the underdogs in our own ballpark . . .guys on ESPN and MLB Network. They’re talking about teams tanking to play us. All we can do is use that as an advantage and say, ‘Be careful what you wish for.’ ”
Boston is a tough opponent, boasting the most prolific offense in Major League Baseball this season and a pitching staff led by a Cy Young award hopeful and a former Cy Young winner. The Red Sox have an MVP frontrunner and an icon putting up one of the finest performances in a final season that the game has ever seen. They have budding young stars and veterans with a winning pedigree all over the field.
The Indians may lack the total star power and huge payroll of the BoSox, but they’ve won this season with a total team effort. The Tribe has advantages in this series, and if they play to their strengths, can hang with and knock out any team in the league.
“I like when people doubt us,” Francisco Lindor said. “That’s what makes it fun, looking back and telling people. So we’ll see. We’ll see what happens.”
Here’s a look at how Cleveland can overcome the odds and put an end to Boston’s postseason dreams.