The Cleveland Indians could use a little bit of help to reach the postseason and several teams in particular can help the most.
The American League Central division is all but wrapped up as the Minnesota Twins hold a four-game lead over the Cleveland Indians with six to play. The Twins are currently playing the terrible Detroit Tigers so I won’t get my hopes up.
That shifts the focus to the Wild Card where the Indians have the same number of losses as the Tampa Bay Rays. If both teams were to win out they would head to a Game 163 to determine the second Wild Card spot. Unless the Oakland A’s were overtaken by both teams, which is entirely possible.
We can worry about the tiebreaker scenarios if they actually come to be necessary. For now there are several teams Indians fans can root for over the next six days.
The first team is the New York Yankees. I know, I know. Rooting for the Yankees? The Evil Empire is down in Florida taking on the Rays for a two-game set. The Yankees still have plenty to play for in order to hold off the Houston Astros for the top seed in the AL.
The Rays end the season with three in Toronto. Yet if the Yankees can win both and the Indians sweep the Chicago White Sox that would give the Indians a two-game lead over the Rays with three to play. Even just getting one game ahead would be nice heading into the weekend.
Next we look at the A’s. The team holds a two-game lead over the Indians for the first Wild Card spot and begin a two-game series against the Los Angeles Angels tonight. That is followed by four against the Seattle Mariners. The Angels and the Mariners don’t have much to play for, other than pride in the spoiler role. That makes them both extremely easy to root for.
There is a wild tiebreaker scenario in which the Indians, Rays, and A’s all finish with the same record. I don’t think that will happen so we will cross that bridge if it comes. The best thing the Indians can do is win out and hope for collapses by the teams with rhyming names.
One other team to keep an eye on is the Washington Nationals. The team is in action at the time of writing in what is the start of a five-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies. Indians fans need to hope for a series win by the Nationals and a bit of a slip up by the Milwaukee Brewers.
Such a scenario would mean the Nationals are comfortably atop the National League Wild Card race heading into the weekend series against the Indians. Resting some starters would sure be nice of them. If the Nationals win the game they are currently playing, in which they are winning late, that would put the team one game ahead of the Brewers.
To recap, we are rooting for the Nationals before the weekend, the Yankees for two days, then holding out hope for some spoiler magic from the Angels, Mariners, and Blue Jays. This is all before taking the Indians’ results into account.
It should be a wild week.