The playoffs are back once again and the Indians are in Houston to face the Astros in the ALDS as the road team. It will be a tough series to advance past, but last year with over 100 wins for the Cleveland squad, the Yankees shocked the world and defeated the Indians in five games. It’ll be a similar type of upset if the Indians can take the series this year against the Astros.
In this article, I’ll take a look at the offense and what needs to get done with the bats in order to be victorious. It all starts with the team leaders.
LF Michael Brantley at a .309 average.
3B Jose Ramirez with 39 home runs.
DH Edwin Encarnacion with 107 RBI.
SS Francisco Lindor with 183 hits.
Seven Indians players have 16 or more home runs. Six Indians have 75 or more runs batted in. The team’s batting average was .259, OBP .332, SP .434 and OPS is .766. The Indians were third in the league in team batting statistics behind Boston & New York. Oakland & LA are 4th & 5th respectively.
In order for the Indians to win this ALDS starting on Friday afternoon, they are going to have to swing the bats well, especially starting on the road this year. The team will have to hit close to .300 as a collective unit for the series and generate some power, too. Additionally, someone from the bottom of the lineup is going to have to produce well throughout the series.
Houston is sixth in the league in total offense.
A player who had a rough regular season but has proven to be a capable player is second basemen turned outfielder, Jason Kipnis. He hit only .230 on the year, but he did have 18 HR and 75 RBI. I look for Kipnis to have a big postseason even if he has to play in the outfield. He has the experience and is frustrated with the season he had. Now is a better time than ever to make up for it in this series against Houston. Obviously, guys like Ramirez, Lindor, Brantley & Encarnacion are poised to have a big postseason, but Kipnis is a guy I would predict success that is a bit less likely to do well.
Starting the series on the road, the Indians are going to have to have great outings from the starters as well as a spark from a few bats. Houston will be a tough team to knock out, but this team can certainly do it! Good luck!