This may not be as big as the Rocky vs. Apollo rematch, but it is pretty close.
Here’s the situation:
The Indians are 3.5 games back of the Twins in the standings. With 15 games to go, these two teams square off for a weekend series at Progressive Field in Cleveland.
For a real shot at the division, the Indians need a sweep. That would put them 0.5 games back of the Twins in what is close to a tie for the lead.
Winning two out of three and it’s 2.5 back with 12 games to go. That would be tough, but it would be possible.
Losing two out of three or getting swept and the division chances are not mathematically done but practically over.
Here are the pitching matchups:
The Twins come to Cleveland this weekend with a 3.5-game lead on the Indians.— Zack Meisel (@ZackMeisel) September 13, 2019
The pitching matchups:
Friday: Aaron Civale vs. Jake Odorizzi
Saturday: Mike Clevinger vs. TBD (bullpen game)
Sunday: Shane Bieber vs. Jose Berrios
Terry Francona did a good job of lining up his big guns for this series.
There’s this series, off day, the Detroit Tigers for three at home, the Philadelphia Phillies for three at home, off day, at Chicago White Sox for three and then finishing the year at the Washington Nationals for three final games.
To compare, after coming to Cleveland, the Twins host the Chicago White Sox for three, the Kansas City Royals for three, off day, at Detroit Tigers and finishing at Kansas City.
Here’s the problem:
The Twins don’t play another good opponent the rest of the season. The Tribe play two with winning records.
I won’t say focus on the AL Wild Card because it’s baseball and anything can happen, but this division is clearly the Twins to lose.
Here are the WC Standings:
Obviously, it’s a much better chance either the A’s or Rays falter. The Indians still have to play well regardless to make the wild card.
In summation, this weekend series is important for the division and just as important for the wild card.