It was Saturday night and the Indians were just swept in a double-header to their division rivals, the Minnesota Twins. This all but sealed the Indians’ fate of winning a division title for a fourth-consecutive year. The Indians’ body language looked visibly iffy towards Tribe fans. The look of a team that was running out of gas, a team that’s treading really badly in high waters. Tribe fans feared that the end of a successful run is near for this franchise and the possibility of an upcoming rebuild just ahead.
But, as the great College GameDay show host, Lee Corso would say, “Not so fast, my friends.”
Tribe Fans: There is still hope of making the playoffs.
The Indians still have a very good chance of getting to the AL Wild Card Game. The Tribe is in a race with the Tampa Bay Rays and the Oakland A’s for those final two spots. The A’s, more than likely, are going to be there based on their record and remaining schedule.
So really, the American League has one final playoff spot left and what are the Indians going to do about it? Lay down and end one of the most exciting eras in Cleveland Indians History? OR, will the Indians gather themselves and go on one final run and give the Tribe fans hope of winning that elusive World Series trophy?
Why the Indians can make that final AL Wild Card spot is the fact they do have a schedule that is easier than Tampa Bay, who has a brutal schedule against teams such as the Dodgers, Red Sox and Yankees to end the season.
The Indians have Detroit, Philadelphia, Chicago WS and Washington. Cleveland is going to have to go on a serious run to close out the season in hopes to punch their ticket to the AL Wild Card Game.
Once October hits – anything can happen.
In the past, teams such as the Giants in 2014, went from NL Wild Card to World Series champion and in the same year, the Royals went from AL Wild Card to a World Series appearance.
The Tribe will need all players to step up in order to make this run happen.
I expect Frankie Lindor to elevate his game and his leadership down the stretch. Also, the pitching needs to step up in a big way. No late-game collapses. The Indians will need to really treat each game like a Game 7 scenario.
The Indians will make it to the AL Wild Card Game, beat the A’s and meet the Yankees in the ALDS.