Why The Indians Need A Hot Streak Now

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The Cleveland Indians, defending AL Wild Card contenders, are in last place in the AL Central this year, 6 ½ games back of the Detroit Tigers in the AL Central. Needless to say, it’s been an inconsistent season, as the bats are on and off, the pitching is off the walls, and the bullpen has become unreliable as of late.

It needs to be in the Tribe’s best interests to start a hot streak right now. The Tigers are currently in a downward spiral, thanks to disastrous pitching and dull bats, and the past 8 games have been a nightmare for Detroit. While Cleveland has taken advantage of this to an extent (which included a sweep of Detroit at Progressive Field), they’re still looking up at the AL Central.

It seems like the only consistently reliable players for the Indians are Lonnie Chisenhall, Daniel Murphy, Michael Brantley, and Corey Kluber (latter on the pitching side). Asdrubal Cabrera himself has had a hot streak in addition, but defensive flaws continue for him, as well as the ballclub.

This is not the same ballclub that had that magical September run last year. The Indians are struggling against teams they should be able to beat, and are 9th in the AL in batting average, and 4th most Double Play Grounders on offense (45). While the team is 4th in the AL in OBP (.331), numerous times this has led to stranded bases.

Fortunately, there are good aspects of the ballclub the Indians can build on. The pitching is 1st in the MLB in strikeouts (443), the 7th fewest blown saves, and the 9th highest save percentage in the league. Michael Brantley is 7th in RBI’s in the MLB, and 6th in the AL. Corey Kluber has also pitched the third most strikeouts in the league with 83.

It’s important for Cleveland to build upon these foundations. Struggling hitters like Nick Swisher and Carlos Santana have to step up and help carry the ballclub, and the injury of Jason Kipnis certainly has impacted the team. All in all, now is the time to start the hot streak, now is the time to never look back and take control of the AL Central.

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