Cleveland Indians: Will they make the playoffs despite their slow start?

TORONTO, ON - JULY 22: Francisco Lindor #12 of the Cleveland Indians hits a 2 RBI single in the second inning during a MLB game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on July 22, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - JULY 22: Francisco Lindor #12 of the Cleveland Indians hits a 2 RBI single in the second inning during a MLB game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on July 22, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /
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The Cleveland Indians are making a run at the playoffs after this I essentially wrote them off for the rest of the season.

The Cleveland Indians are showing me up and are going to make me eat me words.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, I refer you to the following post I wrote about a month ago here.

I talked about how they should potentially sell the farm and start restocking their own farm system by getting as much value out of their stars as possible at least the ones they were willing to part ways with.  They were 10 1/2 games behind the Minnesota Twins at the time and were not playing very well.

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They have turned their season around though and at this point in the season, they sit at 58-41, only three games behind the Twins.  They are also in place to take the top Wild Card spot in the American League, leading that race by two games.

One of the biggest reasons for the turnaround is the teams offensive production.  They were ranked 28th in batting, but now are 20th with a team slash line of .248/.323/.425.  The offense was what needed to change drastically and it has.

Francisco Lindor is still hitting very well at .292/.348/.505 with 16 home runs and 39 RBI’s.  Their surprise contributor is rookie outfielder Oscar Mercado.  He is hitting .297/.350/.488 with 8 home runs and 28 RBI’s.

They have also improved their pitching, which was already their strong suit.  They have gone from a team ERA of 3.98 to 3.83.  They have blown a few more saves than before, but that is to be expected as they were close to being perfect in that department.

Brad Hand has saved 27 games in 28 opportunities and a 2.38 ERA.  You don’t see many closers with that type of ratio.  He has been exceptional!

They are still being led by Trevor Bauer and Shane Bieber who have each improved with a 3.67 and 3.69 ERA respectively.  Bauer has continued to do well, despite being mentioned in many trade rumors.

Next. Tampa Bay Rays: 3 Underrated Trade Deadline. dark

Now to the question, can they make the playoffs?  Absolutely they can!  I had high expectations for the Cleveland Indians coming into the season and watching them make their run has been awesome.  I’m not sure if they overtake the Twins to win the division, but they absolutely make it as a wild card team.