Cleveland Indians Take three of four in Target Field Showdown

CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 11: Carlos Santana #41 of the Cleveland Indians at bat during the third inning against the Detroit Tigers at Progressive Field on September 11, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 11: Carlos Santana #41 of the Cleveland Indians at bat during the third inning against the Detroit Tigers at Progressive Field on September 11, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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The Cleveland Indians and Twins are tied for the AL Central as we exit the weekend. This division is now up-for-grabs with a little over a month to play.

A huge series just took place at Target Field in Downtown Minneapolis between the Cleveland Indians and Minnesota Twins to decide the current leader of the division. And although both teams now come out of this weekend tied for first place in the Central, the Tribe clearly has the upper hand in that they took the series 3-1.

The Twins were such a good story for the better half of this season, leading the league (still to this day) in home runs (228) and slugging percentage (.499). But since we’ve come out of the All-Star Break, they’ve fallen on hard times so to speak.

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Yes, they’re still very solid and continue to win series, but when compared to their division rivals who they (at one point) had an 11.5 game lead on at the beginning of June, we’ll see a team in Cleveland that’s just turned it up to another level in that same timeframe.

They’ve been smashing home runs at a record pace, but they’ve also been playing .500 ball going just 33-29 since the start of June (when this dip started to occur). In that same period of time, the Indians are 43-18. Much better. Much hotter. Better managed. And at the same time, the Tribe is still without its best pitcher in Corey Kluber, its second-best pitcher in Carlos Carrasco, and its third-best pitcher in Trevor Bauer who they just traded away.

So, they’re without their big guns in the rotation, but with their younger studs holding down the fort, the Indians have the best team ERA in baseball post-All Star Break (2.82). They also have the best ERA in total when it comes to their relievers (3.19).

Remember how bad their bullpen was last year? Well, they’ve turned that ship around in a hot minute this season.

The Indians continue to roll and trend in a positive direction. They have one of the best records in baseball during the past 2.5 months with their pitching staff getting the job done without their horses in the mix for the time being. Frankie Lindor is back in MVP form. Jose Ramirez is back on the grind hitting .320 in July and .361 this month. Carlos Santana is still hanging in there with his All-Star year. They added two huge power bats in Yasiel Puig and Franmil Reyes at the deadline.

And oh yeah, they still have one of the best managers in baseball leading the way in Terry Francona.

Next. Joey Votto victimized by Angel Hernandez. dark

The Twins have a fight on their hands if they want to finally take this division away from Francona and the Cleveland Indians. They were cruising until June. Now they’re in a dogfight.