Nearing the mid-way point of the 2013 season, your Cleveland Indians sit at 36-35. Considering the expectations we had at WFNY before the season, this seems right on cue, although it’s been a bumpy ride thus far.
Something to look forward to? The road ahead could be significantly easier for the Tribe. Here’s a quick look at the team’s upcoming schedule:
— Jacob Rosen (@udjrosen) June 21, 2013
As many recall, the Indians recently went through a brutal stretch of difficult games. In a 25-game set from May 21 through June 16, the team’s strength of schedule 1 was a tough .557. The Tribe was just 8-17 in those games.
Now, with this favorable stretch ahead, it seems more probable that the Indians will remain at least peripherally in the playoff conversation for the next six weeks. As it stands, Cleveland is 4.0 games behind both Detroit in the AL Central and also Texas for the second Wild Card spot.
While there are only three teams over .500 out of the 12 series in these 40 games, there are many teams similarly hovering around mediocrity. Kansas City’s pitching has been historically good in June. Toronto is the hottest team in baseball at 12-3 in their last 15 games. The Twins may be the most surprising team in the game this season. And those three teams that are above .500 are quite good in Baltimore, Detroit and Texas.
Both in 2010 and 2011, the team tanked heavily starting at about the same time in late May. These next few series — especially with the squad on a 6-2 run that includes three straight series victories — will showcase whether that happens again, or perhaps Terry Francona’s squad has a bit more staying power.
Over on Twitter, I pegged my grounded estimate for the team’s record over these next 40 games at 22-18. Obviously, starting pitching and health (hello, Nick Swisher, Chris Perez, Asdrubal Cabrera, et al) will be a huge factor. Where do you think the team will stand on August 5th?
- The calculation I used was simply these teams’ records right now. I did not subtract their record against the Tribe. [back]