WFNY Roundtable: Should Indians fans actually be rooting for Detroit?

WFNY_roundtable

WFNY_roundtable

Scott: With the Athletics playing the Tigers in a four-game set, who should Indians fans be rooting for? Presently, Cleveland is 5.5 games behind Detroit in the division “race”, while standing just two games behind Oakland for the second Wild Card.

Theoretically, if the As sweep and the Tribe handles the Tigers, the AL Central is right there for the having. But this would also make the Wild Card inherently less attainable unless the Indians keep pace until September. So, should our rooting interests be aligned with something that would actually have the word “champion” in it or do we just want to go for what gives us the best chances?

Jacob: I threw in the towel on the division weeks ago. I remember just before the Tigers series earlier in the month, sports radio was all abuzz about how you can’t focus on the Wild Card in early August. Oh well, it’s Detroit.

Cleveland’s odds or winning the division have pretty much been under 15 percent since the All-Star break. Since the Detroit sweep, they’ve been closer to the 0-5 percent range. It’s just not happening. Sorry.

The Wild Card, on the other hand, is attainable—very much so, in fact. It’s been back and forth, currently hovering around 30 percent probability for Cleveland.

So yeah, in an ideal world, if the Tigers weren’t the Tigers and I saw that as a realistic case, sure, I’d prefer for them to lose and for that to happen. But the Wild Card—even in its new one-and-done self—is very much within reach. Go Detroit?

Jon: This is kind of a no-brainer for me too: I’m pulling for Detroit to take the next three. Whether we like it or not, our clearest path to the postseason is not the Division Championship; it’s one of the Wild Cards. Either way, none of this matters if the Indians do not keep winning, and it feels a bit early for me to be scoreboard watching. They need to go at least 6-3 against Atlanta, Detroit and Baltimore—three really good teams. If they do that, I’ll start shifting more focus to the competition. Until then, their performance is still by far the most important factor.

Craig: I’m somewhat neutral with a slight preference on the As. Mostly, I just hope for a sweep one way or the other. The Indians obviously need to keep winning, as Jon alluded to, but their path will be dictated by how the teams in front of them play.

Despite the abysmal record against Detroit so far this season, I’d always rather aim for the division title for my team. Yes, it feels like a much more obvious long shot that the Wild Card, but as long as I don’t have mystic powers to determine the outcome of the series, I’ll still hope for Detroit to collapse as the Indians take care of their business and rise to the occasion to win the Central.

Of course, if the As to get swept (from here out) by Detroit, that’s OK too as long as the Indians play well enough for the Wild Card race.

Scott: But wouldn’t a 2-2 series actually be better in the way that the two teams tread water while the Indians can actually gain ground?

Jacob: A non-sweep of the As only matters if the Indians actually do well over these next nine games. I’ll take the Tigers since my guess is more toward the 4-5 or 5-4 direction, meaning the Tribe will be out of division contention anyway. The Indians, after all, are just 29-41 (.414) against teams with a greater-than-.500 record.

Kirk: I would say the As if only because they could leapfrog Texas and take control of the West again. Texas, in turn, would drop down. But I have to agree with the majority: We’re going to have to be incredibly lucky to catch Detroit.

It’s a tougher road in the wild card, but you win one game and you’re in a series. It’s a chance and in baseball, that’s all you need. A chance to get hot at the right time. We’ve seen “Team Streak” do it before.

Andrew: Count me among those rooting for the Tigers. Even if the As swept the series, I still don’t think the Indians can win the division. Detroit has proven over and over again that they are the class of the AL Central. I’m all in on the Wild Card, and so I’m hoping for whatever will best help the Tribe get that birth.

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So what say you, WFNY commentariat?

  • http://www.redright88.com/ Tom_RedRight88

    I will root for any and all scenarios that increase the Tribe’s chances of making the playoffs. They are not winning the division, so “Go Tigers!”

  • Jaker

    Split the series. I’m rooting for them to play 3 extra inning games where they both exhaust their bullpens and starting pitchers so that both teams go into a bit of a funk in the next series. That, for me, is the best case scenario.

  • Kevin Huyghe

    I have to root for the Tigers.. I was actually watching the 9th inning live last night and found myself swearing at it. Like a couple of you said, even if the As sweep Detroit, the division is pretty far out of reach. So if the As sweep, then the Wild Card is going to get pretty far out of reach as well, depending on how we do against Atlanta here.

  • Harv 21

    I’m rooting for the tigers because we have to play them again in Detroit, the Tribe looks intimidated by them but if Detroit has a comfy division lead we have a chance to not get swept. Every time we get close Detroit snaps to attention and takes out the strap.

    This Detroit team seems to get all lazy and unfocused when not threatened. Let them pound the A’s and go back into their haze.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Miggy Miggy Miggy can’t u see sometimes ur swings just hypnotize me!!!!!!

  • mgbode

    It’s smart to root for a Detroit sweep. We are not catching them and anything that puts the wild card closer is a good thing.

  • Jaker

    This graph should say it all. The Tigers aren’t missing the postseason, which is why I guess we must root for them. But of these six teams, we have by far the easiest September schedule. That’s where we need to do our damage. 7 vs Mets/Astros, 3 and 3 with KC, a 4 and 2 with CHW, and 4 @ Minny all need to be series Wins if we want the playoffs. If we drop 4 to the Royals in September, we know we shouldn’t get in

  • Garry_Owen

    Okay, I’m going to deviate from the pack here. I’m rooting for the As. Here’s why:

    While I understand the conventional wisdom that the division is out of reach, I’m not ready to buy it. 5.5 games is not “out of reach,” but it would mean that the Tribe would have to play lights out baseball for the next month, to include beating the Tigers in Detroit – which is what I’m really rooting for. Rooting for the various Wild Card competitors to stumble doesn’t put as much pressure on our own team, which is what I think we really need. I’m rooting for the Indians to play at their highest level over the next month so that we overtake the Tigers, by hook or by crook. For me, a one-game playoff “chance” doesn’t mean much if we end up having to beat the Tigers at some point thereafter, which is possible, if not likely. I’d rather beat them now. Now. Now. Now.

    Go As.

  • Jaker

    More to add: On this day in 2012,

    Texas was up 5.5 on Oakland for the Division, with one three game series left between them. Oakland won The West.

    The Tigers were 69-58, two games back of the WC and 2 games back of the Sox for the Central. They ended up getting the Division crown with 88 wins.

    Baltimore and Texas tied or the WC lead with 93 wins. Baltimore had 70 wins on August 27, while Texas had 76.

    Basically, we are still in it, but we have to play our best baseball to get it

  • Garry_Owen

    This is precisely what I’m hoping will happen. I would rather win the division and go into the post-season coming off of a great month of baseball than have the Indians somehow sneak into a wildcard playing the type of ball that they’re playing now.

  • Ezzie Goldish

    If you truly believe the Indians can beat the Tigers in a series, then you should be rooting for an A’s sweep [if we’re just picking sweeps], since the Tribe winning 2 of 3 afterward would put them both at 60 losses.

    If you don’t believe it, why root at all?

  • Ezzie Goldish

    If the A’s sweep Detroit, the Indians will have one more loss than DET.

  • http://www.twitter.com/dconeil Hamsterdam

    Go Tigers. Figures the only time I ever root for Detroit they give up eight runs to the freakin’ A’s. I expect Oakland to win two of the next three and for us to lose two of three to Atlanta. We’ll be three games out of the Wild Card come Friday.

  • Natedawg86

    Go As. We are either playing for a 1 game playoff to square off against Boston if we win that game, or we can play Tx in first round of post season and try to beat them 3 times out of 5. I would rather play TX in first series than Boston.

  • Natedawg86

    I think Salazar has a shot tonight against another rookie, and Masterson is pitching tomorrow, so I think we have a chance at winning the series, but Alt has been lights out at home.

  • Natedawg86

    Only time I will root for Det is if my son makes it to the Major League and is on Det.

  • mgbode

    Bring on Boston. I’d rather get a chance at spoiling their season though I could go to a playoff game if it’s in Dallas.

  • http://www.twitter.com/dconeil Hamsterdam

    Wood is a rookie left-hander and the Cleveland Indians organization has never beaten a rookie left-hander in their history. Gotta win at least three games on this road trip.

  • Kevin Huyghe

    Sure that’s a great plan assuming we somehow SWEEP Atlanta on the road! And it will actually be 2 losses. If Oakland sweeps and we sweep then that’s 2.5 games back of the division… but what I am saying is thats a ridiculous thing to hope for.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Be careful of what you wish for son the mighty BoSox are on a mission!

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Indians get some Wood 2night!

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    But what about Pittsburgh then?

    #RAISEDAJOLLYROGER

  • mgbode

    yawn

  • Cleveland_Collector

    At this point, all you can really do is keep winning as much as possible. There is still a month + of baseball left. Win, lose, or draw, both teams are incredibly capable of tanking (especially the A’s). Even if the A’s sweep the Tigers, it’s way too early to pen them in as even a wild-card playoff team. If it was September 27th, you would have no choice but to root for the Tigers. Unfortunately, it’s about 3 weeks too early to make a huge difference either way.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Just remember you have been warned!

  • nj0

    If being tied with the Tigers at the beginning of September meant anything then you might have a point. But seeing how there’s still a month of baseball left and seeing how the Tigers are clearly a better team than us, I’d rather have the A’s lose as much as possible since we have a much greater chance of being able to outpace them over September.

  • Ezzie Goldish

    Look, I agree with you. But my point is for those people who believe the Tribe has a chance, you have to believe this as well.

  • Ezzie Goldish

    Look, I agree with you. But my point is for those people who believe the Tribe has a chance at winning in the playoffs, you have to believe this as well.

  • mgbode

    all we have to do is:

    (1) beat out 3 of the following for the 2nd wild card:
    Boston/Oakland/Texas/TB/Baltimore/NYY

    (2) beat one of those teams in a 1 game playoff.

    (3) beat another one of those teams in the division series.

    (4) likely have to beat Detroit in the ALCS.

    (5) most likely have to beat St.Louis in the WS (just ridiculously loaded, so I’ll grant them favorite status from the NL)

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    “I have a dream” was yesterday.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    P.S. I heard the Pirates added Marlon Byrd and may also acquire Morneau.

  • http://waitingfornextyear.com/ Scott @ WFNY

    I fully approve of your web-surfing choices.

  • Jaker

    Yea haha thought that would come up

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    BoSox 13-2 romp over Orioles dedicated to you!

  • Natedawg86

    Don’t make me choose

  • Natedawg86

    They didn’t even get a lift

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    The offense was flaccid to say the least.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I have a feeling if your son makes it to the majors you won’t care what uni he’s wearing. BoSox baby!

  • mgbode

    well, thanks. knock the O`s a little further away in the wild card chase. it’s appreciated.

    still will take my chances if we get them in October.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    That was more offense then the Indians produce in a week! Shane Victorino wasn’t such a bad signing.

    As far as October two words: Felix Dubront. This way Buchholz, Lester, Lackey and Peavy can be saved for the next series.

  • mgbode

    if you cannot even spell his name, then why should I fear him?

    (also, the Indians would eat him alive. he is the type of pitcher we do well against with his mediocre SO:BB and poor WHIP)

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I know yous is not making fun of my dialect that’s how wes from Baston type his last name. Doobront or Dabront instead of Doubront. The real King Felix!

    Indians would do nothing ‘cuz he wouldn’t be pitching. I was just trying to throw a drowning man a rope and be funny. Now queen my dishes please!