Key Players Mixed With Comeback Players Are Keeping The Indians In The Race For A Playoff Spot

The Indians currently sit with a 71-63 record which puts them only 4.5 games out of a Wild Card spot and &.5 games out of the division. Many people didnt really expect Cleveland to do to much but key players like Giambi, Jiminez, and Kazmir are keeping them in the race

The Indians currently sit with a 71-63 record which puts them only 4.5 games out of a Wild Card spot and 7.5 games out of the division. Many people didn’t really expect Cleveland to do too much but with better than expected performances from  Giambi, Jimenez, and Kazmir – they are keeping up in the race for the playoffs.

By Dan Wanser (MLB Reports Writer)   

The Cleveland Indians currently sit in second place in the American League Central behind the Detroit Tigers and are in fourth place  in the Wild Card behind Oakland, Tampa Bay, and  Baltimore.

Right now, Key players like Ubaldo Jimenez, Jason Kipnis and Just Masterson are leading the way, but is also surprise contributions from  Jason Giambi, and Scott Kazmir  that are also  keeping them in the race for the playoffs.

With time running out, these players need to continue to lead and more players need to start to step up if this team wants to make the playoffs.

Kazmir Dominates:

Jason Giambi

Jason Giambi is one of the reasons Cleveland is staying in the race for a playoff spot. He has done a solid Job as a DH for the Indians (8 HRs and 29 RBI in just 162 AB) – despite a low 3 Slash Line and a BA of .185.  They have been timely hits at just the right time.  His time will diminish with the acquisition of Kubel, but he will still be needed for PH duties.

One reason that this Al Central team is staying in contention is their pitching. Ubaldo Jimenez and Justin Masterson are both pitching well.

To this point in the season, Jimenez is second on the team with nine wins as Masterson has the most with 14.

Both pitches  also find themselves in the top two on the team in ERA – as they both have kept theirs under 4.00.

Leading the team in this category is Masterson with an Earned Run Average of 3.49, Jimenez is right behind him though as he sits at 3.95.

If both of these pitchers keep it up, it would definitely help the team stay in the race.

Jimenez

Ubaldo Jimenez has pitched well for his team so far this year. The Right-Hander is second on his team behind Justin Masterson in both Wins and ERA and has been solid for the Indians after a lackluster 2012.  Hopefully he will keep it up down the stretch as they will need him to make a run.

Out of all Indian players, Jason Kipnis has definitely been the best offensively.

The Second Baseman leads his team in every offensive category as he consistently gets on base, and can hit for some power and knock in runs.

Along with his hitting, Kipnis also leads his team in Stolen Bases as he has not only power, but speed also.

When the lefty isn’t hitting, he is doing his job in the field as a defender.

Kipnis has a 3 Slash Line of .283/.367/.830 with - 16 HRs and 75 RBI.  He has proven to be filling the bank account of fantasy owners by thieving 24 Stolen Bases,

Kipnis has a 3 Slash Line of .283/.367/.830 with – 16 HRs and 75 RBI. He has proven to be filling the bank account of fantasy owners by thieving 24 Stolen Bases,

Kipnis has kept his team in the race so far and will likely continue to do so.

One thing that will definitely help this American League team is the rest of their schedule.

Cleveland has arguably the easiest schedule out of all contenders as they play their last 28 games against the Chicago White Sox,  Houston Astros, Minnesota Twins, Kansas City Royals, Baltimore  Orioles, and the Detroit Tigers.

The team has a chance to win 18 – 19 out of their last 28 games if they get hot, which would net them 89 – 90 wins on the year, but that might not be enough – with Tampa Bay and Oakland both on pace to win over 90 games.

The Athletics also receive a heavy dose of the Mariners, Astros and Angels in the last month.

Cleveland must hope that the Yankees, Rays and Orioles also all beat up each other up with about a .500 record. 

Even though the Orioles, Royals, and Tigers are decent teams it still gives them plenty of time to win games and potentially secure a Wild Card spot.

With only two games left with Detroit and a 7.5 game gap I doubt they could make enough of a comeback to take the division title but I would not be  surprised if they came and took the second Wild Card spot.

However, even looking at their easy schedule moving forward I don’t think they can do enough to make the postseason.

With good teams like the Orioles, Athletics, and Rays ahead of them in the Wild Card they just don’t have the depth to push ahead of them.

After their next two games with Detroit, they have a series with Baltimore that will likely decide if the make the playoffs or not.

Even though they only trail Baltimore by half a game I think they need to sweep to stay in the hunt, and if they don’t win the series they are definitely in some trouble moving forward with this season.

indians logo

Cleveland has had a very good season up to this point in the year, but these next 5 games will likely decide whether or not they make the playoffs as starting Sunday they have 2 with the Tigers and 3 with Baltimore. How those games play out will definitely change a lot.

*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com or their partners ***

A big thank-you goes out to Our writer Dan Wanser for preparing today’s featured article.  Dan is a Baseball Writer for MLB reports. He is a Junior at Pottsville High School in Pottsville, Pennsylvania.

Dan is a huge fan of Chase Utley and Cliff Lee.  He has been a baseball fan his whole life and loves writing about baseball.

You can reach Dan on Twitter  

a dan wasner

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Posted on August 31, 2013, in MLB Teams: Articles and Analysis, The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Key Players Mixed With Comeback Players Are Keeping The Indians In The Race For A Playoff Spot.

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