This weekend in Detroit, the Cleveland Indians will play four games against the Tigers, including a doubleheader on Saturday. Sitting 7.5 games out through 94 games, the Indians have 68 games left to make up their deficit, with 11 of those games coming against the Tigers, starting tonight.
It is easy to say “it’s a marathon, not a sprint” or “there’s still plenty of time to catch them”, but it is July 18th, 13 days until the trade deadline. The Indians could sweep the Tigers and be 51-47, 3.5 games out of first and in second place (depending on how the Royals’ weekend in Boston goes), or they could be swept and be 11.5 games out and hanging in the cellar with the White Sox and Twins in the division race, as both Minnesota and Chicago are 10.5 games out heading into the weekend.
We’ve had some editorials and analysis here regarding the Indians deadline, and whether they will be buyers, sellers, or stand pat. Wahoo’s on First even asked the fans what they thought, but none of that will be relevant to the Indians without a series win this weekend.
While the 11 games against Detroit would lead one into believing that the Indians still have a chance at catching the division leaders, the fact that seven of those games come in September, when the Tribe could be completely out of contention, means very little. This weekend is all or nothing, as breaking even means that the club is still 7.5 games out with 64 games remaining, with only 10 days left to determine if it is win now or win next year.
Stay tuned for a series preview and see how things match-up this weekend in the “Motor City”, as the Indians look to stay relevant, and the Tigers look to go for the jugular.