Cleveland Indians: Play-Off Bound!

The Indians earned their way into the play-offs for the first time since 2007 by winning their final ten games of the season and 15 of their final 17. They needed every single one of those wins to take the top Wild Card spot and they did, just barely beating out the Rays and Rangers. The one game Wild Card play-off will take place on Wednesday, October 2nd in Cleveland and the Indians will play the winner of tomorrow's play-in game.

With both teams winning their final game of the year, the Rays and Rangers tied for the second Wild Card spot and will play a final game in Texas to decide the winner. The game is likely to feature a pitching match-up of David Price for Tampa and Martin Perez for the Rangers. This would leave Alex Cobb or Matt Garza available to face Danny Salazar and the Indians on Wednesday.

Following the Wild Card play-off, the American League Wild Card winner will go on to face the Red Sox, in Boston. On the other side, the Tigers will start the ALDS on Friday in Oakland. All of the NL and AL Wild Card and Divisional games will be shown on TBS. Following the Divisional round, the two winners will play each other in the ALCS, which starts on Saturday, October 12th and will be shown on Fox. The World Series is scheduled to begin on October 23rd and will also be broadcast by Fox national.

Against their possible future opponents, the Indians went 1-6 against Boston, 5-2 against Oakland and of course 4-15 against Detroit. While these numbers certainly don't look good for Cleveland, it should be noted that only one featured the revamped version of Ubaldo Jimenez (a win against Oakland on August 17th), who will likely be the Indians most used pitcher in the post season. Justin Masterson should also be available, completely healthy and well rested, giving the Indians the second best overall pitching staff going into the play-offs (behind Detroit).

In all of 2013, the Indians allowed ten or more runs 11 times, four of which occurred against the Tigers. The positive to take out of this, is that of those games, three were thrown by limited use starters (Trevor Bauer, Brett Myers and Carlos Carrasco) and four were by Ubaldo Jimenez before he figured things out in the second half of the season. The reason this is so important is that the results from the regular season are not necessarily going to be repeated in the post season. In one run games, the Indians went 30-17 (.638) and with only the best pitchers going, there are likely to be a lot more of those close games than the ten run affairs. The Indians have had 16 shut outs this year, all but one of which was started by one of the regular five starters.

Considering the National League, Cincinnati will play the Pirates in Pittsburgh on October first to determine the NL Wild Card. The winner of this game will move on to St. Louis to play their other Central Division foe. Determining the coastal champions will be the Braves and Dodgers with Atlanta taking home field advantage. Both these series will begin this Thursday. The NLCS is then scheduled to begin Thursday, October 11th and will be shown on TBS.

Joseph Coblitz

About Joseph Coblitz

Joseph is the primary writer and editor of BurningRiverBaseball.com and has been since it's inception in 2011. He is a graduate of the University of Akron and currently resides in Goodyear, Arizona the Spring Training home of the Cleveland Indians.

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