Detroit’s lead is only a 1.5 games over the Indians, but similar to last season, Cleveland’s pitching is just not good enough to give them a legitimate chance at a division championship. Outside of Justin Masterson, the Indians’ pitching staff is full of players that are either inexperienced or out of their prime.
I mean, Ubaldo Jimenez might have the potential to remember he isn’t one of the league’s worst pitchers, but I highly doubt we will ever see that day.
Outside of their questionable rotation, the Indians also have issues in their bullpen. There are quite a few guys whose BB/9 ratio is over 5.00, which is just asking for disaster. One of those pitchers is their closer, Chris Perez, who has ‘earned’ -0.5 fWAR on the season. Granted, he is battling through injuries right now, but that just goes to show that it’s highly unlikely for the Indians to keep their heads above water long.
It was definitely exciting to see a ton of walk-off wins; however, their offense cannot carry the load over the course of a 162-game season. This is Detroit’s division now and going forward. I will be utterly shocked if they give up the division lead for the rest of the year.
With that being said, Cleveland should be able to stick around for a little while longer and may have a decent chance at the wild card. But, it’s no coincidence that their hot streak has been halted. If Cleveland wants a real chance at dethroning the Tigers, they may want to invest in a time machine where Jimenez and Scott Kazmir were on top of their game — or it’s probably not going to happen.