Series Preview: Cleveland Indians @ Texas Rangers - Cleveland.

Once upon a time way back in the forgotten times of April 2010, a young, foolhardy ghostofErikThompson emphatically made predictions on which teams and players would be prosperous in this grueling meat-grinder known as a baseball season. Not all of his prognostications were so terrible. He thought Josh Hamilton would win the AL MVP award, for example. An event that becomes more and more likely by the day. He favored the Texas Rangers in a tightly contested AL West race. That pick being the one he would most like to be correct about.

But when predictions are bad, they're really bad. Like C.J. Wilson as an All-Star bad. He understands baseball often allows for surprises so he allowed for surprises in his predictions. For this, he missed gravely. His instinct was that one of the division winners would be a team that no one expected. He didn't suspect it could be the Padres. He listed them as the second worst team in baseball behind the Astros. No, instead, his big surprise was the Cleveland Indians. They would march to glory in a sagging AL Central propelled by Choo and the gang, he assumed. In reality, with the possible exception of the Baltimore Orioles, Cleveland is the worst team in the American League.

Oops.

The lesson here is to never count on Cleveland.

Monday, July 5 7:05: LHP Aaron Laffey vs. RHP Omar Beltre

Tuesday, July 6 7:05: RHP Justin Masterson vs. LHP C.J. Wilson

Wednesday, July 7 7:05: RHP Mitch Talbot vs. RHP Colby Lewis

Statistically, the Orioles are a little bit worse than the Indians. But, perhaps the slight difference in numbers can be attributed to the fact that Baltimore plays in the mighty AL East and Cleveland doesn't. Besides an above average team defensively, the Indians' bright spot, their best unit, is their starters, and their ranked 24th best in baseball. They're an awful, awful team who should thank their lucky stars that the Pittsburgh Pirates exist or they would hold the title of laughingstock.

It almost feels like I'm telling you a lie when I say the Indians had Victor Martinez and Cliff Lee (CLIFF LEE!) at this point in the season just one year ago. A year before that, they still had CC Sabathia. A year before that, Grady Sizemore's health wasn't always an issue. And Travis Hafner was still hitting (barely). And Fausto Carmona wasn't just getting courtesy selections to the All Star Game, he was actually awesome. And a World Series trip was about three and a half months + 1 game away. Windows of winning in baseball close quicker than you think.

And yet, I don't feel pity for the Indians for one simple reason, it's Cleveland. Screw Cleveland. The last time the Rangers played the Indians they were so anxious to get the hell out of Cleveland that a couple of defensive lapses and a Shin-Soo Choo home run in the bottom of the 8th inning took away a sure sweep and caused the team to spiral into their worst losing streak of the season. The Rangers were swept in New York thanks to Cleveland. The Worst Game of Baseball Ever Played. That's your fault, Cleveland. Then Darnell McDonald happened in Boston, thanks to Cleveland. You made us doubt, Cleveland. McGriddles happened because of you!

Behold your lone contribution, Cleveland:
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Cleveland Indians (32-49, 5th place AL Central)

Rangers' 2010 Record vs. Cleveland: 2-1 (At Cleveland)

Cleveland's Recent Results: 1-2 Series loss against the Oakland Athletics

SBN Indian's Blog: Let's Go Tribe

     Match-up: (as of 7/4)

       Rangers

Indians

Advantage

Batting

(RAR)

142.2

         (6th)

36.4

(27th)

Rangers!


Starters

(RAR)

57.4

(17th)

49.2

(24th)

Rangers

Bullpen

(RAR)

29.4

(3rd)

-5.8

(29th)

Rangers!

Overall RAR

229

79.8

RANGERS

Defense Runs Saved

20

28

Indians


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Questions to Ponder:

  • Did you know Carlos Santana is second in WAR for hitters for the Indians on the season, and he hasn't even played a whole month yet?
  • Did you know Russell Branyan is third best in WAR and he isn't even an Indian anymore?
  • Were you aware that second best in WAR for the Indians would be seventh best on the Rangers and first for the Indians, Shin-Soo Choo, won't even play in this series due to injury?
  • Were you aware that the Indians are really, really bad?
  • Do the Rangers sweep?

Just because:

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