It has been established that the Indians have the best run differential in baseball, much in thanks to their record win streak, but how about the team with the 2nd-best mark?
It’s not the Los Angeles Dodgers, whom the Indians passed during that 22-game run. It’s the New York Yankees.
Yes, the Indians may be rewarded for having the best record in baseball by getting a five-game series against the 2nd-best team in baseball. That of course depending on how you view the importance of scoring runs and preventing opposing teams from scoring them.
Believe it or not, the Yankees and Indians are more aligned than one may think.
The Indians’ vaunted bullpen? Second in baseball to the Yankees in WAR.
Corey Kluber and Chris Sale will finish 1st and 2nd in the Cy Young race. Yankees ace Luis Severino will most likely finish 3rd.
The teams’ offenses are almost identical statistically, each with wRC+ marks of 107, and the Indians slightly ahead in slashline at .264/.340/.450 to .262/.339/.444 and WAR, 26.2 to 25.0.
The game is obviously not played with statistics, but the Indians’ worst-case scenario in a five-game series could very well be to play a team that is close to a replica.
With six of the top-23 relievers in the game this season, the Yankees have almost followed the Indians’ blueprint to success in October. It seems as if the two sides are on a collision course for the ALDS.
Even having won 5-of-7 against the Yankees this season, Indians fans may want to root hard for the Minnesota Twins in the wild card game.
Miller High Life
Andrew Miller was set to go multiple innings on Thursday in Anaheim, a continued ramp up in intensity for what is to come in October.
The lefty ended up seeing the bases loaded with one out, before escaping the inning unscathed on 26 pitches.
“That was actually really good in a way. He had a couple of walks, got the ball that we don’t turn into an out, so he’s got his hands full, but he reached back and started competing,” Manager Terry Francona said. “Nobody scored and it was probably really good for him.”
It was the first time Miller has thrown more than 17 pitches since July 29th.