Cleveland Indian’s 2019 Playoff Chances

Medha Nayak

The Cleveland Indians are in the middle of a very unpredictable season. The 2019 season is the 119th season for the Indians, the seventh season under manager Terry Francona and the fourth season for general manager Mike Chernoff.

The Indians play in the American League Central (ALC). Current standings have them in second place, trailing only the Minnesota Twins’ 80-51 record. The Indians are closely followed by the Chicago White Sox, and the Kansas City Royals and the Detroit Tigers take fourth and fifth place, respectively. The Cleveland Indians have a win-loss record of 77-55.

According to Sports Illustrated News, the Minnesota Twins are predicted to come out on top of the ALC division. Website FiveThirtyEight predicts the same. FiveThirtyEight utilizes current statistics to predict the likeliness that a team will make it to the World Series. They use Elo ratings, which combine several factors and are a “measure of team strength based on head-to-head results, margin of victory and quality of opponent.” According to this compilation, the Cleveland Indians have a 22 percent chance of winning the divisional finals compared to the Twins’ 78 percent. Although the Twins are ranked higher, the Indians beat the Twins’ team rating of 1539 with a team rating of 1555.

The World Series is set to begin on October 22, and the Indians’ calculated chances of winning are about four percent. However, the Cleveland Indians have been making a strong comeback in the second half of the season. They gained tremendous ground against the Twins in the last few weeks and now currently hold the top wildcard spot. Despite losing third baseman Jose Ramirez, the Indians have still been making steady progress.

Ramirez, who has played as a shortstop, third and second baseman, recently underwent surgery after breaking the hamate bone in his right hand. He is predicted to be out for the rest of the regular season. Ramirez was hitting 0.254 with 20 home runs, 33 doubles, and 75 RBI. He was an integral part of leading the Indians back to victory in the second half of the season. The Indians replaced Ramirez with shortstop Yu Chang. According to fangraphs, before Ramirez’s injury the Indians were predicted to win 57.2 percent of their remaining games. Now, they are predicted to win 55 percent. Because Ramirez was a critical part of the team, it will be interesting to see how the Indians will play in their upcoming games and if they will make it to the playoffs.