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All this winning has not been good as far as the draft is concerned. The Indians are still in a fourth-place tie with Minnesota, and have just about no shot of advancing any further, as third-place Colorado is 3.5 games ahead of them. So it's time to revise our goals to a more realistic level.
In addition the Miami Marlins are coming up behind them fast; the Marlins are just 1.5 games behind the Indians with 7 games to play. At this point the best-case scenario for the Indians is pick #4, and the worst-case is pick #6; 3.5 games (Colorado)is way too much to make up in 6 games.
Here's what the contenders for pick #4 have on their schedule the last week of the season:
- Cleveland (91 losses): 3 KC (70-85), 3 CHW (82-73) - even with mounting injuries, the Indians are playing their best baseball since the All-Star Break, actually winning 5 out of their last 10 games. That's not the way a team needs to be playing going into the final week. They'll face a playoff contender in the White Sox in the last series of the season, but the way Chicago's playing, that's not a guaranteed sweep.
- Minnesota (91 losses): 3 DET (83-72), @ TOR (68-87) - on paper, things are looking good for the Twins, as they face off against a hot Detroit club. But they've given the Tigers headaches this season. Toronto will be a tough series, as the Jays are in a freefall heading down the stretch. It should be a close finish - keep in mind that the Twins hold the tiebreaker with the Indians should the teams end up with the same record.
- Miami (89 losses): 1 @ ATL (90-65), 3 PHL (78-77), 3 NYM (71-84) - Miami is 1.5 games behind both the Indians and Twins going into the final week of the season, but they're finishing strong. Just 6-14 over their last 20 games, their manager and closer are verbally sparring through the media, among other distractions.