Recap: I previously posted why I like to look at baseball seasons in 27 game sections. 6 to be exact. As we are at the half way point, here are the numbers to help gauge the pace of a team
For a team to finish with 78 wins and 84 losses they would go 13-14 in each 27 game set.
Thus, you expect playoff teams (90+ wins) not only to have zero sets below .500, but they are more than a game above .500 (semantic discussions on this not allowed) every set.
So far the Indians sets have been:
Set 1 (Opening Day - May 4): Opening series at Toronto, 8 games against the AL East, 2 series with the CWS, a series with Houston, Philly, and KC. They went 14-13, and ended the set on a 6 game win streak.
Set 2 (May 5 - May 31): a 4 game sweep of Oakland, Seattle, a series win against Detroit, , getting swept by Detroit, and a six game losing streak. They went 15-12.
Set 3 (June 1 - June 29). This set included an 8 game losing streak, including sweeps at the hands of Detroit and the Yankees, and splitting a series at Baltimore. There were also 3 game series with Texas, Washington, KC, Minnesota, and the first 3 of the 4 game series at CWS.
So we have
14-13, 15-12, ???
Tribe went 14-13 again. That brings us to two sets of 84-win pace and 1 of 90-win pace. It's encouraging that with all the streaks ( a 6 game and an 8 game losing streak; but also winning 18 of 24), the Indians are still above .500 in each set. If we set the playoffs at 90 wins, the Indians have to finish 47-34. That means more or less two of the three remaining sets should be 16-11 and one should be 15-12.
That's a little tough to pull off. But we have a somewhat favorable schedule:
Set 4 - KC Series x 2, 4 game series vs. DET, and TOR at home. Then we have MIN, SEA, Texas, and 4 games against the White Sox. That's winning 2 of 3 in every 3 game series and splitting the series against Detroit and Chicago. Doable, and there is a potential for a MIN or SEA (or even another CWS sweep in there) to help us against the DET, TOR, and TEX series.
Set 5 - Miami, another 4 game Detroit series, 6 games with the Angels, 6 with the Twins, 3 oakland, 3 Atlanta, and then 2 more at Detroit. This is probably the set to go 15-12, as we would have to win 2 of 3 in every series, then one of the last five games (3 ATL, 2 DET). Again doable, but challenging.
Set 6 - September brings us only 1 DET game, but 3 baltimore. But after that it's 3 against the Mets, 6 KC, 6 CWS, 4 Houston, and 4 Minnesota - so not only is 16 wins possible (or likely) but if the Tribe gets hot, it gives them a chance to make up ground if they fall short in set 4 or 5.
For the next two months, root for being 74-61 on August 31. That will make September competitive and keep us in the Wild Card race (hopefully) - and maybe the division? For now the playoffs remain alive, but could easily be derailed. Here's to a second half that's as enjoyable as the first.