3) Will The Indians Ever Freaking Lose?
Though the KC Royals split their last 10 games, they’ve lost five games in the standings as the Cleveland Indians have won 11 straight.
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The Royals had been tied for first place in the AL Central after sweeping the Indians in a three game series at Kauffman Stadium June 13-16. The KC Royals remained right with the Indians by winning three of their next four against the Tigers. As recently as June 19, the Royals were only 0.5 behind Cleveland.
Since that day, the Indians have opened up a six game lead in the AL Central with their 11-game winning streak. A little over two weeks ago the top four teams in the AL Central were bunched within two games of one another in what shaped up to be a dogfight to the finish.
Now, it appears that the Indians could pull a 1977 Kansas City Royals, who seized control of the AL West by winning 25 of 26 games in August on their way to a franchise-record 102 wins. If the Indians continue to win, they could force the KC Royals into a contest for the Wild Card rather than the AL Central division crown.
If the Indians can extend their lead to 10 games or so by the trade deadline, it could affect Kansas City Royals general manager Dayton Moore’s strategy at the trade deadline. Giving up prospects to bolster the playoff run for a team with little chance at a division title makes far less sense, due to the risk of losing the Wild Card game (which some pundits call the coin flip game).
The KC Royals really need to stay within shouting distance of the Indians over the next few weeks, since their next chance to make up ground directly doesn’t come until the teams meet in a three game series at kauffman Stadium July 18-20. After that July series, the teams do not play each other until six games in the final two weeks of the regular season.
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