The season is almost over and while the Indians still have the slimmest of chances* to snag the second Wild Card slot, tonight’s starter Corey Kluber (who was named AL Player of the Week on Monday) has a very real chance of winning the AL Cy Young Award. If you aren’t convinced Kluber deserves serious consideration for the Cy Young or if you need a handy list of stats to back up your argument with your brother-in-law in Seattle, click here. Both he and the Tribe need a win tonight. It’s Kluber’s last start of the year. He is 17-9, 2.53 and goes up against Rays right-hander Chris Archer (10-8, 3.42).
The Indians pitching staff enters their last series of the season with a Major League-high 1419 strikeouts. Tampa Bay is second with 1413 and the LA Dodgers are 3rd with 1341. Cleveland pitchers need only 10 more strikes to set a new Major League record for most strikeouts in a single season, which is currently held by the 2013 Detroit Tigers (1428).
* The slimmest of chances being the following would have to happen in order for the Indians to force a tiebreaker for the second spot:
- Cleveland must sweep the Rays
- The Rangers must win the final three games of their series vs. Oakland
- Seattle must lose at least once
Indians’ starting lineup:
Rays’ starting lineup: