Well, here we go.
If there’s a miraculous playoff run in this squad, it starts tonight.
The Indians are 4.5 games behind the Astros for the final wild card spot. Ahead of them are the Twins and Angels.
Moving up 4.5 games and passing three teams in the span of 14 games is almost impossible, but since the Indians have six games against the Twins, it’s somewhat feasible.
So here are the two games you need to be following tonight
Indians at Twins – Ervin Santana vs. Danny Salazar
The Tribe roughed up Santana for eight runs in just over two innings of work earlier this season, but Santana has generally fared well against the Tribe in his career.
Salazar is coming off a strong outing against Kansas City, but has been rocky as of late with a 5.02 ERA in his last five starts.
Angels at Astros – Hector Santiago vs. Lance McCullers
An Angels win inches the Tribe closer to the Astros, but an Astros win coupled with an Indians win, jumps the Tribe ahead of Los Angeles.
I actually think an Astros win is preferable, even if it doesn’t get them any closer to the playoff spot. If the Indians sweep the Twins, and the Astros sweep the Angels, the Tribe will be second in the wild card with a 4 game deficit.
Even though that’s a marginal gain in the standings, four games to make up with just one team ahead of you at least limits the scoreboard watching.