Chicago Cubs: A return to Cleveland and the World Series

(Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

Where they sit: Cleveland Indians

Record: 12-8 (1st in American League Central)

Record (Last 10): 7-3

ERA:  2.57 (2nd in the A.L.)

OBP: .284 (14th in the A.L.)

Team HR: 25 (Sixth in A.L.)

Team Leader – WAR: Jose Ramirez: 1.1 (Fangraphs)

Pitching, pitching, pitching

If there ever was a ballclub predicated on pitching? The Indians are that team. Four of the starters have under-3.00 ERA, with Mike Clevenger sporting a 1.75 ERA. Corey Kluber is right behind him with a 1.96 ERA. And the guys that are coming out of the pen? That would be Cody Allen and Andrew Miller, each with a 0.00 ERA. Even better? They’ve come out and pitched nine and 10 times, respectively.

Not so much offense

While the pitching has been productive, the offense has not. Jose Ramirez leads the team with a .237 average. Michael Brantley is hitting .320 but does not qualify for the team lead. Yonder Alonso has five home runs, while Ramirez has seven. But neither is doing it with runners in scoring position as each has 13 and 12 RBI, respectively. If they want to maintain this lead, they’re going to have to do it with some better offense.

Who will come around?

Jason Kipnis and Edwin Encarnacion? Under .200. Francisco Lindor and Yonder Alonso are both under .230. Chances are these guys won’t all stay down for long. But they will need the occasional few to come out of their doldrums and start hitting.