When people talk about a "World Series hangover", you normally shrug it off and do not really think anything of it. More times than not, you actually do see it happen. For some reason, teams get out of the gate a little slow the next season, even if they do bring back the same team the next season. This has been the case for the Cleveland Indians this season.
The Indians are a team that usually gets off to a slow start most seasons anyway, but you expected that maybe that would be different this season as they returned a deep team, full of veterans and youth. They got off to a less than stellar start, or that is how it felt. They played .500 baseball for the first almost 2 months of the season. Even at .500, they were staying close to the surprising division leader, the Minnesota Twins. That all changed with a 4-game series.
Going into last weekend, the Indians were 2 games back of the Twins, with a chance to make up ground. Not only did they make up ground, they won all 4 games of the series and ended up leaving Minnesota up 2 games in the division. Of the 4 games, only one of them was within a 4-run game. They won the games with scores of 8-1, 9-3, 6-2, 5-2, racking up 28 runs over a 4-game span. Likely their most important series to date this year, they came out and showed everyone why they are a favorite to get back to the World Series.
They left Minnesota, heading to take on another team who was playing great baseball, the Baltimore Orioles. The Orioles were playing as good as anyone the past few weeks. A split would have been good, which would have left them 6-2 on the 8-game road trip, but instead they took 3 of the 4 games, leaving them 7-1 on the trip, which was an excellent trip for them.
The Indians sit 2.5 games over Minnesota currently. who they welcome to town this weekend and can distance themselves even further. It will be a tough task as Minnesota for some reason has played better on the road than at home. It is an extremely important series for the Indians as they get closer to the all-star break.
Next week I will have a piece on some ways the Indians could improve their squad and present a couple trade targets they can realistically look to acquire.