Baseball is almost impossible to predict. Anything can happen in 162 games. The Houston Astros made the playoffs last year while the Detroit Tigers did not. Either one of those statements would have met by blank stares if they were uttered this time last year.
The Major League Baseball season is six months of absolute mayhem. Prospects overachieve and underachieve. Team leaders find their way on disabled list for months at a time.
Sometimes, your star left fielder comes back from an injury two months early.
Baseball is 162 games of controlled chaos.
No one can definitively say that the Tribe can take the division, let alone a World Series Championship. What we can figure out is what needs to happen for them to have more than a puncher’s chance at the ultimate prize.
Here are the five things the Indians must do to put themselves in prime position to win the American League Central.
1. Start quickly
In their first three seasons under manager Terry Francona the Tribe has been an average of eight games under .500 on May 1st. If the Indians want to have a change for a playoff series, they have to start off at least average, if not hot. The Francona Era has marked by three seasons of playing catch up in the standings when August and September come around, with only the first one ending with a playoff berth. If the Indians want to avoid a dramatic finish, finishing April above .500 is extremely important.
NEO Sports Insiders Newsletter
Sign up to receive our NEOSI newsletter, and keep up to date with all the latest Cleveland sports news.