Please, I’m begging you, quit trying to make me care about how far the Twins are behind the Indians. It doesn’t matter. Because the Indians don’t matter. At least not yet.
Cleveland started out they year by feasting on crummy teams. They’ve improved to 20-9 – including a recent seven-game winning streak - because they continue to feast on crummy teams. If the Indians are legit, we aren’t going to know it while they’re playing Seattle, Baltimore, Kansas City and a Victor Martinezless Detroit. (By the way, they’re 14-2 against those teams.)
The soonest the Indians can prove they’re legitimate is the middle of June. Currently, they’re on a west coast trip against Oakland and the Angels, then come home to face the Rays. Then they have another chance to fatten up their record before starting a touch stretch at the end of May. They face the Reds and Red Sox at home. Then come the Rays, Blue Jays, Rangers, Twins and Yankees. My prediction? They’re no more than five games over .500 by June 14th.
And speaking of facing the Twins, the Twins have 16 games left to make up whatever deficit they have. Last year Cleveland was 6-12 against the Twins. This year they’re 0-2. The Twins don’t play them again for over a month, by which time they should be (knock, knock) healthier. They also play each other six times in the last two weeks of the season.
So don’t ask me to explain the Tribe’s hot start. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter. This division will be decided in September, not April.
So let’s keep it simple: the Twins need to start playing well. In a very winnable AL Central, everything else is just clamor. And that is especially true for Cleveland. How the Indians are doing now, or where they are in the standings, doesn’t matter.