At 44-41 in the All-Star break, the Cleveland Indians are positioned to battle the first place Chicago White Sox and third place Detroit Tigers for the AL Central crown over the next 77 games. Sitting just three games back, the Indians are in a nice spot when the season resumes on Friday.
The first 11-games after the break are against pretty tough AL East foes, at Toronto (three games), at Tampa (four games) and at home against Baltimore (four games). The Indians are just 7-11 against teams from the AL East, but those 11-games are very important, because they go on to play the Tigers (six times), the Twins (six times) and the Royals (three times). Those 15-games will go a long way in determining where the Tribe will settle within the division.
So aside from winning more games than the division-rival Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers, what does the club need to do to win and compete in the AL Central?
I'm glad you asked...