Toronto Blue Jays News

Indians carry winning streak into Toronto to face Blue Jays: Series Preview

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Jun 29, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson (20) (center) celebrates the win over the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. The Blue Jays defeated the Rockies 5-3. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 29, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson (20) (center) celebrates the win over the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. The Blue Jays defeated the Rockies 5-3. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /

Across the Diamond: Cleveland Indians

The Indians staff ERA for the entire season sits at 3.46, ranking 4th in all of baseball, and that’s supported by a 3.84 FIP. They’ve been adept at getting strikeouts, as evidence by their 8.36 K/9, and their walk rate is a very good 2.71.

Over the last 14 days, those numbers have improved to 1.82, 3.12, 8.50 and 2.23 respectively, so their already strong numbers going into the streak have received a huge boost. This staff is lights out right now. Over their last 12 wins, they’ve allowed more than three runs in only two games.

On the offensive side of the ball, they haven’t been quite as dominant, but there’s no questioning the talent in their lineup. Their team wRC+ of 102 ranks 10th in the league, one spot behind the Jays. Leading the way is the ultra-talented Francisco Lindor, who has a 123 wRC+ while playing exceptional defence. He has power and speed from both side of the plate, and he strikes out a very low rate of 12.3%. He’s a weapon wherever he is on the field and he’s one of the most exciting young players in the game.

Veterans Jason Kipnis, Mike Napoli, Carlos Santana, Jose Ramirez, and Rajai Davis bring a diverse set of skills throughout the lineup, but they’ve all posted wRC+ numbers above 100 as they’ve provided the Indians with some depth in their lineup. Tyler Naquin and Lonnie Chisenhall, who mostly play against RHP, have also been important parts of the supporting cast.

Ultimately, I think this lineup is playing above their head a little bit; however, their success can’t be overlooked. They don’t strike out a lot, they draw a fair amount of walks, and while they don’t have any hitters who boast huge power potential, they have a decent amount of home run power balanced throughout the lineup.

Another aspect of this team that leads to much of their success is their defensive prowess. They rank seventh in all of baseball in Fangraphs defensive WAR metric, while also ranking 4th in UZR. Their DRS is at -6, which is bizarre, but nonetheless, they look to be one of the AL’s best fielding teams.

Next: Game 1: Carrasco vs Dickey

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