There is no reason the Sox cannot sweep the Indians this weekend. None.
The Tribe currently own last place by a Cuyahoga mile with no real chance of climbing out of their ten-game hole. Their starters’ ERAs this weekend are 5.29, 6.16 and 9.77, in that order. Their best player is out due to elbow injury.
The Sox, conversely, put forward three guys set to average out to decent starts (Danks, Floyd, Colon), have the Wave of the Future single-handedly covering the infield and can’t possibly lose to both Oakland and Cleveland in the same week.
No-brainer, right? Right.
The Indians are hitting .269 (8th in the American League) to the Sox’ .253 (12th).
The Indians have 57 home runs (7th) to the Sox’ 53 (10th).
The Indians have scored 292 (3rd) to the Sox’ 221 (12th).
The Indians have also drawn 219 walks (3rd) to the Sox’ 164 (13th).
The Indians get on base at a .353 clip (4th) to the Sox .321 (11th).
Sox pitching sports a collective 4.30 ERA (5th in the American League) while the Tribe suffer on with a league-worst 5.38.
Sox arms have fanned an entire lineup more than Indians pitchers (365 to 356; 7th to 9th) while walking 184, a paltry sum compared to Cleveland’s most-by-a-long-shot 231, not to mention Lee and Company’s 294 earned runs and 63 home runs surrendered over the Good Guys’ 222 and 51.
It’s all so ironic really: once upon a time it was supposed to be the other way around. Cleveland had relatively decent arms and struggling bats while the South Side Hammer Throwing Club was supposed to be the lone salvation for a patchwork rotation. And yet, here we sit a third of the way through the season with two former contenders pinning their hopes on the entirely wrong end of their spectrums, each really only hoping to be able to come out the other end not having to admit they lost to the other worst team in baseball.
Records and matchups aside, it’s not a matter of whether the Sox can sweep the Indians, but at this point a matter of, unfortunately, having to.