Do the Indians Still Deserve Our Attention?

The Detroit Tigers as well as the whole world of baseball were completely caught off guard by the explosive start the Cleavland Indians had this season.  They lead the AL Central Division for the weeks in the early part of the season.  Since then things have gone somewhat back to they way everyone predicted it would.

The Indians have hit a bit of a rough patch.  They have gone 3-7 on their last ten, and the Tigers now lead the division by 4.5 games.  While Cleavland is still No. 2 in the division (with the Kansas City Royals breathing down thier necks) they are not getting anywhere near the amount of the attention they received after their surprise start nor are they being taken very seriously, if anyone took them seriously to begin with.

Even the sports books have began to take notice of Cleavland’s fall.  Cleavland shot up in the World Series odds after their great start to the season and were among the ten teams most likely to win it all.  As of Bovada‘s last updated World Series odds they now sit at 25/1 to win the World Series well without of reach of the top 10 teams.

So after their fantastic start can we consider the Indians as the real deal since they have now hit a slump?

When the Indians were riding high it was easy for me to write an article about how they were the real deal.  In that piece I used all of their short term accomplishments as evidence that they were a legit World Series contender without looking at how they are built for the long term.  After doing that, I still believe that the Indians are the real deal.

The most important thing to look at is their roster and they are built to be a great team.  Mark Reynolds, Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn are a great defensive trio.  Reynolds is also a big time slugger.  Mortar, Mike Aviles and Ryan Raburn also know how to hit the ball when they need too and make up a solid trio in the outfield.

Their pitching staff is also great.  Just Masterson looks like he will be a Cy Young candidate.  Ubaldo Jimenez is a former Cy Young runner up and has been pitching very well.  Zach McAllister has a 2.65 ERA in eight starts.
All the tools are their for Cleavland to make a big run in the postseason.  They just have to utilize them correctly.
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