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Race for the Fourth Pick: The Final Week

All this winning has not been good as far as the draft is concerned. The Indians are still in a fourth-place tie with Minnesota, and have just about no shot of advancing any further, as third-place Colorado is 3.5 games ahead of them. So it's time to revise our goals to a more realistic level.

Jason Miller - Getty Images
Rk Tm G W L W-L% R RA Rdiff last10 last20 last30
1 HOU 156 51 105 .327 3.6 5.0 -1.4 4-6 9-11 11-19
2 CHC 155 59 96 .381 3.8 4.7 -0.9 2-8 8-12 11-19
3 COL 155 61 94 .394 4.8 5.5 -0.8 3-7 5-15 10-20
4 CLE 156 65 91 .417 4.1 5.2 -1.1 5-5 7-13 10-20
5 MIN 156 65 91 .417 4.4 5.2 -0.8 5-5 9-11 14-16
6 MIA 155 66 89 .429 3.8 4.5 -0.7 2-8 6-14 9-21
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 9/27/2012

In addition the Miami Marlins are coming up behind them fast; the Marlins are just 1.5 games behind the Indians with 7 games to play. At this point the best-case scenario for the Indians is pick #4, and the worst-case is pick #6; 3.5 games (Colorado)is way too much to make up in 6 games.

Here's what the contenders for pick #4 have on their schedule the last week of the season:

  • Cleveland (91 losses): 3 KC (70-85), 3 CHW (82-73) - even with mounting injuries, the Indians are playing their best baseball since the All-Star Break, actually winning 5 out of their last 10 games. That's not the way a team needs to be playing going into the final week. They'll face a playoff contender in the White Sox in the last series of the season, but the way Chicago's playing, that's not a guaranteed sweep.
  • Minnesota (91 losses): 3 DET (83-72), @ TOR (68-87) - on paper, things are looking good for the Twins, as they face off against a hot Detroit club. But they've given the Tigers headaches this season. Toronto will be a tough series, as the Jays are in a freefall heading down the stretch. It should be a close finish - keep in mind that the Twins hold the tiebreaker with the Indians should the teams end up with the same record.
  • Miami (89 losses): 1 @ ATL (90-65), 3 PHL (78-77), 3 NYM (71-84) - Miami is 1.5 games behind both the Indians and Twins going into the final week of the season, but they're finishing strong. Just 6-14 over their last 20 games, their manager and closer are verbally sparring through the media, among other distractions.