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Big week by offense pushes Cleveland Indians into first place

Exercise your democratic rights.

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The Indians began the week by losing the first two games of their series against Texas. They bounced back to win the finale, then swept the Royals in a four-game set, winning those games by a combined scored of 25-6. In the process, they overtook Kansas City for first place in the AL Central, and are now sitting on a 1.5-game lead. Danny Salazar allowed only one run in eight innings, and the bullpen allowed only four runs in 22 innings, but the offense lead the way.

Previous winners:

The Candidates

Lonnie Chisenhall

Chisenhall had his best week of the year so far, batting .333/.385/.482 in 26 plate appearances, with a wRC+ of 154. His biggest game at the plate was on Tuesday, when he had three hits, including his first home run of the season. He also had a pair of doubles during the week, scored four runs, and drove in four as well. Friday night he made a great play and throw from deep right field.

Francisco Lindor

Lindor hit .296/.333/.667 in 20 plate appearances, with a wRC+ of 160. His week was a tale of two series though, as he went 0 for 11 against Texas, before wrecking Kansas City by going 8 for 16 against them with two doubles, a triple, and two home runs. He drove in and scored at least one run in all four of those games. In the ninth inning of the opener, Lindor tripled in the tying run, then scored the winner on a sac fly, igniting a very different storyline for the series.

Mike Napoli

Napoli put up a batting line of .280/.345/.800 in 29 plate appearances last week, good for a wRC+ of 195. He led the team with seven runs batted in, and also with seven runs scored. Also of note, he hit four home runs, which has been a pretty good month for most Tribe hitters in recent years, and is one heck of a week for any player who ever lived.

Tyler Naquin

Naquin only played in four games, but boy did he ever make them count, batting .545/.643/1.455 in his 14 plate appearances, with a wRC+ of 431. After a quiet 1 for 4 night in his first game back up, Naquin homered on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, becoming one of very few players in history whose first three career home runs came on three consecutive days.

The Winner

If you're not the type to worry about regression, you can go right past thinking about someone on the Tribe hitting 30 home runs, and set your sights on 40, because after his big week, Mike Napoli is now on pace to hit 41 of them. I can't believe I'm not throwing my support behind the guy who hit four long balls during the week, but to me Naquin was even more impressive. Look at it this way, in 14 extra at bats, Napoli had only one extra hit, so all Naquin would have needed to do if he'd played in those three extra games is go 1 for 14. I'm confident he could have bettered that. Naquin seems likely to regress in a big way, but if continues to play anywhere near this well, we might look back at Marlon Byrd's failed drug test as one of the most important moments of the season. Congratulations, Tyler!