You can’t trust Indians’ historic streak for fantasy baseball help – New York Post

If you peaked inside the Indians’ locker room during the Indians’ incredible 22-game winning streak, there is no doubt you would have seen Terry Francona peeling away portions of clothing from a cardboard cutout of owner Larry Dolan in the clubhouse to motivate the team in a “Major League” style move.

Move magic was really the only way to describe what happened in the Rock and Roll Capital of the World – especially with their pitchers.

The Indians had seven shutouts during this incredible streak, which is more than 13 teams have for the entire season, including playoff teams like the Yankees, Cubs and Nationals. Heading into Friday, the staff had posted a 1.58 ERA over its previous 199 innings.

So, now that the streak is over, here’s the big question as you venture into the final two weeks of the season: Should you continue to depend on red-hot Indian hurlers like Trevor Bauer, Josh Tomlin and Mike Clevinger – three guys who, for the most part, have been streaming options, at best, for most of the season (we’re excluding Kluber and Carrasco from this equation, largely because Kluber is a Cy Young front-runner and Carrasco is a pitcher you’d normally trust).

Bauer suffered his first lost since July 16 on Friday, but is a ridiculous 9-1 with a 2.83 ERA, 78 strikeouts and a .268 opponent average over his last 12 appearances (11 starts). He is striking out a career-high 10.1 per nine innings, walking fewer batters than normal (3.1 per nine innings) and maintains a solid strand rate (75.9 percent), but he still has a 4.41 ERA (despite his 3.96 FIP and 3.63 xFIP indicating he’s been unlucky), a .343 BaBIP (41 points higher than his career average) and an awful HR/FB ratio (16.7 percent). He has upcoming matchups against the Angels, a team he has owned throughout his career (4-0, 2.70, 1.227 WHIP) and Twins, a team he has gotten the best of this season (3-1, 3.71) but is mediocre against over his career (4-6, 4.85). With the Angels and Twins fighting for their playoff lives, it may not be easy for Bauer to coast.

Tomlin was the fourth-most added pitcher this week in ESPN leagues, but still was owned in less than 30 percent of ESPN and Yahoo leagues. He doesn’t strikeout a lot of hitters (6.8 per nine innings) and doesn’t pitch deep into games, but he also hasn’t lost since June 25. He has gone 5-0 with a 3.18 ERA, 30 strikeouts and just four walks over his past seven starts. If the rotation doesn’t change, he is slated to face the Angels, Twins and White Sox in his final three starts. His last two losses, which came in June, came against the Twins (1-2, 3.66 ERA) and White Sox (0-2, 10.88). He is 2-2 with a 4.09 ERA against the Angels in his career, so continuing to be cautious with Tomlin is a smart move.

Clevinger was the most added pitcher in ESPN leagues this week, having won four straight decisions while allowing just one earned run over his past 23 ²/₃ innings (0.38 ERA) with 28 strikeouts, just eight walks and a .186 opponent average. Though he has never faced the Mariners, who he would face on Sept. 24, he has an ERA above 5.50 against the Angels and White Sox in his career, and has a 10.80 ERA against the Angels this season (he allowed five earned runs on nine hits over 4 ¹/₃ innings on July 25). Not exactly a ringing endorsement.

As exciting and memorable as their record-breaking streak was, there is one sobering thought not many fans or fantasy owners riding this hot streak are considering: What goes up, must come down. Thewere going to play this well for only so long before coming back to earth. These three pitchers weren’t top-of-the-line starters before this streak, nor will they be since it now is over.

Just remember, the Indians didn’t win it all in “Major League” because it is impossible to sustain greatness that long. As you head into the semifinals and finals, just be mindful of who these players are and always have been.

Big Hits

Jose Abreu 1B, White Sox
Has at least one RBI in eight of his first 13 games this month, while going 20-for-54 (.370) with five homers, 15 RBIs, 13 runs scored and a 1.166 OPS. He was hitting .387 with 12 homers and 27 RBIs since Aug. 12.

Taijuan Walker SP, D’backs
Has allowed just four runs over his past five starts, going 3-0 with a 1.26 ERA, 27 strikeouts and a .212 opponent average.

Tim Anderson SS, White Sox
Has hit safely in 32 out of 39 games since Aug. 2, hitting .313 with seven homers, 24 RBIs, 25 runs scored and five stolen bases (all of which have come over his past nine games).

Luke Weaver SP, Cardinals
The way he has been pitching, you would think he was pitching for Cleveland as he is 5-0 with a 1.15 ERA, a .209 opponent average and a 42:4 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He has lowered his ERA from 3.31 to 1.89 during the stretch.

Big Whiffs


Rays outfielder Steven SouzaCorey Sipkin

Steven Souza Jr. OF, Rays
Despite missing a few games because of injuries, he has just three hits in 34 at-bats (.088) this month with no homers, no RBIs, one run and 18 strikeouts.

Wade Miley SP, Orioles
Got shelled on Thursday by the Yankees, lasting just one-third of an inning while allowing six runs on six hits. He is 0-3 with a 9.00 ERA and a .327 opponent average over his past three starts.

Jake Lamb 3B, D’backs
Has not homored since Aug. 20, going 12-for-75 (.160) with six RBIs, 20 strikeouts, a .273 on-base percentage and .473 OPS over his past 21 games.

Mike Foltynewicz SP, Braves
Has allowed 26 earned runs since his last victory (Aug. 5), going 0-6 with a 8.07 ERA, 16 walks and a .331 opponent average over his past six starts.

Check Swings

  • Most added relief pitcher in ESPN leagues this week? Juan Nicasio, who appears to be in line to pick up some saves for Cardinals.
  • Aaron Judge has apparently rediscovered his swing, hitting safely in eight of his last 13 games. He has also gone deep six times in that span.
  • Look who decided to show up late to the party. Carlos Gonzalez has suddenly remembered how to play baseball this month, going 15-for-42 (.357) with four homers, 11 RBIs, 12 runs and a 1.290 OPS in his first 13 games.
  • Remember when the Dark Knight was intimidating? Now, it is like Matt Harvey is trying to pitch while not fully recovered from Bane breaking his back. He has allowed 14 earned runs over his past 10 ¹/₃ innings (12.19 ERA) while striking out just six and walking five. Turn the signal off, Commissioner Gordon! Find a new hero to protect Gotham.

Team Name of the Week

Frazier Blades

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