Red Sox: Where does the lineup rank among AL playoff teams?

BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 05: Mookie Betts
BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 05: Mookie Betts /
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CLEVELAND, OH – SEPTEMBER 28: Francisco Lindor (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH – SEPTEMBER 28: Francisco Lindor (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

The Cleveland Indians come in at No. 2 thanks to their deep, dynamic, and powerful lineup. After the heartbreak of Game 7 last fall, the Indians find themselves in the playoffs once again, and this year’s edition of the Tribe might be better than lasts. Coming in at sixth in the league in runs and runs per game with 818 and 5.05, the Indians marched their way to another AL Central title on the back of their historic 22-game win streak.

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While Corey Kluber seems to be stealing a lot of headlines these days with the way he finished his season on the mound, the Indians want to remind you that they also no slouch when it comes to the lumber. Looking to defend their American League pennant, the Indians slashed a collective .263/.339/.449, good for the fifth best team average and second best team on-base and slugging percentages in the league.  With the second-best OPS and fourth-best OPS+ among teams in the MLB, the Indians are a daunting task for any starting pitcher 1-9.

By adding Edwin Encarnacion last winter and Jay Bruce in August, the Indians were able to slot two big-time power bats into the heart of their lineup. Add in another sparkling season from young SS Francisco Lindor and an MVP-type campaign from 3B Jose Ramirez, the 2-4 spots in the lineup just got that much harder to navigate. But wait – there’s more! I’d be remiss if I failed to mention the on-base abilities of lead-off hitter Carlos Santana and the recent returns of CF Michael Brantley and 2B Jason Kipnis. Now that the Cleveland lineup is back to full strength for this October run they’ll be able to do everything well offensively. We should all be terrified.