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5 Things: Cleveland Venturing Into Oakland ‘Moneyball’ Territory

By Sam McPherson

Remember the 2002 Oakland Athletics? Those low-budget, Moneyball wonders set the all-time American League record for most consecutive wins, and last week, the Cleveland Indians set themselves up nicely to tie that record. Here’s what else you may have missed in MLB action.

The Tribe is making a move on baseball immortality

On Sunday, Cleveland won its 18th consecutive game, putting the team within reach of the AL record. The Indians lost the World Series in Game 7 last year, and now it’s clear they’re on a mission to bring the first World Series title to Cleveland since the 1940s.

On Tuesday night, the Tribe hosts the Detroit Tigers, and Cleveland ace Corey Kluber will be on the mound. Chances are MLB fans will see a bit of history made, so you may want to tune in.

Diamondbacks’ win streak ends at 13 games

Over in the National League, there was another team that went on a roll of success worth noting. The Arizona Diamondbacks won 13 straight games before finally losing on Friday night at home to the San Diego Padres.

Despite the tremendous success, Arizona still trails Los Angeles in the NL West Division by nine games, but the D’backs can take solace in the fact they’ve basically wrapped up the top wild-card spot in the league now.

Dodgers’ losing streak hits double digits

It seems like every week this summer there was some record the L.A. Dodgers were breaking. They won 43 of 50 games at one time, and then they were 50 games over .500, too. But now, the team is reeling.

In fact, the Dodgers have now lost 15 of their last 16 games to some different team records that no squad wants to hold. Of course, L.A. still has a nine-game lead in the division, but the Dodgers may not finish with the best record in the NL now.

Chicago’s Abreu hits for cycle against the Giants

Since he burst onto the MLB scene in 2014 by winning the AL Rookie of the Year Award, White Sox slugger José Abreu has been quietly sensational. He leads the AL in total bases this season, but Abreu did some special over the weekend.

In his almost-four full seasons now in the majors, the Chicago star has averaged more than 30 home runs per season and just slightly less than 100 RBI per year. Of course, this season isn’t done yet, so Abreu still can improve those numbers.

Giancarlo Stanton HR update: 19 games left

Through Sunday, the Miami Marlins have played 143 games, and their star outfielder has 54 HRs. That puts him on pace for 61 long balls in 2017, but Stanton has just one homer in his last six games.

Unfortunately, Stanton and his Miami teammates lost three games via walk-off plays in a four-game stretch last week. It’s been a rough second half for the Marlins, but Stanton still gets everyone in the sport watching the games, doesn’t he?

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