For the past two years, the Cleveland Indians’ seasons have seemingly started in the exact same way. First, expectations are typically set quite high for the team, especially last year when SI predicted the Indians would win the World Series. After that, Cleveland proceeds to stumble out of the gate, struggling through the opening month and having to spend the remainder of the season recovering.
Step one seems to be taking place yet again this year, as the Tribe is finding itself to be a trendy pick to contend in the AL Central. However, many fans are anticipating yet another slow start to the season.
If there is any one player who could determine if another early season slump takes place, it’s Michael Brantley. Whether or not he’ll be available on Opening Day will make a huge difference in how Cleveland performs to start the year.