Which win streak is more impressive: Diamondbacks or Indians?
The Arizona Diamondbacks and Cleveland Indians became the first pair of MLB teams with active winning streaks of 13 or more games after their respective victories Wednesday night.
The Diamondbacks swept the Dodgers for their 13th straight win. Earlier, the Indians, behind starter Carlos Carrasco, defeated the Chicago White Sox for their 14th straight victory.
Now the question is, which team’s streak has been more impressive?
Based solely on number of wins, Cleveland would appear to have the advantage but a deeper look at how the team’s got to where they are is needed to answer this question fairly.
First undefeated #Dbacks road trip of 6+ games.
— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) September 7, 2017
Quality of Opponent
Yes, four of the wins during this streak came against teams the Diamondbacks are supposed to beat: the New York Mets (60-79) and the team currently bringing up the rear in the National League West, the San Francisco Giants (55-87).
But the rest of Arizona’s wins came courtesy of sweeps against the Wild Card hopeful Colorado Rockies (74-65) and the team with the best record in baseball, the Los Angeles Dodgers (92-47) twice.
Not only did the Diamondbacks beat up on quality divisional opponents, they combined to outscore the Dodgers and Rockies 60-21.
Cleveland started their streak with impressive back-to-back three-game sweeps of the Wild Card hopeful Kansas City Royals (69-69) at Progressive Field and the New York Yankees (74-64), who are still very much alive in the American League East. It is worth mentioning the Indians had to win both games of a doubleheader to sweep the Bronx Bombers.
However the Indians’ streak continued against more feeble opponents. Terry Francona and company won four in a row over the Detroit Tigers (59-80) last weekend and followed that up with three wins against the Chicago White Sox (54-84). Cleveland will go for the sweep of Chicago on the South Side Thursday evening.
Seven of the Indians’ wins came against teams with losing records, while Arizona had only four such victories
The Dodgers struck first Wednesday, but the Diamondbacks still tied the 1947 Brooklyn Dodgers for the second-longest streak of innings without trailing in MLB history at 97.
As Zack Greinke pointed out after Tuesday’s game to Steve Gilbert of MLB.com, the innings streak might be more impressive than the 13-game winning streak.
Cleveland cannot brag about an innings without trailing streak. But during their 14-game stretch, the Indians’ plus-72 run differential is the largest in franchise history.
In addition, the Indians have shutout their opponents and scored 10 or more times four times each. The Indians also notched the first run in all 14 games and outscored their opponents 46-9 in the first three innings.
The Tribe have certainly impressed, many but the Diamondbacks’ innings streak combined with tying an MLB record for not trailing at any point in 10 straight games prior to Wednesday is hard to argue with.
The D-backs were without NL MVP candidate Paul Goldschmidt for their last four games. The first baseman leads the team in WAR (6.3) and RBI (109).
Now, that is impressive.
The D-backs have also been without Chris Owings (.299 average and 25 doubles) and former Gold Glove Award winner Nick Ahmed.
Cleveland’s top five players by WAR this season are as follows: starting pitcher Corey Kluber (6.6), third baseman Jose Ramirez (5.2), starter Carlos Carrasco (4.5), shortstop Francisco Lindor (3.2) and designated hitter/first baseman Carlos Santana (3.1).
The Indians have been without reliever Andrew Miller since Aug. 22, but all five guys mentioned above are healthy.
In terms of the availability of key cogs, the Indians clearly have the advantage, which makes what the D-backs have done stand out.
The Diamondbacks and Indians have both put up impressive numbers during their streaks.
Arizona pitchers have a 1.91 ERA during their streak, while the Indians have a 1.86 ERA.
The D-backs’ offense hit .267 with 25 home runs, while the Indians have hit .317 with 28 home runs.
Who do you think had the more impressive streak?