ALCS: Indians Look to Change History

Progressive Field

Big day in Cleveland today. How big? The Indians and Yankees meet in a winner-take-all Game 5 of the AL Division Series. The Indians are looking for their first victory ever in a do-or-die post-season game. The Indians are 1-6, losing the last six, including a Game 5 in the ALDS in 1999 and 2001, the World Series in 2016 and 19978, the ALCS in 2007, and the AL Wild-Card Game in 2013. Their only win? In the 1997 ALDS against the Yankees.

A Trend Indians Want to End

Year Pos W L Pct Post-Season
2017 1st 102 60 .630 Tied in LDS (2-2)
2016 1st 94 67 .584 Lost WS (4-3)
2013 2nd 92 70 .568 Lost ALWC (1-0)
2007 1st 96 66 .593 Lost ALCS (4-3)
2001 1st 91 71 .562 Lost LDS (3-2)
1999 1st 97 65 .599 Lost LDS (3-2)
1997 1st 86 75 .534 Lost WS (4-3)

Meanwhile, the Yankees are facing the 29th post-season elimination game in franchise in history in Wednesday’s Game 5 of the ALDS against the Indians in Cleveland. And what does history tell us about the Yankees chances? They have a 50-50 chance to winning. The Yankees are 13-14 all-time in win-or-go-home post-season games. They, however, have lost five of their last seven post-season elimination games.

Year Pos W L Pct Postseason
2017 2nd 91 71 .562 Div Tied Cle 2-2
WC def. Min 1-0
2015 2nd 87 75 .537 WC lost to Hou 1-0 
2012 1st 95 67 .586  LCS lost to Det 4-0
Div def. Bal 3-2
2011 1st 97 65 .599 Div lost to Det 3-2 
2005 1st(t) 95 67 .586 Div lost to LAA 3-2 
2004 1st 101 61 .623 LCS lost to Bos 4-3
2003 1st 101 61 .623 LCS def. Bos 4-3
2001 1st 95 65 .594 Div def. Oak 3-2
WS lost to Ari 4-3
2000 1st 87 74 .5400 Div def. Oak 3-2,
1997 2nd 96 66 .593 Div lost to Cle 3-2 
1995 2nd 79 65 .549 Div lost to Sea 3-2 
1981 3rd 59 48 .551 Div def. Mil 3-2
1977 1st 100 62 .617 LCS def. KC 3-2
1976 1st 97 62 .610 LCS def. KC 3-2
1964 1st 99 63 .611 WS lost to StL 4-3 
1962 1st 96 66 .593 WS def. SF 4-3 
1960 1st 97 57 .630 WS lost to Pit 4-3 
1958 1st 92 62 .597 WS def. Mil 4-3 
1957 1st 98 56 .636 WS lost to Mil 4-3 
1956 1st 97 57 .630 WS def. Bro 4-3 
1955 1st 96 58 .623 WS lost to Bro 4-3 
1952 1st 95 59 .617 WS def. Bro 4-3 
1947 1st 97 57 .630 WS def. Bro 4-3 
1926 1st 91 63 .591 WS lost to StL 4-3 
1921 1st 98 55 .641 WS lost to NYG 5-3 

The Indians do have the advantage of playing the game in Cleveland. They had the second best home-field record in the AL during the regular season, behind only the Yankees. And over the past two regular seasons the Indians are No. 1 in the AL.

2017 W L Pct   2016-17 W L Pct
New York Yankees 51 30 .630 Cleveland Indians 102 60 .630
Cleveland Indians 49 32 .605 New York Yankees 99 63 .611
Boston Red Sox 48 33 .593 Baltimore Orioles 96 66 .593
Houston Astros 48 33 .593 Boston Red Sox 95 67 .586
Baltimore Orioles 46 35 .568 Texas Rangers 94 68 .58
Oakland Athletics 46 35 .568 Houston Astros 91 71 .562
Kansas City Royals 43 38 .531 Kansas City Royals 90 72 .556
Los Angeles Angels 43 38 .531 Toronto Blue Jays 88 74 .543
Tampa Bay Rays 42 39 .519 Chicago White Sox 84 78 .519
Toronto Blue Jays 42 39 .519 Seattle Mariners 84 78 .519
Minnesota Twins 41 40 .506 Los Angeles Angels 83 79 .512
Texas Rangers 41 40 .506 Oakland Athletics 80 82 .494
Seattle Mariners 40 41 .494 Detroit Tigers 79 82 .491
Chicago White Sox 39 42 .481 Tampa Bay Rays 78 84 .481
Detroit Tigers 34 47 .420 Minnesota Twins 71 91 .438

The Yankees, however, do have an edge head-to-head with the Indians over time. A look at the cumulative Indians record against the Yankees over the last 25 years, and their yearly results in the last decade:

Season W L Pct
1993-2017 79 131 .376
Last 10 Years
2017 5 2 .714
2015 5 2 .714
2014 4 3 .571
2008 4 3 .571
2011 3 4 .429
2009 3 5 .375
2016 2 5 .286
2010 2 6 .250
2012 1 5 .167
2013 1 6 .143

With a win on Wednesday, however, the Indians will have a .500 record against the Yankees in the post-season, and will have won two of the four post-season series between the two teams.

Season W L Pct Sv SvOP ERA
2007 3 1 .750 1 1 3.41
1997 3 2 .600 1 1 4.5
2017 2 2 .500 1 1 2.37
1998 2 4 .333 1 1 3.6
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