21 and counting: When will the Indians finally lose?

by
Ken Blaze / USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Indians continue to make history with each passing day, piling up win after win as players etch their names in baseball's record books.

As incredible as the win streak has become, it isn't entirely surprising to see Cleveland perform as one of the league's elite. After all, the Indians did fall one victory short of winning a World Series last year, and also won 14 straight during the 2016 regular season.

Now that the Indians stand alone as the only AL team to ever win 21 in a row, when, exactly, will this storied team lose?

Upcoming schedule:

Four-game home series vs. Kansas City Royals (Sept. 14-17)

Head-to-head record: 9-6 (CLE)

Date Indians' probable starter Royals' probable starter
Thursday Josh Tomlin (5.13 ERA) Jake Junis (4.34 ERA)
Friday Trevor Bauer (4.33 ERA) Jason Vargas (4.15 ERA)
Saturday Carlos Carrasco (3.41 ERA) Jason Hammel (4.91 ERA)
Sunday Corey Kluber (2.44 ERA) Sam Gaviglio (4.35 ERA)

An early portion of the Indians' win streak consisted of a four-game sweep of the Royals, a series in which they shut out Kansas City in three straight contests.

Since then, the Royals have gone 8-8 but have a minus-27 run differential during that span. Additionally, Kansas City starters have combined to a 6.25 ERA over their last 13 appearances.

That's not good, especially since the club will be tasked with facing a red-hot Bauer, Carrasco, and Kluber. Tomlin, meanwhile, has a 1.93 ERA (0.68 WHIP) in three starts vs. the Royals this year. Not to mention Cleveland is expected to activate Andrew Miller from the disabled list Thursday.

The Indians' magical run will continue, and will simultaneously squash Kansas City's postseason dreams.

Three-game road series vs. Los Angeles Angels (Sept. 19-21)

Head-to-head record: 3-0 (CLE)

Date Indians' probable starter Angels' probable starter
Sept. 19 Mike Clevinger (3.21 ERA) Tyler Skaggs (4.86)
Sept. 20 Tomlin Ricky Nolasco (5.19 ERA)
Sept. 21 Bauer Andrew Heaney (7.06 ERA*)

*Heaney has started only five games this season

The Angels have the best chance at ending the Indians' streak, for a few reasons. Most teams thrive at home and the same can be said for the Halos, who have a respectable 38-32 record at Angel Stadium.

Another advantage for Los Angeles is that it will avoid Kluber's and Carrasco's turns in the rotation, which can only be viewed as a major positive.

With the Angels in the hunt for a wild-card spot and possessing the game's best player in Mike Trout, the Halos will end the streak at 25 games. This will result in the baseball world debating for years whether or not the Indians' streak should count as the longest ever, or if the 1916 New York Giants - a team whose 26-game win streak included ties - remain as the record holder.

(Photos courtesy: Action Images)