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Cleveland Indians open up near top of ESPN’s initial 2019 power rankings

The Cleveland Indians’ window of contention remains open as the team projects to be a top contender once again during the 2019 season.

It is not even Halloween but the 2019 power rankings are already coming out.

ESPN.com released its first 2019 rankings and the Cleveland Indians show up at No. 6 overall. The Houston Astros top the list, while the Baltimore Orioles sit at the bottom. I feel for fans of the O’s.

The next closest American League Central team is the Minnesota Twins at No. 11, so maybe the Indians will actually have some competition in the division in 2019. It wouldn’t automatically prevent an early postseason exit, but at least there would be some meaningful baseball being played before October.

Some fans may get angry at such rankings and declare the Indians to be frauds until they actually win in the postseason. At least that’s what I have been hearing in the Facebook comments.

But what these rankings do show is that the Indians are set to be World Series contenders once again. I hope no one is taking that for granted given how hard it is to remain at such a high level on a consistent basis.

A postseason berth may not be guaranteed in 2019 as it was in 2018, but the chances are obviously high. The only way the team could decline is if a lot of the free agents are let go and the team doesn’t acquire outside talent to fill the voids. However, that would be unlikely given the fact the team would essentially be wasting a season of contention.

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The past has been frustrating but the future remains bright for the Indians. It is somewhat comforting knowing that your favorite team is a contender, and not a team like the Orioles. I don’t even know how to describe that situation.

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