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The Cleveland Indians will finally play a meaningful game Friday afternoon. The Major League Baseball postseason is here and manager Terry Francona and his Indians are in search of their first World Series championship since 1948.
The motto for the 2018 postseason is unfinished business. After losing to the Chicago Cubs in the 2016 World Series, a disappointing 2017 postseason has left a bitter taste in the Indians' mouth.
Cleveland won an American League best 102 games in 2017 but blew a 2-0 series lead and lost in five games to the New York Yankees in the American League Division Series.
The Indians road back to the World Series won't be smooth sailing. It begins with a difficult match up against the reigning World Series Champions, the Houston Astros.
The series begins Friday afternoon at Minute Maid Park in Houston. Pitching will go a long way into who advances to the American League Championship Series. The reigning Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber faces former Most Valuable Player and future Hall of Famer Justin Verlander.
The Indians are very familiar with Verlander. Cleveland has hit Verlander well in the last few years as a member of the Detroit Tigers.
If the Indians can find a way to win at least one of the first two games in Houston, a return trip to the American League Championship Series is likely to happen.
Game two of the series is Saturday afternoon. Carlos Carrasco will face off against Gerrit Cole. The series shifts to Cleveland on Monday. Mike Clevinger will make the start for the Indians. If necessary, game four is Tuesday at Progressive Field. A winner take all game five is scheduled for Wednesday back in Houston. All five games in the series are scheduled to begin in the afternoon.
Experts predict the winner of this series will represent the American League in the World Series.