By Allyus Fritz
The Detroit Tigers are leading the American League Central by 3 games. Not a wide margin by any means. Over the last few seasons Detroit has never been overly dominant when it comes to regular season record. Detroit always loses more than a few games, however never enough to lose out on a division crown. Last year they ended the season 88-74, yet still found a way to make it to the World Series.
Overpowering starting pitching combined with Miguel Cabrera (and bash brother Prince Fielder) will make Detroit a foreboding presence yet again come October. Other AL Central clubs will make the rest of this season interesting, but none of them can match the talent that resides in the motor city.
Cleveland and Kansas City are capable of making second half runs. Can the Royals finally live up to their talent and nab a wild card spot? Only time will tell.
Here’s the AL Central breakdown:
1. Detroit Tigers (42-32)
– Detroit is a team that’s built for the postseason. Starting pitching is the most important aspect of a baseball team come October, and the Tigers may have the best rotation in baseball. There’s Justin Verlander (duh), Max Scherzer is now 11-0, and Anibal Sanchez (on the 15-Day DL) has a 2.76 ERA. Doug Fister and Rick Porcello aren’t too shabby either. Five reliable starting pitchers is the envy of every other team in baseball (except St. Louis).
2. Cleveland Indians (38-36) 4 G.B.
– Are these guys for real or not? Terry Francona and the Indians’ front office went out a plucked talent from the free agent pool this off-season. The return for their efforts has been minimal. Michael Bourn has spent a good portion of his season on the DL, and Nick Swisher is batting .231. The tribe has the talent to make a push, so let’s see if they can muster one.
3. Kansas City Royals (35-38) 6.5 G.B.
– Will Kansas City ever fulfill their potential? A trendy preseason pick by baseball analysts everywhere, the Royals have been dismal at the plate thus far. The key to this club making a run at the postseason is if their bats finally come alive. Mike Moustakas is now batting .207, which sadly means he’s on a hot streak. Salvador Perez and Billy Butler need to start cranking home runs or else the Royals are done for. Can someone for the love of grilled cheese get James Shields some run support? Thanks.
Looking for next year:
4. Minnesota Twins (34-38) 7 G.B.
– The Twins are only a half game behind the Royals, but they also may have half the talent. This team will start having some bad luck just like the Royals are due for some good luck. Don’t be surprised if Justin Morneau and Josh Willingham are both dealt by the trade deadline.
5. Chicago White Sox (31-42) 10.5 G.B.
– This team simply doesn’t have enough pieces to compete, therefore let’s talk about two interesting things dealing with the Sox. Numero uno: Adam Dunn. Dunn only has 48 hits this season and is batting .193. However, 20 of those 48 hits have left the yard. He has struck out 89 times, which means he strikesout more than he hits. Dunn is literally an anomaly of the game. Do you think he closes his eyes when he swings? Dunn literally misses or it goes 450 feet. Numero dos: Chris Sale is facing off against the Mets’ Zach Wheeler on Tuesday, which will showcase two of baseball’s best young talents. If there was ever a game between two cellar dwellers worth watching, it’s this one.
To learn about the AL East, click here. I do offer a word of warning. This article is a bit of an oldie.
See ya in the NL East.
*All statistics and records as of Monday morning, June 24th.