Thursday, August 16, 2007

AL Central, Things Have Always Been Tight [David Stefanini]

What a great race this should be down the stretch. As opposed to the pathetic NL Central, the AL Central has been a good division all year. The big three in this division, the Tigers, Indians, and Twins, are separate by 6 games. The Tigers and Indians are tied for the lead, and the Twins are 6 back.
So who will come out on top? The Detroit Tigers' pitching has been terrible since the All-Star Break and their hitting hasn't exactly been lighting it up either. At one point in the season, it looked as if the Wild Card would clearly come from this division. Now the Tigers/Indians find themselves in a virtual tie for third in the Wild Card. More bad news for the Tigers, they have to go to the Bronx to play a 4 game set against the red hot Yankees. Whereas the Indians get to go to Tampa to play the stone cold Devil Rays.
The Indians are coming off a 5-2 win against the Tigers last night, but they are not playing good baseball recently. Over their last 10 games they are only 4-6. That's not the way you want to be playing in the middle of August. However, the Indians have a better schedule remaining in August. They play a 3 game set against the Devil Rays, then play the Tigers, Royals, and Twins. They should be able to win 5 out of 6 against the Devil Rays/Royals, and can put some distance between themselves and the rest of the division if they can win the series against the Tigers. They should have no problem beating the Twins, unless that guy named Johan is pitching.
That leads me to the Twins. Personally, my favorite team in this division. It hurts me to say this, but they don't have a chance at winning this division. Unless Johan Santana can pitch every other game, there isn't enough talent on this team to compete with the Tigers and Indians. I would expect the Indians to have a lead in this division heading into September.

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