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A. L. Central: Tigers Take Back Division Lead

A  week ago, the Cleveland Indians had capitalized on the Detroit Tigers slump to take the lead in the A.L. Central Division by one game. But that lead was short-lived as the Tigers had a good week this past week to take it back. They now sit 2.5 games ahead of the second place Indians and six up on the Kansas City Royals. In a division that appears not likely to produce a wild card team, the division lead is going to be very hotly contested.

It doesn’t appear likely the Royals can push either the Indians or Tigers since they can’t seem to get above .500 and stay there. But the Indians have a chance to keep this race tight all the way to the end. With manager Terry Francona, they have a skipper who is very used to pennant race baseball. That will help them down the stretch.

Detroit and Cleveland finish off a big four game series today in Cleveland with Max Scherzer trying for his 14th win of the season. He is 13-0 with a 3.09 ERA and has emerged as the Tigers ace. Opposing him will be Scott Kazmir, a former All-Star pitcher with the Tampa Bay Rays who has worked his way back to the majors after suffering various injuries. He is 4-4 with a 4.86 ERA. A Tigers win would give them three of four in the series and extend their lead to 3.5 games. They would then go on to face the woeful Chicago White Sox for the next three while the Indians will take on the suddenly hot Toronto Blue Jays for three. This game is huge for the Indians.

The Minnesota Twins and the White Sox are coming off rough weeks. The Twins were swept by the New York Yankees in a series they needed to do well to get back in the race. After the Yanks series they lost two of three to the Blue Jays. Things don’t get any easier as they will begin a three-game series tonight with the red-hot Rays. The White Sox can tell them all about that as they were just swept in St. Pete. That was coming off a series where they beat the Baltimore Orioles twice in three games. The Sox have a game tonight against the Chicago Cubs. It will be their last chance to get a win over their cross town rivals this season.

JustBet has odds on tonight’s games:

Cubs at White Sox- Cubs are +110 and Sox -120. We like the Cubs to complete the season sweep.

Twins at Rays- Twins are +135 and Rays are -150. We like the Rays to keep the streak alive.

Tigers at Indians- Tigers are -155 and Indians are +140. Scherzer has to lose sometime. We’re taking the Indians.

Royals at Yankees- Royals are +122 and Yanks -132. We like the Yankees to bounce back from tough loss yesterday.

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