Tigers widen gap in AL Central to eight games
The American League Central is now the Detroit Tigers‘ to lose. Detroit on Friday had its 12-game consecutive win streak snapped at the hands of the New York Yankees, but nonetheless, came back strong on Saturday to defeat the Yankees 9-3.
On Sunday, Detroit will have ace Justin Verlander taking the mound to attempt to take 2 of 3 from the reeling Bronx Bombers.
Detroit, as of Sunday, was leading the AL Central by 8 games over the Cleveland Indians and 8½ games over the Kansas City Royals.
Detroit with their win on Saturday has won 13 out of their past 14 games overall, while the Indians lost on Saturday to the Los Angeles Angels for their sixth straight loss.
The Indians are now in fourth place in the race for the two wildcard spots in the American League, 2 ½ games behind the Tampa Bay Rays and Oakland A’s.
The way they are playing now, the Indians will be out of the entire postseason before the start of September, with the Royals showing more promise for postseason action than the Indians.
Detroit on the other hand, has shown how strong they are on offense with Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder and Torii Hunter giving them power, speed and run producing that is as good if not better than any other team in the AL or in the majors.
Cabrera has played on one leg over the past two to three weeks, but is still leading the league in hitting, second in home runs and tied for first in RBIs with 109, with nearly 50 games left on the schedule.
Not only has the offense been overpowering all season, but also in Detroit’s recent run of 12 straight and 17 of 18, it is easy to see the strength of their pitching staff.
The Tigers this season are led by Max Scherzer, who is 17-1 on the season, while ace Verlander is 12-8. That has helped the Tigers lead the league in quality starts with 79, while they are sixth in team ERA, sixth in opponent’s batting average and fifth in WHIP.
Against common opponents, it is easy to see how Detroit dominants but head to head it is obvious how they have dismantled the Indians the entire season.
Last week’s four game sweep against the lowly Indians was a good example.
Only three head-to-head games remain between the Indians and Tigers and Cleveland must be relieved about that. This season the Tigers are 13-3 versus Cleveland, while 56-43 against the rest of their opponents.
Detroit has 47 games left in the regular season and knows the season is far from over, but they also know that their four game sweep last week gave them good separation from Cleveland and has put the Indians players and coaches backs squarely against the wall.