The American League Central division seemed like it’d be the most fun and most competitive division in baseball back in Spring Training.
Well, it’s been entertaining…just not as competitive as I had originally thought and been told by the experts. There was talks of the White Sox and Indians making their move for the top spot coupled with the continued success of the Tigers and a pennant defending Royals team that still had something to prove.
Beyond that, the Twins weren’t even thought about.
Now look at the standings as of today, July 2, 2015. The Royals hold a 4.5 game lead over those forgotten Twins and that’s AFTER getting swept in Houston. The Tigers are only a game above .500 and the Indians and White Sox are abysmal so far.
I originally stated on Bases Loaded (heard Monday’s at 7 pm on 740 The Game) that the Tigers would run away with this division and the Indians would squeeze the Wild Card birth, knocking off the defending AL Champion Royals…I don’t like that anymore…so here we go.
As I said above, this division was supposed to be the most competitive division in baseball. The always dominant Tigers, the AL Champion Royals, the resurgent Indians and White Sox.
Nobody talked about the Twins…not even me. I said they’d finish in dead last, I said they had no stars and Torii Hunter returning to Minnesota was a great story, but would not translate to success on the field.
Boy was I wrong.
The Twins are not only competing, but would be the 2nd Wild Card team if the season were to end today. Torii Hunter isn’t just a nice story, he’s a resurgent star batting .271 with 12 home runs and 44 RBI. The problem I see is that the Twins are still playing far above their means. They rank middle of the pack to back of the pack in almost every category both batting and pitching. So I don’t know if I can buy into this being a season long thing.
At the bottom of the division, I have given up on both the White Sox and Indians. Both massive disappointments if you bought into the pre-season hype. The White Sox have had some amazing pitching from Chris Sale who has struck out ten or more batters in eight straight games…he only won three of those games (3-3). That’s why I have no faith in Chicago.
The Indians have just came to Tampa and swept the Rays with some great pitching, having perfect games into the 5th each night and a near no-hitter from Carrasco last night. I think it’s just gotten too far out of reach. After sweeping Tampa and the Royals getting swept by Houston, the Tribe is still 9 games back.
The Tigers are down as well…but I highly doubt that they stay there. This team isn’t any less stacked. There have been a rash of injuries early, namely Justin Verlander, but he’s back now. This team will get healthy and I promise they will start hitting…then the whole league is in trouble.
The champs are the champs. I’m incredibly impressed with the Royals ability to seemingly get even better this season after losing Billy Butler and James Shields. The Royals are 3rd in batting average and 4th in batting average against. That’s a great combination to have. The champs are rolling, and I don’t see any signs of them stopping.
Mid-Season Final Standings Prediction
- Kansas City Royals
- Detroit Tigers (Wild Card)
- Cleveland Indians
- Minnesota Twins
- Chicago White Sox
So now you have the Rays, Yankees, Royals and Tigers in the American League playoffs…that tells you that I only have one team in the AL West in the post-season.
Find out who that will be tomorrow!
Any and all feedback welcomed! Get me on Twitter (@Ditti33) or via e-mail at ditti@740TheGame.com.