During the season, we'll keep fans updated on the chase for the American League Central Division by charting the Detroit Tigers' competition.
The Detroit Tigers have gone on the road to face some challenging competition and seen their offense disappear. The Kansas City Royals have not. This dynamic has suddenly created a situation where objects in Detroit's rear view mirror are now closer than they may appear.
Following three losses to the New York Yankees, Detroit has seen their Central Division lead drop to 2.5 games over the Royals, who have cleaned up in against the lowly Arizona Diamondbacks. The Tigers are now facing a bit of a late-season situation as they try to win the Central Division for the fourth straight year.
Kansas City (60-53, 2.5 games back): Suddenly, the Royals are hot again, winners of four games in a row. As a result, they've clawed back to within striking distance of the Tigers, a place they haven't been since taking over the division lead in June and coughing it right back up. This recent hot streak will be tested by the San Francisco Giants who may manage to slow it down, but there's no doubting the Royals have inserted themselves back in the conversation thanks to winning and Detroit's lousy hitting as of late.
Cleveland Indians (57-58, 6.5 games back): The Indians lost a major opportunity to gain major ground this week, as they fell flat in the battle of Ohio, losing three out of four games to the Cincinnati Reds. It had to be frustrating for the Indians to fall back under .500, especially considering they now must play the hot Yankees, who just finished off the Tigers. Cleveland will have to start moving and shaking if they want to press Detroit in the second half of the season.
Chicago White Sox (55-61, 9 games back): Taking a series over a week ago in Detroit did nothing to help the Sox, who have been scuffling since, losers of three in a row. As hard as it is to imagine, Chicago could have put some heat on Detroit themselves with a better week, but they did not have it in Texas. Now, they'll have to start from scratch in Seattle.
Minnesota Twins (51-62, 12 games back): In 2014, the Twins aren't threatening anybody. That's been the case for a few seasons now, but especially this year. They lost two in a row to the Padres, and now must play the American League's best team, the Oakland Athletics. Short of completely bottoming out, the Tigers don't have to worry about the Twins right now.
Max DeMara is the editor of @tigers_101. Follow the site there on Twitter, or like it on Facebook to connect with him.
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Tags: Baseball, Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians, Detroit, Detroit Tigers, Kansas City Royals, Minnesota Twins, MLB