The Crazy and Close AL Central Race

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Updated: August 8, 2017

Every season, the crown for the AL Central is normally one of three teams, the Royals, Tigers or our Cleveland Indians. This season seems to be a competition between the Royals and Indians while Detroit seems to have already given up on the season. As of the 9th of August, the Tribe currently has a four-game lead on Kansas City. While having the division lead, the Indians need to have a strong finish which will be a difficult task with such a tough schedule to finish the 2017 regular season campaign.

The Indians are currently barring a few injuries, a few names include pitcher Josh Tomlin, bullpen ace Andrew Miller, Lonnie Chisenhall and Jason Kipnis is finally able to get back into the lineup after being out for a few weeks. Due to Tomlin’s injury, the Tribe is forced to continue with a 4-man rotation with Corey Kluber, Carlos Cookie Carrasco, Danny Salazar and Trevor Bauer. Mike Clevinger will spend time in the bullpen for the next week or so.

As for the strength of schedule, Cleveland probably has one of the most challenging to finish out the season. They will face division rival Kansas City a total of 10 times within the last month of the season. That alone will determine the close race within the division. Meanwhile, the Indians will also face off against better teams like the Red Sox, Yankees and another team within the AL Central with the Minnesota Twins.

Us Cleveland fans know the last month of a regular season is usually a drag. Whether it’s wondering if the Browns will win one game this season or with the Cavs just waiting for the playoffs to start, it’s normally boring. But this last month and a half or so is EXTREMELY important for the Indians. They need to finish atop the division instead of being a wild card team. Being in first at the end of the season reaps its benefits as we saw last postseason. With a healthy squad, this team is a top-three in the league as Kluber looks to continue to dominate and go for his second Cy Young award.

As the leaves start falling and the Browns talk starts up, do not forget about this team! I expect an AL Central crown and winning it by six games ahead of the Royals. This will hold true if injuries heal quicker and future injuries do not occur. So sit back and enjoy this last month, it is looking like it will be a great finish!

Follow the author: @TNeuhofs 

Image: ESPN

 

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