Dropping the first two at home against Detroit wasn’t part of the plan.
We’re in the final weekend of baseball before the All-Star break, and some teams have reasons to be pleased with their performance in the first-half, while other clubs might be somewhat disappointed with the results so far.
Some teams in action this weekend have a chance to either separate themselves from other teams in their respective division or close the gap. One team specifically that could build a big lead is the Detroit Tigers in the American League Central, as they have a commanding 6.5 game lead over the second-place Royals by winning the first two games of a four-game series.
Detroit annihilated Kansas City in the first game on Thursday by a score of 16-4, as every player in the lineup for the Tigers had at least one hit and scored one run. The game on Friday was much closer, but Detroit still won by score of 2-1.
The Royals have to win the final two games this weekend, as losing those games would put them in a deep hole. The silver lining is that James Shields will be the Royals’ starter for Saturday, and he should give them a great chance to win that game. The starter for Sunday’s game will be Bruce Chen, and Kansas City will definitely need to give him some run support to earn a victory.
A look ahead for Detroit reveals a favorable schedule. The Tigers will take on the Cleveland Indians for four games at home after the break, and close out the month with three games against the Chicago White Sox. The only challenge they might have is a series with the Los Angeles Angels from July 24-27 on the road, as the Angels are playing strong right now.
The Tigers start the month of August with three games against the Colorado Rockies at home. One of the more interesting series are two games at home and two more on the road against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the middle of August.
Then in September, Detroit takes on another National League team in the San Francisco Giants for three games at home. The Tigers will close out the season by playing the last seven games at home against the White Sox and Minnesota Twins.
For the month of September, seven of Detroit’s eight series are against teams in the AL Central. The other intriguing aspect is that the Tigers have only six games left with Kansas City in the second-half. They could potentially wrap up the division in September by taking advantage of the schedule.
The Royals will begin the second-half of the season with a six-game road trip against the Boston Red Sox and the White Sox. They finish July with a three-game series at home taking on the Twins.Then in August, the schedule becomes tougher with seven games against the Oakland Athletics and three with the Giants. The month ends with seven games at home against the New York Yankees, Twins and Indians.
One interesting part for the Royals is facing the Texas Rangers six times in the second part of the season. The two series against Texas could be one way for them to build some momentum, as Texas is one of the worst teams in MLB with a record of 38-55.
September will be a crucial month for KC as they have six games left with the Tigers. If the Royals have any chance of winning the division, those six games could define their season. The Royals finish the season on the road with seven games against the Indians and White Sox.