AL Central Race + AL Wildcard

The Angels and Orioles have locked in their division championships, but there are still a lot of unknowns in the American League.  Most notably – who is going to win the AL Central?  With a half game spread, this is the closet race in baseball, and after the Tigers and Royals meet in Kansas City this weekend for a three game series, will the AL Central race be decided?

Let’s look at three factors to see who may take the AL Central crown.

  1. Head to Head in 2014 so far
  2. Recent performance of both teams
  3. Series match-up for this weekend
  4. Strength of remaining schedules

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  1. The Tigers are 11-5 against the Royals this year and won their last series 2-1.  ADVANTAGE: TIGERS
  2. The Royals at 9-7 in September with 3 of their losses coming against Boston and their run output has been very low as of late.  The Tigers are 11-6 in September though they did lose their last two games against the Twins and David Price was beat up for 5 runs in 5 innings.  Detroit’s offense is formidable and they are still putting up high run totals.  ADVANTAGE: TIGERS
  3. Pitching match-ups for the weekend are Verlander/Vargas, Scherzer/Shields, and Porcello/Guthrie (Apparently the Royals couldn’t start a pitcher with a P name in game 3).  The are some hot pitchers in this matchup.  I see the Tigers winning at least 2 of these games.
    1. Verlander is 2-2 against KC this year.  Scherzer is 2-1 (he was pounded on by KC back in June).  Porcello is 2-1 against KC giving up only 5 runs in 3 games.
    2. Shields hasn’t fared well against Detroit this year aside from their last encounter.  Vargas is 1-3 and Detroit has hit him well. Guthrie has been batting practice for Detroit in two of his three starts against them.  ADVANTAGE: TIGERS
  4.  Kansas ends on the road against the Indians and the White Sox while Detroit ends at home against the White Sox and Twins. ADVANTAGE: TIGERS

AL West Champs Prediction:  Detroit Tigers
AL Wildcards:  Oakland and Kansas City

I don’t see the Mariners gaining two games on either team, especially since they have four more left against the Angels.

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