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.
- Head to Head in 2014 so far
- Recent performance of both teams
- Series match-up for this weekend
- Strength of remaining schedules
- The Tigers are 11-5 against the Royals this year and won their last series 2-1. ADVANTAGE: TIGERS
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.