84-62, 1st place, magic # goes to 11. (Basically a lock based on the squiggly lines here.)
Well friends, just a few weeks after the Tigers found themselves atop the AL (at 24 above .500), the Tigers may now find themselves without home field advantage unless they make the World Series. The BoSox have been on a tear over the past three weeks and are now 30 games above .500, 4 games ahead of Detroit, and the A’s have surged to 25 games over.
But the schedule is in our favor. Of all teams in the AL, only CLE has a weaker remaining schedule (I’d love to see them sneak in to a WC spot). Let’s break it down, again.
– 3 v KC at home. This is the only series against a team over .500, with something to play for.
– 4 v. Sea at home.
– 3 v. CWS at home.
Then we end with two 3 game road trips separated by an off-day on the 26th, @Min and @ Fla.
That’s 16 games against teams who are a combined 94 games under. At a minimum this should be a 10-6 swing, if not 11-5. But even at 11-5, I don’t think that 28 games over (95 wins) gets us guaranteed home field. I do think that 12-4 gives us a shot, though the Red Sox remaining SoS (51%) isn’t too bad either.
The Tigers are 0-5 in JV starts vs. KC this year. It hasn’t all been JV’s fault. Though he hasn’t been much of an ace this year either. It’s not going to be easy against the best staff in the AL, and especially against Bruce Chen who has been lights out for KC since he came out of the pen mid-season. Now, the Tigers did get to Chen for 6 earned in 5 1/3 in his first start against Detroit this year. Chen since rebounded as he was dominant last Sunday when the Tigers packed up their bats for the weekend after a 16 run explosion on Friday night. I expect a low scoring game tonight. Limiting walks will be the difference between a 4-3 victor and a 5-4 defeat.
A few notes:
– David Paulino is the PTBNL for Veras.
– This is the last home stand of the season. Division series tix go on sale on Tuesday.
– Despite Boston’s record, Bovada has the Tigers as the favorites to win the Pennant at 9:4 (Bos is 5:2).
1. Jackson, CF
2. Hunter, RF
3. Cabrera, 3B
4. Fielder, 1B
5. Martinez, DH
6. Dirks, LF
7. Infante, 2B
8. Avila, C
9. Iglesias, SS