Don’t Look Now, But White Sox Gaining Ground
By John Parent
The American League Central was supposed to be a three-team race. Early in the season, the standings have been quite the shock to most pundits. With Cleveland and Kansas City running in front for most of the year, while Detroit has hovered in the middle and Minnesota and Chicago have brought up the rear.
The White Sox, winners of seven of their last ten, have begun to make some noise and have moved from the basement of the standings past Kansas City and into third place. They still sit eight-and-a-half games behind Cleveland, but now just two-and-a-half games back of the Tigers.
The above clip shows the standing entering games today. The below will show you where it was two weeks ago. In that time, The White Sox have gained three-and-a-half games on Detroit, while the Tigers have dropped two-and-a-half to Cleveland.
If the Indians continue to defy the odds and win 63 percent of their games, neither Detroit nor anyone one else will be catching them. But sooner or later, you have to figure that Cleveland will be coming back to the pack a bit. Three weeks ago, it looked like the question would be whether or not the Tigers could get their bullpen straightened out in time to catch the Tribe. Now, it appears that we might have a three-team race afterall.
The Twins, ravaged by injury and ineffectiveness, haven’t shown themselves to be who we thought they were and for a long time it looked like Chicago was going down the same path of ineptitude that befell Minnesota. With Chicago’s surge, they are showing that rumors of their demise were a bit premature. The White Sox, with a healthy Jake Peavy, were considered by many to have the most complete club of any team in the division coming into the campaign. The Tigers didn’t do themselves any favors in the early year by not taking advantage of the slow start in the Windy City and now, with the gap being so close, it looks like they’ll have company in their quest to walk down the Indians.
I had full confidence that if the Central race came down to Detroit and Cleveland that the Tigers had the talent to come out on top. If the White Sox are in this thing too, however, I don’t like Detroit’s chances anywhere near so much.
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