As the midway point approaches, the Detroit Tigers will soon start to the second half. These games will be crucial to sustaining a playoff run, and will feature Detroit’s final division games before the deadline.
The Detroit Tigers open up the second half of the 2016 campaign with 10 straight games against teams in the AL Central. These games are going to be pivotal for Detroit. These ten games will affect what the Tigers will be doing as the trade deadline approaches, and will impact both the AL Central and Wild Card races.
The first series is a home series against the Kansas City Royals. The Detroit Tigers have not performed well against the Royals thus far. The Tigers are 2-5 against the reigning World Series Champions, yet are sitting a game and a half above them in the central standings.
Kansas City is currently fourth, eight games behind the surging Cleveland Indians. However, you best believe they will make a strong push towards the postseason as they have at the end of the past two seasons.
The second is against the Minnesota Twins. The Tigers, will, again, have home field advantage in this series. The Twins have struggled greatly against not just the Tigers, but pretty much the whole league.
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Detroit has won each game against the Twins this season, posting a 6-0 record. Minnesota is 29-55, and are last in the central. Former top prospect Byron Buxton continues to disappoint in the cities, and another former top prospect in Miguel Sano has been plagued by injuries.
If they lose both of these series, the Tigers could be looking to be sellers at the deadline as they would be right around .500.
The third and final series against the AL Central in July is at U.S. Cellular Field. Detroit will be taking on the Chicago White Sox. This four game series may be the most decisive the Tigers have played in thus far. These four games will be the last the Tigers will have against the AL Central before the August 1st Trade Deadline. If the Tigers split the first two, this series will be influential towards the rest of the year.
By this point, Mike Ilitch and Al Avila will have a strong outlook on whether the Tigers should be buyers or sellers. After these three series, it will be a week before the trade deadline, and the team will have a few tough decisions to make. They can break the bank and go for it all, or bolster the team and lose some fan favorites. The organization and the fans have a lot riding on these three series.