The Importance of Monday’s Game vs Cleveland
By Ben Rosener
Detroit Tigers players kick off the team’s final home series of the year Monday against Cleveland. With the postseason fast approaching, the game is important for a number of reasons.
Detroit Tigers fans will see the team play at home for one of the last times in the regular season Monday. With Cleveland in town, Detroit has a chance to make ground in the playoff race.
While the division may seem like a long shot at this point, Detroit can still make ground in the race with Cleveland.
The Tigers are currently seven games back of their division rivals in the standings. Cleveland’s magic number to clinch is down to one. Meaning, they need to win just once, or see the Tigers lose once to clinch.
It is the longest of longshots, but crazier things have happened. Should Detroit come up with a sweep this week, it would put the pressure on Cleveland heading into their final series in Kansas City.
Monday matchup against Corey Kluber and company is also crucial for the Wild Card picture.
As of now, the Tigers are just a game and a half behind Baltimore for the final American League Wild Card race. With a win, Detroit can pull to just a game back with six games remaining.
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This is especially important considering that the Orioles and the Toronto Blue Jays being a three-game series on Tuesday.
Toronto is currently a game and a half ahead of Baltimore. With the two teams set to play each other, there is a real opportunity for the Tigers to make up ground. Brad Ausmus’ team could potentially move past one or both teams.
Detroit will also need to keep winning to fend off the Seattle Mariners and Houston Astros. Seattle and Houston are one and one and a half games back of the Tigers respectively in the Wild Card picture.
What’s more, both teams start a three-game set in Houston starting Monday.
If Miguel Cabrera and company keep winning games, they can continue to distance themselves from the two American League West clubs. Keeping the Wild Card race between three teams is much more manageable than trying to win it over four other ball clubs.
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The Detroit Tigers are closing in on a playoff spot, they just need to string together some wins to make it happen. Detroit can start that process on Monday night with a win against Corey Kluber, Jason Kipnis and the rest of Cleveland’s lineup.