Minnesota Twins fans, fasten your seatbelts, as it’s going to be a bumpy ride. It’s July 28th and the Twins are desperately holding onto first place in the now hotly contested AL Central Division. It’s shaping up to be a 3 horse race down the stretch.
The Twins and Cleveland have the hardest August schedules of the three front runners. Chicago has a favorable August schedule to make a move, but Chicago will get Minnesota to end the season battling each other, while Cleveland ends with last place Kansas City.
Three Teams; the Minnesota Twins, the Chicago White Sox, and the Cleveland Guardians, can claim the AL Central.
All three teams are within reach as we head to the last week of the season. Yes, I say the last week of the season, as the Trade Deadline may just be what decides the race. My heart is obviously with Minnesota, who are the most balanced, but i’m crying for them to be buyers as we head to the deadline. Arms are simply a must-get.
My head still feels Chicago surges in the month of August, taking hold of the Central. They have seven series coming up against sub .500 teams. They just haven’t found their stride however, so the best case for the Twins is they’ll continue to flounder. Cleveland has the best pitching of the three teams, and if they somehow find some offense it could be troublesome.
This leaves us with three conflicting teams who each have a case to be on top come October. What also remains are some obvious musts and can’ts for the three teams down the stretch:
The Minnesota Twins Must:
- Add an arm or 3 down at the trade deadline.
- Keep hitting the ball over fence.
The Minnesota Twins Can’t:
- Sit still at the trade deadline and hope things keep working out.
- Have a bad month of August.
The Chicago White Sox Must:
- Add arms to bolster a shaky bullpen.
- Hit more consistently.
- Put together some chemistry for a win streak in the month of August, it’s their best opportunity to pull away.
The Chicago White Sox Can’t:
- Keep playing sporadic baseball.
- Rely on their offense to keep out-slugging teams.
The Cleveland Guardians Must:
- Continue pitching at a high level.
- Remain relevant in August, they have the toughest schedule in the Central.
- Keep finding ways to score runs and put up W’s.
- Find a bat to bolster their line up.
The Cleveland Guardians Can’t:
- Have a pitching slump
- Try to outscore teams
It’s setting up to be a race to the end in the Central. My heart is with the Minnesota Twins for another chance at a playoff win…or more…hopefully…