For much of the 2013 campaign thus far, the American League Central Division has been the Detroit Tigers’ to lose – just look at their World Series futures. Now with some strong production out of the Cleveland Indians of late, it’s shaping up to be a two-horse race to win the division.
With Detroit heavyweights Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder playing as solid as could be expected, and with fellow Tigers like Jhonny Peralta and Torii Hunter putting forth impressive campaigns as well, it’s hard to imagine that they’d be tested in the AL Central.
That, along with Cleveland’s improving MLB odds, is a testament to how far the Indians have come. Not only has new addition Mark Reynolds anchored Cleveland’s surprising offensive surge, but franchise cornerstone backstop Carlos Santana has been his typical dominant self while 25-year-old Jason Kipnis has made a name for himself as one of the league’s elite second-basemen.
This weekend the upstart Indians will get the opportunity to show that they’re more than a simple fringe contender capable of getting hot mid-season. They’ll welcome the visiting Tigers and look to prove once and for all that they’re making a legitimate push for not only the division, but the playoff berth that comes with it.