Halfway through the year, the Tigers were just 43-38, in second place, just four games better than our Royals who were struggling as well. Since then, they have won 38 of 59 games - only the Dodgers have won more games over that stretch. The Tigers have solidified their position as one of the best teams in baseball and a true championship contender, and have pretty much put any hopes of winning the Central Division out of reach for Kasas City.
The Tigers' success has come significantly on the backs of our fellow Wild Card-chasers, the Cleveland Professional Baseball Team. Detroit has gone 15-4 against Cleveland, outscoring them by 50 runs in those games. Detroit has also done very well against the Senior Circuit, going 12-5 in interleague play, with sweeps against the Braves, Mets, and Phillies. The Tigers have losing records against just five teams this year. Oddly, the were swept in six games by the Angels. They dropped three of four to the Pirates. They have barely been edged by the Athletics and Rangers. The fifth team? Our Royals.
The Royals have won 7 of the 13 matchups between the two teams, with each team scoring 43 runs in the series. They split a rain-shortened two game set in Detroit back in April, with the Royals winning with five runs in the tenth inning. The Royals took two of three at home in June, capped by Eric Hosmer's ninth inning walk-off single. The Royals took two of three at home in July when Ervin Santana tossed seven shutout innings in a 1-0 pitchers duel, and Jeremy Guthrie out-dueled Justin Verlander. The Tigers finally made up some ground a few weeks ago when they took three out of five in Detroit.
On this date in 1985, the Royals swept the Brewers in a doubleheader that would vault them into first place. It was part of a stretch where the team won 12 of 13 games that would take them from 2.5 games back, to 3 games up. On September 6, the 1978 club was in the midst of winning 14 of 18. The 1977 club on this date was on a ridiculous stretch of winning 24 out of 25 ballgames. Even the 1984 team was only 70-69 at this point in the year, and went a midly warm 14-9 to close the year to win a weak division. Teams get hot this time of year, and if the Royals have another hot streak in them, its time to let it out.
How many games will it take to make the second Wild Card?
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