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Game 39 Open Thread - Indians (14-25) at Royals (20-18)

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No one is going to run away with the AL Central, though a few teams are threatening to run away from it.

The Royals are only 3-7 in their last ten games, but it hardly mattered Detroit needed a three game winning streak just to get to 6-4, the Twins have gone 5-5, the White Sox have lost five straight to go 2-8, and Cleveland has sputtered along at 3-7.

Let's say that the price of winning the AL Central is 88 wins, the most middle-of-the-road guess I could think of. Here's how everyone in the division would need to do to get to 88 wins:

CLE: 74-49 (.601)

CHW: 73-52 (.584)

MIN: 70-53 (.569)

KC: 68-56 (.548)

DET: 68-58 (.539)

I'm not sure what these numbers mean. In this decade we've seen just about everything with regards to how teams win divisions, from front runners who barely held on, to damn near unbelievable comebacks, to a lot of teams who did it somewhere in the middle. Regarding the Indians, if the Tigers or Royals are as good as they've shown early, then they might have a daunting task ahead of them. If it turns out that the Twins or White Sox are really the teams that they'll have to catch, well, they're really not in that bad of a position. They might be ahead of both teams in a week, much less three months. Still, playing .600 baseball for 120+ games is a significant achievement, and one that only a handful of teams accomplish any given season. You can count the number of .600 teams since 2005 on one hand actually, though of course thats over 162 games.

Your pitching matchup tonight is Cliff Lee (3.17 FIP) v. Brian Bannister (3.82 FIP).