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Taking a look at the AL Central after the month of May

The Twins remain at the top. The Royals are in the basement.

MLB: Minnesota Twins at Kansas City Royals Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Two months are now in the books of the 2022 MLB regular season.

In the American League Central, Minnesota remains in first place while the rest of the four teams have switched spots. Chicago moved up to second while Cleveland shifted one spot down.

At the bottom, Detroit and Kansas City flipped positions with the Royals currently holding the worst record in all of baseball.

Cool cool cool.

Like I did last month, it’s time to check the pulse of each team, seeing how each fared in May with a highlight and lowlight from the month. As always, we begin at the top, with the first-place Twins.

All numbers are from the end of May.

Minnesota Twins

Overall Record: 30-21, +34 run differential

May Record: 18-12

May Highlight: Beginning May 18th, the Twins rattled off six straight wins. Sure, the wins came against Oakland, Kansas City, and Detroit, but, as redundant as it sounds, you have to beat the teams you have to beat. Minnesota did just that in a month dominated by games against low-level teams.

May Lowlight: Teams with championship aspirations must also beat other good teams once in a while. The Twins failed to do that against the Houston Astros in the middle of the month, getting swept in a series at home.

June Series to Watch: Speaking of good teams the Twins have trouble beating, the New York Yankees come to Minneapolis for a three-game series starting June 7th. If the Twins want to be taken seriously by the rest of the American League, winning that series would speak volumes.

Chicago White Sox

Overall Record: 23-24, 5 games back, -46 run differential

May Record: 15-12

May Highlight: Chicago ripped off six straight wins against the likes of the Angels, Cubs, and Red Sox at the beginning of the month to get to 14-13 on the season. Since then, the club’s played pretty much .500 ball, never getting more than 1 game over or below .500.

May Lowlight: Chicago’s got an ugly run differential, but a bulk of that has to do with two games in three days against the Red Sox. On May 24th, the Red Sox won 16-3. Two days later, they won again, 16-7.

June Series to Watch: The Pale Hose have several tough series in June, but let’s go with a three-game homestand against the Blue Jays later in the month. Toronto’s hot right now, but maybe Chicago can cool them down.

Cleveland Guardians

Overall Record: 21-24, 6 games back, +19 run differential

May Record: 12-12

May Highlight: José Ramírez slashed .261/.393/.580/.972 in May. He hit six home runs, stole seven bases (on seven attempts), scored 18 runs, drove in 23, struck out just six times, and walked 19 times. Dude is on a roll. Cleveland fans have to be thrilled the club inked him long-term.

May Lowlight: Going 2-3 against the Tigers, including dropping two of three in Cleveland. In the three losses, the Guardians managed just six total runs. If Cleveland wants to contend this season, the offense has to wake up against bad teams. (They also lost two games to the Reds, again just scoring six runs).

June Series to Watch: Cheating here a bit but it’s significant: beginning June 21st and running through the end of the month, the Guardians face the Twins eight (!) times in 10 days, with five of those games in Cleveland.

Detroit Tigers

Overall Record: 19-30, 10 games back, -53 run differential

May Record: 12-17

May Highlight: Miguel Cabrera is the only regular on the team with OPS+ above league average, so let’s go with him (again). In May, he slashed .318/.352/.471/.822 while becoming just the third player with 3,000 hits, 500 home runs, and 600 doubles, joining Henry Aaron and Albert Pujols. Not bad company.

May Lowlight: Well, things aren’t going great in Motor City, but things were especially bad between May 1st and May 12th when the team went 2-10 against the likes of the Dodgers, Pirates, Astros, and Athletics.

June Series to Watch: I wouldn’t do this to you, Dear Reader.

Kansas City Royals

Overall Record: 16-32, 12.5 games back, -73 run differential

May Record: 9-20

May Highlight: Brady Singer. Never doubted him! But seriously, what a turnaround. This past month, Singer started three games, and was utterly dominant. Over 19.2 innings pitched, he struck out 20, walked three and gave up 14 hits (one homer) for a 1.37 ERA and a 0.864 WHIP. The kid’s rocking it.

May Lowlight: Sunday, May 22nd: Singer dominated the Twins, tossing seven scoreless innings while giving up four hits and three walks to go along with three strikeouts. He handed the bullpen a 6-0 lead. The Royals lost, 7-6. Just a demoralizing loss.

June Series to Watch: The next month won’t be easy for the Royals, which is frightening, considering [motions to the entire month of May]. The Royals face the Astros, Blue Jays, Giants, Angels, and Rangers, but they also host the Baltimore Orioles, another rebuilding club, for a four-game series beginning June 9th. Baltimore has some young, exciting players, including rookie catcher Adley Rutschman, who recently debuted. Should be a fun series full of young, promising players.

Poll

Now into June, what team do you think will win the American League Central?

This poll is closed

  • 54%
    Minnesota Twins
    (208 votes)
  • 27%
    Chicago White Sox
    (104 votes)
  • 2%
    Cleveland Guardians
    (10 votes)
  • 0%
    Detroit Tigers
    (0 votes)
  • 15%
    Kansas City Royals
    (58 votes)
380 votes total Vote Now