If you would have told me in early April that by the time June 25th rolled around the Detroit Tigers would only be 33-42, I would have called you crazy and a hater.
Unfortunately, despite snapping their 8-game losing streak on Sunday against the Padres, that is exactly where the Tigers stand, nine games under .500 and 7.0 games behind the Minnesota Twins for first place in the American League Central. In fact, had it not been for their most recent win, the Tigers would be sitting dead last in the entire American League.
That being said, with 13 games remaining before the All-Star break, the Tigers have a golden opportunity to make up some serious ground before getting some much-needed rest.
Here me out as I channel my inner-optimism.
Following a day off on Monday, June 26, the Tigers will return to Comerica Park for a 3-game series against the Kansas City Royals. Though the Royals have been hot of late, the Tigers should be able to take two of three.
Up next will be what could turn out to be one of the biggest, if not THE biggest stretches of the season for the Tigers and it all begins with a 4-game series at home against the Cleveland Indians. Taking 3 of 4 against the Tribe at Comerica Park will be a must at this point and though it will not be easy, it can be done.
After the Tigers handle their business against the Indians (see how optimistic I am being? Heck, I have not even mentioned anything about firing Ausmus and Avila!), the San Francisco Giants will come to town for a 3-game set. Ladies and gentlemen, if you have not been paying attention to the National League this season, let me enlighten you. The Giants are the worst team in all of baseball not named the Philadelphia Phillies. Sweeping a team, especially if you are the Tigers, is never a given but if there were ever a series they can dominate, this is the one.
So, just to keep track of things, I have the Tigers taking 2 of 3 against the Royals, 3 of 4 against the Indians, and 3-straight against the Giants. That would be an 8-2 homestand with one last series remaining before the All-Star break.
That final series would be a HUGE one as the Tigers will travel to Cleveland to play three against the Indians. After reading this far, you probably think I am going to say the Tigers will take 2 of 3 on the road against the Tribe. Well, you are wrong. Though it’s possible, especially for a Tigers squad that will come in on fire, I am going to assume the Indians win two of those games.
To sum things up. With 13 games remaining before the break, the Tigers can make up some major ground in the American League Central if they can just protect their home.
Let’s Go Tigers!