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Central Intelligence: August 13

Cleveland in first. Shocking.

MLB: Cleveland Indians at Chicago White Sox Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports

Guys, I know this is going to blow your collective minds, but the Cleveland Indians remain in first place in the AL Central. The Tigers had a pretty decent week if you ignore that they played in California, because if you compare their week to the rest of the AL Central, it was one of the best.

Let’s see how everything played out.

Cleveland Indians 66-51

The Indians faced all inter-division competition last week, and there seemed the be little in the way of resistance offered by the other Central teams. In a four-game series against the Twins the Indians kicked things off with a 10-0 shutout, and lost only a single game in the entire series. They followed that up with a three-game series against the White Sox, where again, they lost only a single game, a one-run shutout on Friday.

Things look like smooth sailing for the coming week as well, with the Indians seeing the Cincinnati Reds for three games, before hosting the Baltimore Orioles at home for three games. There’s really no competition within the division to keep Cleveland from staying on top, but schedules this easy seem almost unfair in the latter half of the season.

Up Next: @ Reds (3 games); vs Orioles (3 games)

Minnesota Twins 54-63 (12 GB)

Like Cleveland, the Twins were all about fellow AL Central competition this past week. They were also all about winning only a single game in each series. First the aforementioned Indians series in which they managed to win only one game out of four. Then they headed to Detroit where they also managed to take only one game, and by a narrow margin at that.

In the week ahead they’ll see the Pittsburgh Pirates for a short two-game stint, before trying their luck at a rematch against the Tigers for four games. Really that one could go either way.

Up Next: vs Pirates (2 games); vs Tigers (4 games)

Detroit Tigers 49-69 (17.5 GB)

This coming week could be a good one for the Tigers. While they’re not likely to sneak past the Twins in the standings, there’s still a chance they could edge their way back into second place before the end of the season if they make the most of opportunities in the schedule. Last week was a mixed bag for the Tigers. They were swept by the Angels, because it’s simply impossible for the Tigers to beat the Angels in Anaheim, evidently. But then the team came home and took two of three against the Twins.

They’ll be facing the White Sox for three games, then heading to Minneapolis for a four-game series against the Twins, which is a pretty good scheduled, giving them a chance to bounce back after that ugly California road trip.

Up Next: vs White Sox (3 games); @ Twins (4 games)

Chicago White Sox 42-75 (25 GB)

The White Sox had a very White Sox week, which isn’t great for their fanbase, but should give Tigers fans some hope for the upcoming series. First the Sox were swept in a three-game series against the Yankees (I know you’re stunned, so was I). They then faced off against division rival Cleveland Indians and managed to score their only win of the week in a 1-0 shutout.

With the Tigers on the horizon they will be hoping to take advantage of a fellow lagging Central team. After the Tigers, they’ll see the Royals in Chicago, so it’s a pretty good week ahead for the White Sox if they’re able to get a few extra wins under their belt.

Up Next: @ Tigers (3 games); vs Royals (3 games)

Kansas City Royals 35-82 (31 GB)

I think perhaps the most shocking aspect of the Royals last week is not that they had only one win for the whole week, but that that win was a 9-0 shutout against the NL Central-leading Chicago Cubs. Of course, playing against two vastly superior NL Central teams in one week isn’t going to be great for the ego, and the Royals dropped two of three to the Cubs before being handily swept by the Cardinals over a three game series.

This coming week they’ll host the Toronto Blue Jays, who will just be happy not to play someone in the AL East, and follow that up with three games against the White Sox, which is sure to be some riveting baseball.

Up Next: vs Blue Jays (3 games); @ White Sox (3 games)