The Minnesota Twins continue to win with pitching, defense and stringing singles together. They are a complete team, with the tools to stay consistent. The Tigers had a few good weeks, and they stand at two games back. However, they haven’t showed us the consistency.
The offense hasn’t been the problem for the Tigers lately. They have moved up into fourth in the AL in batting average, and they are moving up the ranks in runs scored. Thanks in part to scoring over forty runs in the last two weeks. However, they backed up impressive series wins over the Yankees and red Sox by losing a game to the White Sox (the other game was postponed) and a series to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The pitching may be the big reason for the inconsistency. They have given up 191 runs, only a +6 run differential. The Twins have a +42 run differential. To be consistent, a team must be able to outscore opponents in a series. It becomes very difficult if the offense needs six runs every night.
What can we say about the Rays? They hit; they run; they pitch; they play defense; they don’t beat themselves; they have a lot of different ways they can beat you. They not only hold the leagues best ERA at 2.80, but they hold the best record in the MLB at 32-12. What’s even bigger for them is the six game lead over the New York Yankees.
They swept them in New York last week, and they have everything a club needs to sustain the lead. The Yankees are still the team to beat until the season is over; they aren’t defending champions for losing ballgames or giving up. The problem with them has to come with the injuries and the inconsistency of the bottom of the rotation. Javier Vasquez must pitch well. The Rays staff is miles above theirs if he doesn’t.
The Mariners are an anomaly. It is always shoved down our throats that good pitching wins championships. The Mariners are second in the AL in ERA (3.76). How can they possibly hold the third worst record in the league?
For starters, they have 31 errors which is at the bottom third of the AL. The big reason is the lack of run support, however. They are dead last in the AL with only 152 runs. The stellar pitching we talked about has given up 174 runs, which gives a run differential of -22. No team will ever win games without scoring enough for their pitchers.
The Texas Rangers have taken advantage of the poor play of the division, and they are suddenly looking like the team to beat. They can hit, and they have just enough pitching to survive the season.
TOP FIVE AL TEAMS May 24:
1.) Tampa Bay Rays - They have a +102 run differential, and they
lead the Yankees by six games.
2.) Minnesota Twins– They still don’t beat themselves, and they have
shown a better road presence than the Tigers.
3.) New York Yankees– They have many injuries to key players, and
they were swept by the Rays.
4.) Texas Rangers – They are 10-4 in their division, which is why
they hold a three game lead.
5.) Detroit Tigers – The +6 run differential is not enough to pass
the Twins for an entire season.