The Chicago White Sox lost three of four to the Minnesota twins on the road last weekend. The White Sox actually gained three games in the division, because the Detroit Tigers went back to the inconsistent ways of the past.
Right now, the division is a three-team race, but each club is missing at least one part that could get the team over the hump. The White Sox need a left-handed bat in the middle of the lineup that could be a better DH. The Twins and Tigers could use a starting pitcher.
Despite the needs and the way the games have played out, the Royals and Indians will probably be the factors of who wins. The White Sox, Tigers and Twins will beat each other up. Whoever loses consistently to the Royals and Indians will be the one left out at season’s end. Right now, the Indians are the reason that the White Sox are 3½ games in first.
The New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays keep winning with pitching and timely offense. The Boston Red Sox can’t seem to get a consistent pitching streak going.
Like the Central, the team that beats up on the bottom dwellers will gain the momentum to win the division. The Rays lost a bad game against the Baltimore Orioles, but overall, they are 11-4 against the Toronto Blue Jays and Orioles. The Yankees are 11-4. The Red Sox are 10-8.
The Texas Rangers continue to have success, and they will do so consistently for the rest of the year with the lineup they possess. They are tied for second in the American League in runs scored with 490. They are first in hits with 921. They are second in average at .280.
The Rangers now have the pitching to go with it. They have allowed the fifth fewest runs and have a 3.87 ERA, which is good for third in the AL. The Los Angeles Angels have the fourth worst average in the AL at .257, and they have a 4.40 ERA, which is the fourth worst as well. They have scored 441 runs, which is the worst than three of the top teams by at least 40.
The Angels need to have better consistency with their pitching, and they will need more production from their offense. The Cliff Lee acquisition may have been the end.
TOP FIVE AL TEAMS July 13:
1.) New York Yankees - They are the best, but injuries and an older club could hurt without a major trade at the deadline.
2.) Tampa Bay Rays – David Price and the rest of the young arms will keep Tampa Bay in the race without a major trade.
3.) Texas Rangers – They may have the best lineup in baseball, and the pitching continues to get better.
4.) Chicago White Sox– They need to beat the division foes, but they clearly have the better pitching staff at the moment.
5.) Boston Red Sox – With the way the top teams are playing, they need the pitching to show they belong in a pennant race. They may need someone at the deadline to help with their efforts, like a Ted Lilly.