AL Central: The Little Good, Some Bad, and Mostly Ugly
It was no secret coming into the 2012 MLB season that the American League Central was one of the worst divisions in baseball. Most of the pundits automatically anointed the defending Detroit Tigers champions before the season even started, so it’s surprising to some (not me) that the Detroit Tigers are 17-17. However, even at 17-17, the Detroit Tigers are only a game back in baseball’s sorriest excuse for a division.
As a whole, the AL Central doesn’t have one team with a pythag record over .500. Translation: every team in the AL Central has allowed more runs than they have scored. The Chicago White Sox have the best pythag record at 17-18, which is seventh best in the American League. The vaunted Detroit Tigers offense has only scored seven more runs than the Seattle Mariners, who were widely considered one of the worst offensive teams in baseball prior to the season.
There are some good things about the division, but the ugly outweighs any of the positives. Adam Dunn remembered he’s Adam Dunn, Jake Peavy is healthy, Justin Verlander just completed his 50th straight game where he threw at least six innings, Asdrubal Cabrera is proving he isn’t a fluke, Mike Moustakas is overcoming a weak rookie season, and the Minnesota Twins are… just awful. Go Josh Willingham – I guess.
There’s the good, now let’s go straight to the ugly.
The Cleveland Indians have been outscored by 16 runs, but still are in sole possession of first place in the AL Central. Outside of Austin Jackson, the Detroit Tigers don’t have a single position player that’s been worth AH win – let alone many wins – that would necessitate a World Series contender. In fact, Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera don’t even combine for a full win. Seven of the 13 White Sox position players are hitting under .200, including three everyday players. The Kansas City Royals are 4-13 at home while their franchise first baseman, Eric Hosmer, is having a horrendous sophomore slump, OPSing .586. And lastly, the Minnesota Twins have the worst record in baseball (10-24) playing in the worst division since modern time.
I’ve never seen a division so pathetic. It’s sad that the fourth best team in the AL East is going to lose a playoff spot to one of these losers. I really don’t think it’s going to get much better, either. From the start, I said the Detroit Tigers weren’t that good, and that prediction has come to fruition.
Here’s one last stat for you to ponder. The AL Central has a record of 43-65 against the rest of the American League. That’s good for a .398 winning percentage.
Bryan is a featured writer for Rant Sports. Although he concentrates mostly on the game of baseball, you can find him covering things all over the Rant Sports Network