The Detroit Tigers are coming off a .500 road trip, and were able to pick up no ground on the first place Chicago White Sox. The Tigers were idle on Thursday, preparing for their game Friday against the Baltimore Orioles.
Right now the Tigers are 63-55, sitting two games back of those pesky White Sox. The Tigers have had their chances to reclaim first place, but cannot get the big win needed after a White Sox loss to make up ground in the standings.
15 of the next 18 games played are going to be home games for the Tigers. Why is this important? Let me tell you why:
They play well at home: In the last 19 home games, the Tigers have only lost three. At one point they won 10 straight home games. They could finally get those elusive big wins following a White Sox loss during this home stand.
White Sox: At the end of the home stand is the big match-up of the month, perhaps the biggest series of the year. The White Sox come into Comerica Park for a three-game series. Pending on how the standings are, this could be the series that helps the Tigers could finally catch the White Sox and jump into first place at the start of September. Somehow if the Tigers are in first at the time of the series, it would be a great way to knock the Sox down in the standings.
The time is now: Let’s face it: Baseball is almost over. The time is now to put up or shut up. You can only go through so many losing streaks and slumps before your time runs out and you’re out of contention for a playoff spot. With how well the Tigers play at home, the time is now to rattle off a win streak and finally jump into first place and try to hold it down. If the Tigers let this chance slip away, there may not be another time in the season to gain this much ground again.
Signs of improvement: Even though it was a .500 road trip, it’s been better than what the Tigers had been doing on the road. Right now Andy Dirks, Austin Jackson, Miguel Cabrera, and Prince Fielder have been raking. Not to mention Doug Fister, Max Scherzer, and Justin Verlander have been a lethal one-through-three. But it’s players like Brennan Boesch, Jhonny Peralta, Delmon Young, and Alex Avila who are crucial.
Peralta is hitting .298 in the month of August. Avila is hitting .340 in the month of August, which are huge signs of improvement. With those guys looking like they are ready to start busting out of their slumps, it will make the Tigers’ line-up much stronger and deeper. Which will lead to more wins. Not only at home, but on the road, too.
This home stand has all the makings for the Tigers to make up ground on the White Sox and finally capture first. But they better not let this opportunity slip away. There may not be many chances left to go.
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