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MLB Detroit Tigers

Detroit Tigers’ Schedule Heats Up Before All-Star Break

Victor Martinez Detroit Tigers

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Don’t be surprised if the Detroit Tigers find themselves in the thick of a division race by the time the All-Star break hits. The Tigers have some important games coming up, including an 11 game road trip against some of the hottest clubs in MLB.

They’ll face the Tampa Bay RaysToronto Blue Jays and Cleveland Indians on that trip before finishing the first half against the Chicago White Sox and Texas Rangers at home.

They haven’t been nearly as good on the road as they have at home. The Tigers’ road record of 16-19 is the worst of all the current division leaders. Of the 20 games remaining before the break, they’ll play 14 against teams over .500 and seven games against teams in their division. They’ll also have to face the hottest team in baseball, the Blue Jays, for four games in Canada.

The Tigers will then head to Cleveland to take on the Indians for four games, who only trail them by four games. The Indians had a tough stretch of their own recently and have been starting to get back into a groove after a losing streak. They’ve won eight of their last 11 games thanks to some timely hitting by Jason Kipnis and Michael Bourne.

The Tigers rank first in the league in runs scored at home and 17th in runs scored on the road. Their pitching has actually been better while away from Comerica Park. Their 3.62 road ERA has them ranked fifth in the league in that category.

If they hope to hold their lead in the American League Central, they’re going to need to figure out a way to play like they do at home on the road. They can’t continue to drop road games if they hope to build a comfortable lead in the division.

David Fouty is a columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @davefouty, “Like” him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google+.