The Detroit Tigers and Cleveland Indians meet for the second time this season. This time at Progressive Field in Cleveland. Like the last series first place is on the line. The difference is the Detroit Tigers are the ones looking up at first.
The Indians have come out of nowhere to become American League Central contenders. So what gives? Why are the Indians so good all of a sudden. Well the tribes surge to the top is due to a number of players having red-hot starts to the season:
- Mickey Brantley is batting 25 points over his career average of .276 and is on pace to have a career year in home runs and RBI.
- Carlos Santana is living up to his offensive potential hitting .300 with 7 HR.
- Mark Reynolds is also hitting 25 points above his career average and has managed to keep his strikeouts under control while hitting 12 HR’s.
- Newcomer Nick Swisher has added 6 HRs and has hit 5 of his 6 home runs at Progressive Field.
- Former Tiger Ryan Raburn has been stellar for the Indians, hitting five dingers and batting .299.
The Indians hurlers have been stepping up at well:
- Justin Masterson is finally developing into the Ace the Indians had hoped for. His is 7-2 with a 2.83 ERA and his strikeout to walk ratio is a very good 71/26.
- Ubaldo Jimenez has found is split finger and remembered he could strike guys out with it. After having a slow start to the season Jimenez is 3-0 with a 2.83 ERA in his last 5 starts. Jimenez will be Justin Verlanders opponent on Wednesday in the series finale.
As for the Tigers they have got to find their consistency again. After losing 3 of 4 to the Rangers the only reason the Tigers aren’t further behind in the American League Standings is because they beat up on the Astros. Going into todays game they are 2.5 games behind the Indians in the AL Central. They must split in order not to lose any more ground.
You can watch tonight’s game on Fox Sports Detroit. Coverage begins at 6:30 with Tigers Live.