By Ashley Dunkak
DETROIT (CBS DETROIT) – The American League Central often gets billed as a weak division. Not today.
The Detroit Tigers, Cleveland Indians and Kansas City Royals have a collective record of 29-9 over the first couple weeks of the second half of the season. The Indians have won nine straight, the Royals have put away eight in a row, and the Tigers have swept their last two series and compiled a five -game streak.
This is the first time the Central has ever had teams on concurrent win streaks of eight games or more, but if all three teams win again Friday, it will mark just the second time ever that any division has had three teams on concurrent win streaks of six games or more, according to ESPN Stats and Info.
Kansas City is 11-2 since the break, Detroit is 9-3 and Cleveland is 9-4. For all three teams, pitching has been critical.
The Royals have allowed three runs or fewer in 10 of their 13 games, and in eight of those opponents only scored two or fewer. The Indians allowed three or fewer in nine of the last 13. The Tigers allowed three or fewer in nine of the last 12.
That being said, the AL Central teams have not been short on offense either. The Indians have scored six or more in six games of their eight-game streak. The Tigers have put five or more on the board in eight of their 12 second-half games.
Detroit has led the division for the vast majority of the season, and because the Tigers continued on their pace even as their divisional opponents won big, the Indians and Royals have not picked up many games in the standings.
They have plenty of time to do so as the season continues, however. Detroit and Cleveland play each other six times more. The Royals and Tigers meet in 11 more games, and the Indians and Royals face off six times more.