For all the nail-biting season finale drama in Major League Baseball, look no further than the American League Central division as the Detroit Tigers title lead was cut to just one game by Kansas City Royals last night.
In Cleveland the Royals struck a 2-0 victory over the Indians while the Tigers fell to defeat by the same score line at home against the already eliminated Chicago White Sox.
Both Detroit and Kansas City have been trading places atop the AL Central division since mid-August and the title could still go either way.
White Sox key to the outcome
The Royals bid farewell to Kauffman Stadium on Sunday night with a 5-2 victory over the Tigers in their final homestand of the regular season.
They have hit the road with a positive start in Ohio and travel to the White Sox for their final four games of the regular season.
As it turns out the White Sox will play a pivotal role in the destination of the AL Central title despite slipping out of contention for the postseason last week. The White Sox will complete their season with a three-game series in Detroit before hosting the Royals.
Focus on winning
Detroit Tigers final four games are at Comerica Park where they host the Minnesota Twins.
Both sides constantly have an eye (sometimes two) on each other’s games which could be the cause of a the slip-up by the leaders as the tension builds.
Speaking to MLB.com, Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler explained it is hard to keep focused on their game while the scoreboard ticks over behind the field.
Royals are the favourites
Looking at the two teams’ season finishes the Royals might have the edge on paper despite being one game back.
After taking a 1-0 lead in the three-game series against the stuttering Cleveland Indians, if they could pull level or get ahead of the Tigers before traveling to Chicago they would be many peoples’ favourites.
The Tigers are penned in to face White Sox hotshot Chris Sale on Wednesday and face a Twins side who won two of three against them last week.
Detroit’s roster will know the task they face is a tough one but not impossible.
The slim advantage they built up over the weekend – taking a 2-1 series win over the Royals – could be the deciding factor for who clinches the title and who has to worm their way through the Wild Card playoff against Oakland.
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