It is getting easy to visualize the remaining games left for Cleveland, Chicago and Detroit in 2011. Outside of the Central Division, Detroit plays 4 games against Tampa Bay and 11 games against fairly weak opponents. Cleveland and Chicago play 3 games against the Rangers and 8 games against fairly weak opponents. This is probably not a strong advantage for any one team.
All three teams have 15-17 games left against the weaker two teams in the Central. So, there is no advantage there.
Obviously the head-to-head games the Tigers have left with Chicago and Cleveland will have the largest impact on the Tigers’ outcome for 2011. Setting those aside the 11 games left between Chicago and Cleveland seem the most dangerous part of the schedule for the Tigers. If those break largely in favor of one of those two teams, perhaps 8-3, then it may just be the 3 and 4 game advantage the Tigers built up over the first three-fourths of the season that preserves first place for them.
Awesome post. Thanks, I will have to alternate my rooting interests between CHW and CLE based on your analysis.
A couple of additional thoughts:
1. The Tigers end with Baltimore and Cleveland at home. Will this prove to be a “safety net” for them? A similar schedule did not in 2009.
2. If Tigers are 3 games up a week from now, I will feel a lot better. Time is on our side as these last 7 weeks elapse.
3. Potentially nine more starts for #MustSeeJV! Go 6-3 in Verlander starts and 19-17 in other games and we get to 87 wins. Cleveland and Chicago will have to play .617 and .644 ball to catch us. Of course MN did just that in 2009. But these 2 teams are not MN… are they?
Regarding point 1: Barring a total collapse or run by Detroit it should make at least a couple really exciting games at the end of the season for us!
Than Twins run in 2009 was amazing. I think they only lost something like 4 times in September and 3 of those were to Detroit?