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.