Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Second place

The Twins didn't play Monday. Cleveland did. And for the second day in a row, Indians closer Brad Hand blew the lead in the ninth inning -- and for the second day in a row, Indians first baseman Carlos Santana homered to win the game anyway.


The Twins are now a half-game out of the lead in the AL Central. I still expect them to win the divisional title.

So, for what it's worth, did the guys on the ESPN broadcast, and for much the same reason: The Twins have much the easier schedule the rest of the way.

Cleveland has gone 43-19 since June 1. That's mighty good. It's worth knowing, however, that they went 20-3 in that span against Detroit and Kansas City. That makes them 23-16 against everybody else, which ain't bad either, but is a bit less daunting to contemplate. And they're running low on games against the Tigers and Royals -- six with the Tigers, three with the Royals.

The Twins, in contrast, have 10 games left against Ron Gardenhire's Tigers team and seven with K.C.

Give the Indians credit: They made the most of their games against the weakest teams in the AL Central. If the Twins can do the same, they'll be in good shape.

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