It’s no secret that the Cleveland Indians have handled the Detroit Tigers in recent years. But just how wide is the gap between the AL Central foes?
Over the last four seasons, the Cleveland Indians have made a well-documented habit of whipping up on the American League Central. Since 2016, their record in divisional play is 185-100, good for a .649 winning percentage. They’re at least eight games above .500 in this span against every team in their division, including the Twins who have routinely given the Tribe a hard time.
No team in the division has felt more of the Tribe’s wrath than the Detroit Tigers. Cleveland’s record against the once-dominant Tigers over the last four seasons is 53-17, which amounts to roughly three wins for every four games.
The Indians have literally doubled Detroit’s run total in these 70 games, scoring 426 to the Tigers’ 213. That’s an average of just over six runs per game. Over a 162-game schedule, the Indians’ average runs per game against the Tigers in the last four years would amount to the fourth-highest single-season run total for a team since 1961.
The obvious thing to point out here is that the Tigers have been a very bad baseball team for most of the last half-decade, and the Indians have done what a contending team is supposed to.
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But this kind of sustained dominance over this long of a time frame is something to behold, no matter the teams in question. For perspective, the Nationals, who have consistently been one of the NL’s better teams of late, have a .657 win percentage against the Marlins since 2016, with a run differential of 105.
The Cubs have a .609 win percentage against the Pirates in this span, with a run differential of 84. The Dodgers, the National League’s most dominant team over the last several years, have won 65.3% of head-to-head meetings with the Padres, outscoring them by 168 runs.
The Indians continued this historically lopsided stretch against Detroit with a 10-1 victory in Comerica Park on Tuesday night. They’ll look to improve to 14-1 on the season against the Tigers tonight with Aaron Civale on the mound.