Entering Thursday afternoon’s makeup game against the White Sox, the Cleveland Guardians are four games ahead of Chicago, and 5 1/2 games ahead of the Minnesota Twins in the AL Central standings.
Things are still incredibly tight, and the next week could essentially decide the division, because here is the schedule for Cleveland’s next nine games:
- One game against the White Sox
- A five-game weekend series at home against the Twins
- A three-game series against the White Sox in Chicago
With that in mind, Guardians fans are in for a real treat over the next week, with every game carrying huge implications. Cleveland could essentially run away with the Central division by the end of next week, but it’s just as possible that things could get extremely tight atop the standings.
Should the Guardians relinquish some of their lead to Chicago or Minnesota, the silver lining is that Cleveland is very close to maintaining the tiebreaker against both teams as well. With no 163rd game this season, divisional tiebreakers will be decided on head-to-head records, and Cleveland only needs one more win each against Minnesota and Chicago to secure the upper hand.
While it’s nice to lock up the tiebreakers, the Guardians can, of course, put the entire issue to rest by simply continuing to play good baseball and win games. With so much at stake over the next week, Cleveland fans simply couldn’t ask for anything better.