AL Central leader
Overall record (through Sunday): 73-56
Last week: 5-2
This week: At New York Yankees (Mon.-Wed.); off Thursday; at Detroit Tigers (Fri.-Sun.)
Cleveland looked like the best team in baseball not named the Los Angeles Dodgers over the weekend. Or was it just that the Kansas City Royals looked like the worst team in baseball?
Kansas City Royals
Probably a little of both. But it’s hard to deny Cleveland, which is still dealing with a slew of injuries, is looking like the favorite to win the American League pennant.
The week began with a four-game split against Boston that could easily be a division series preview. The most ominous sign to come out of that series was Cleveland pounding Chris Sale to the tune of seven runs in three innings.
They kept that rolling with three shutouts of the Kansas City Royals over the weekend. Sunday provided the most impressive offensive display, as Cleveland put up 12 runs. However, it was the first two games of the series that showed the most glaring differences between the teams.
In each of those two games, Cleveland only out-hit Kansas City by two hits. Whereas Cleveland’s hitters found ways to take advantage of their opportunities, Kansas City’s hitters could not. When Cleveland pitchers needed to make a pitch to escape a jam, they were able to do so. The Kansas City Royals pitchers could not.
It’s why one of these teams will win the division, and the other will not.