The Detroit Tigers picked just the right time to get hot. Winning five of their last six games (including a three-game sweep of the Chicago White Sox), combined with three-game losing streaks by both the Cleveland Indians and Kansas City Royals has closed the gap considerably in the AL Central.
At 12-10, the Tigers are now tied with the Royals for second place in the division, 1 1/2 games behind the surprising Indians (13-8). The Royals and Indians play a three-game series this week in Cleveland, which could sift out the standings even further.
A Kansas City sweep would give the Royals first place to themselves. But if the Indians sweep, the Royals would fall 4 1/2 games behind. And if the Tigers keep pace with a series win over the Mariners, they'd have a chance to take over the top spot in the division when they play a three-game series at Progressive Field this weekend.
The Minnesota Twins (9-12) are in fourth place, four games back. And after being swept by the Tigers, the White Sox (8-14) have lost 10 of their last 11 games, spiraling them down to last place in the division, 5 1/2 games out of first place.
Elsewhere in the AL, the Boston Red Sox are beginning to look like the team most predicted would win the World Series, having won five games in a row. The Red Sox are now 10-11, putting them in third place in the AL East, 3.5 behind the first-place New York Yankees (12-6). The Tampa Bay Rays (11-11) are just a half-game ahead of the Red Sox for second place in the division.
The Texas Rangers (14-7) continue to hold the top spot in the AL West, 2 1/2 games ahead of the Los Angeles Angels (12-10). The Angels have lost their last four games, pushing them back toward the pack. Following close behind are the Oakland Athletics (11-11) and the Seattle Mariners (8-15). The M's have the worst record in baseball.
For a full look at the American League standings and a look at what is going on in the National League, check out Yahoo.com.