The dramatic turnaround of the Minnesota Twins has continued, as they took three out of four from the Kansas City Royals in their first series after the All-Star break. The victories, combined with some losses by the Detroit Tigers and the Cleveland Indians, has made what looked to be a two-team American League Central race into a four-team free-for-all.
As of Monday morning, here is what the standings in the American League Central look like:
AL Central Standings
|Kansas City||38||57||.400||12||Lost 2|
(updated 7.18.2011 at 7:33 AM PDT)
Yes, after being as far as 16.5 games out of first place in late May and early June, the Twins now find themselves just five games in back of division co-leaders Detroit and Cleveland.
With the Twins' upcoming schedule, they are in a position to make some serious hay. The team will play eight games in the next seven days. All of them will be at home, and all of them will be against the top two teams in the division. They will kick off a four-game series against the Indians with a day/night doubleheader on Monday afternoon (to make up for the rainout that occurred back on April 22), and they will follow that up with a four-game series against the Tigers beginning on Thursday.
This week can make or break the season for the Minnesota Twins. If they can get a bunch of victories over the top two teams in the division, they will be in the race through the end of the season. If they should suddenly cool off, they might decide to become sellers and get out of the race while they have some trade chips with some value.