Luke Waltons Forehead presented by the Sports Dude.

Friday, August 25, 2006 at 10:32 AM

Central Crown or Wild Card - take your pick!

So the Tigers Sean Casey had a brain fart there yesterday afternoon hey? Until I saw the replay I could not fully understand or appreciate the brain fartiness of the situation but I must admit it is right up there with the best of the best. Have the Tigers been playing some bad baseball recently? Yes, I think that is a safe thing to say but folks they still have the best record in baseball as of today and they split the series with the Sox which means they have the same lead now as when the series started. Think on that for a moment folks, seeing how the Tigers have sucked against the Sox all year they drew a split where there was a fair shot at dropping all four against the Sox which is always a possibility. Am I panicking? No, I can not say that I am, I still expect the Tigers to make the playoffs and if for some strange they lose the Central lead to the Sox I still give them the Wild Card, isn’t that safe to say? Who is their competition? The Yankees have their division all but wrapped up and the Red Sox will most likely lose their pants off because they still have to play the Yanks a ton. The AL West winner will be it; the second place team there will not have enough wins to even smell the Wild Card. So where will the Wild Card team come from then? For the first time it will come from the AL Central and, to me, that is a two team race between the Sox and the Tabbies. The Twins are there but I don’t see them passing the Tabs or the Sox. So just for fun, and because I am bored, let us look at the Tigers remaining schedule and make a worst case scenario series by series, game by game break down starting with their current record of 81-47.

3 games at Cleveland – Tigers win 2-1 – record = 83-48
3 games at New York – Tigers lose 1-2 – record = 84-50
3 games home .vs. Angels – Tigers win 2-1 = record = 86-51
3 games home .vs. Seattle – Tigers win 2-1 – record = 88-52
4 games at Twins – Tigers lose 1-3 – record = 89-55
2 games home .vs. Texas – series split 1-1 – record = 90-56
3 games home .vs. Baltimore – Tigers win 2-1 – record = 92-57
3 games at Chicago – Tigers lose 1-2 – record = 93-59
3 games at Royals – Tigers win 2-1 – record = 95-60
3 games home .vs. Jays – Tigers win 2-1 – record = 97-61
3 games home .vs. Royals – Tigers win 2-1 – record = 99-62

Yes, I know, if you do the math I am one game short (99 + 62 = 161) but I am not going back and doing all that again, sorry, I am not a journalist so I don’t have to be 100% accurate! The point is, even with a couple crappy series that is a realistic looking outlook if you ask me. That is also finish the season off at a slow 18-15 pace so if you flip it and say they go 15-18 that is still a 96-65 mark, which better be good enough to get in the freaking playoffs! Now for fun let us do the same thing for the Sox… yes, the sports dude really is bored today! Current record for Sox = 75-52.

3 games at home .vs. Twins – Sox win 2-1 – record = 77-53 (Tigs at 83-48)
3 games at home .vs. Tampa Bay – Sox win 2-1 – record = 79-54 (Tigs at 84-50)
3 games at Royals – Sox win 2-1 – record = 81-55 (Tigs at 86-51)
3 games at Boston – White Sox lose 1-2 – record = 82-57 (Tigs at 88-52)
4 games at home .vs. Cleveland – Sox win 3-1 – record = 85-58 (Tigs at 89-55)
3 games at Angels – Sox win 2-1 – record = 87-59 (Tigs at 90-56)
3 games at Oakland – Sox win 2-1 – record = 89-60 (Tigs at 92-57)
3 games at home .vs. Detroit – Sox win 2-1 – record = 91-61 (Tigs at 93-59)
3 games at home .vs. Seattle – Sox win 2-1 – record = 93-62 (Tigs at 95-60)
3 games in Cleveland – Sox win 2-1 – record = 95-63 (Tigs at 97-61)
3 games in Minnesota – Sox lose 1-2 – record = 96-65 (Tigs at 99-62)

96-65 for the White Sox in what I feel is a best case scenario and if you look above I have got the Tigers at 96-65 if they go 15-18 the rest of the way. Yes that gives the Sox the Central but it gives the Tigers the Wild Card because, as I said, I do not see the Twins making the jump not only past the Sox but our Tabbies as well. Bottom line is even though the Tigers may be limping into the playoffs who would have thought that back in April we would even be talking playoffs at the end of August? Not me, not you, probably not many people not on the Tigers payroll. Seriously this is what it is suppose to feel like, with the youth this is what it will continue to feel like and I am finally happy to remember what it all does feel like.

Later – the sports dude.

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