On Thursday night, May 24, the Cleveland Indians finished off a three-game sweep of the Detroit Tigers. The Tribe was a season-best eight games over .500 (26-18), and then the weekend happened, and they lost three straight games in Chicago to the White Sox.
After moving Detroit out of their way, it seemed that the Indians didn't remember that there were other teams that they needed to worry about, and now they are just a half-game ahead of Chicago in the AL Central for first place heading into Tuesday's game.
Luckily, or Cleveland fans can at least hope, the Indians get a "break" this week as they face the Kansas City Royals and Minnesota Twins at home before heading to Detroit for an important three-game series, beginning on June 5.
While the White Sox looked formidable while outscoring the Indians 35-16 in their three-game sweep, you can question how they will make it through the season healthy with John Danks already on the disabled list, Jake Peavy's always questionable shoulder and Chris Sale's potential innings limitations in the starting rotation. Not to mention a rookie manager in Robin Ventura and a bullpen that has had a revolving door at closer and many undefined roles, and the South-Siders may not be taken seriously much longer.
Regardless, this piece is designed to show why the Indians are better than the Tigers in 2012. The Tigers must be considered the class of the AL Central after winning the division in 2011 by 15 games. After finishing 95-67, the Tigers have a bullseye in 2012, and the following reasons will explain why the Indians can hit that bullseye and take control of the AL Central in 2012.