The Detroit Tigers are exactly two ninths of the way through the 2009 campaign. Detroit is in excellent position to make a run in the month of May and gain some breathing room between themselves and the rest of the Central Division.
The Tigers have had four separate three-game winning streaks, but have been unable to win four in a row this year. On Tuesday night Detroit will attempt to end that trend as Dontrelle Willis once again seeks his first victory as a member of the Tigers.
The fact that Dontrelle Willis was not a disaster in his first start of the year was in itself a small victory for the Tigers and their young pitching staff. The D-Train must contend with a potent Texas Rangers' squad featuring the hot hitting Ian Kinsler. The Rangers are the hottest team in baseball right now, winning their last seven contests.
After the three game series against Texas, the Tigers will stay home for inter-league play against the struggling Colorado Rockies. After that Detroit will hit the road for three in Kansas City before closing the month in Baltimore, where they will be facing the Orioles for four games.
If Justin Verlander can continue his strong efforts and a couple of the other starters can establish greater consistency, then the Tigers should be in a good position entering the summer.
As it stands, no team in baseball has played fewer home games so far this year than Detroit (11-5 entering Tuesday). The Tigers need to dominate the rest of May, and stay strong during a challenging June schedule.
The Tigers will play over sixty percent of their final eighty six games at home. This team seems to be positioned well to see the playoffs for the first time since their World Series appearance in 2006.