No team is “lights out” or “dominant” by any means. It has two of the weakest teams in the Majors with the Detroit Tigers and Kansas City Royals and then three teams that don’t seem to want the division lead.
You have the Cleveland Guardians who are in the lead but are somewhat hot and cold. Then there are the Minnesota Twins who had the lead in the AL Central for a while before giving it up to the Guardians.
And finally, you have the Chicago White Sox. This was the team that was supposed to win it all and quite possibly go to the World Series.
Now, they sit five games back of the Guardians, have more injuries than you can count on two hands, and don’t seem to want to win. This is a team in a downward spiral with nothing left to stop it but the ground.
The Guardians aren’t a great team but in this division, you don’t even have to be amazing to be in the lead. Right now, they are just a game and a half up on the Twins and could lose their lead at almost any time.
Cleveland plays well then they lose a stinker and the only thing that they really have going for them is inconsistency. However, if they can keep their foot on the gas and fend off the Twins, they just might make the playoffs. However, they will likely make a quick exit from them.
The Twins have a lot of star power and were in the lead in the AL Central for quite a while. However, they have fallen back due to some injury issues and inconsistency.
Losing star Byron Buxton hasn’t helped him any as he makes yet another trip to the injured list, taking a powerful bat out of the lineup. The Twins have also had some back luck in games that have cost them some wins.
The Chicago White Sox need to do better in the American League Central division.
While they are better than the three teams below them, like the Guardians, they are hard to predict. However, if they can win a few games and have their luck change, they could be right in the middle of the playoff race.
As mentioned, the Chicago White Sox have struggled mightily this season. They have underachieved in every aspect and have let their fans down.
Management seems to have no solution for any of this as the team continues to sink deeper and deeper as the season ends.
It’s very likely that the White Sox will miss the playoffs and while wholesale changes are needed they likely won’t come this offseason. Management seems content with the current staff and doesn’t seem to want to make any changes for the better.
You can lump the Tigers and Royals together. These are two teams that have had a tough year but have a lot to look forward to in the future.
They both could start sniffing the upper echelons of the AL Central in the next couple of years thanks to the talent they have and the direction that they are going. Things can and should change for these teams heading into 2023.
There is a shift in power in the AL Central. The teams with better front offices and management staff are coming out ahead of those that have settled and refuse to make changes.
The status quo is no longer going to equal wins in the AL Central. Change is key and adapting to what others are doing is going to get you the lead in this division and a ticket to the playoffs.