We've heard for awhile about the seven games that the Twins have upcoming with Detroit. This has been offered as proof that Minnesota's still in the pennant race, even though the home team is a game under .500 and shows no signs of finishing anywhere outside a game or two from 81-81.
That said, the Twins have 19 games left, the Tigers have 20. Seven of those games for each team are against each other. The remainder break down thusly:
MIN: Cleveland-3, @Chicago-3, Kansas City-3, @Kansas City-3
DET: Toronto-1, Kansas City-3, @Cleveland-3, @Chicago-3, Chicago-3
Not a lot of difference there, to be sure - it's intradivisional matchups all the way home for both teams, apart from Detroit's matchup with Toronto tonight. Here's a quick chart of the two teams' records this season against AL Central opponents:
|vs. Kansas City||7-5||8-7|
The teams have identical 30-23 records within the division; the Twins are 7-4 against the Tigers.
And, just a small reminder of how difficult it would be for Minnesota to actually top Detroit in this race: let's say the Twins won both series with the Michiganders, taking five out of seven games. Let's say the Tigers went just 7-6 in their other remaining games. In order to take the pennant, Minnesota would need to win ten of twelve.
The Twins haven't had a single 10-2 stretch this year. In late August, they won ten of thirteen; apart from this, they haven't had another 9-3 stretch, over twelve games.
Not too confidence-inducing, any of this.