Take a look at the AL Central standings entering Thursday's action. No, this is not a misprint:
Murder City 5-10
That's almost the opposite order that quite a few experts had going into the season. The question is, will it stay that way?
I can almost guarantee you the Tigers are going to be heard from before it's over. I still disagree with those who picked Detroit to win the World Series. Once you get past Justin Verlander, there isn't a consistently good pitcher in their starting rotation. With Joel Zumuya and Fernando Rodney on the DL, their bullpen stinks. But that lineup is the best in baseball, despite an early slump. They'll slug their way to a winning record if they have to.
The Sox? Depends on the back of the rotation, as I've said all along. So far, so good for John Danks, Jose Contreras and tonight's starter in Baltimore, Gavin Floyd. Will it last? No one knows.
The Royals? Gil Meche, Brian Bannister and Zach Grienke. You can do a lot worse than that top three as far as starting pitching goes. Bannister and Grienke have been dominant in their first three starts. Still, I don't see Kansas City hanging in the race because their lineup is a work in progress.
The most interesting story, though, plays out in Cleveland. Defending Cy Young Award winner C.C. Sabathia has been putrid in his first four starts, 0-3 with a 13.50 ERA. The Tigers creamed him Wednesday, 13-2. The Tribe's other ace, Fausto Carmona, walked eight in his last start. He tries to rebound tonight against Detroit.
The two favorites in the division are both 5-10. Even though I picked Cleveland to win the AL Central just three weeks ago, I think they might be in bigger trouble than Detroit right now. They need Sabathia and Carmona to right the ship. The Indians closer, Joe Borowski, has already blown two saves and just went on the DL.
if the Cleveland aces continue to struggle, that opens the door for the Sox and Kansas City to get some traction in the division race.