The AL Central is going down to the wire

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The Tigers had a three game lead with four to play.  No team in that position has ever failed to make the playoffs.  With their loss last night and the Twins’ win, the Tigers are threatening to make history. According to a couple of game reports I read, they were even getting some boos. Boos? Really? But everything I read has told me that the Tigers are totally saving Detroit.  Ingrates.

The good news for Detroit is that the Twins have to face Zack Greinke this afternoon, while the Tigers get Freddy Garcia.  If things go according to expectations, Detroit will pop some champagne this evening.  If Minnesota beats up Greinke, however, the Twins will start to give off that team-of-destiny stench.

Yes, the Tigers could still win the division tomorrow if they had to, but they really don’t want to take it that far.  For one thing, the matchups don’t favor them: the Twins will face Luke Hochevar while the Tigers face Jon Danks.

Another reason why tonight is a must-win (and a Twins must-lose) for Detroit? Because if Detroit has to play to win tomorrow, they’ll have to run Justin Verlander out against the White Sox.  That would make him unavailable to pitch in Game 1 of the ALDS against the Yankees, and if the Tigers make it that far, they’ll want to be able to start with their ace.

Of course, with things going the way they are, they’ll be thanking their lucky stars if they have to worry about ALDS matchups.

Dodgers announce World Series rotation order

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We know Clayton Kershaw will oppose Dallas Keuchel in Game 1 of the World Series. We now know the rest of the Dodgers’ rotation order, per Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times. After Kershaw, it’ll be Rich Hill, then Yu Darvish, followed by Alex Wood.

No surprise, that’s the same order the Dodgers used in the NLCS against the Cubs. Dodger starters combined to post a 2.67 ERA with 31 strikeouts and four walks across 27 innings in the NLCS.

The Astros haven’t yet announced their rotation order, but we can safely assume Justin Verlander will follow Keuchel in Game 2.