The Detroit Tigers just defeated the Minnesota Twins for their 90th win of the year and clinched their fourth consecutive A.L. Central title. So what has seemed inevitable now becomes official, with the Tigers locked in to play the Orioles in the American League Division Series that starts this Thursday at Camden Yards.
With the Tigers win, the Kansas City Royals are set to host either the Oakland A's or Seattle Mariners in the A.L. Wild Card game. The A's are currently leading the Rangers 2-0, but if they lose and the Mariners win later today, there will be a one-game playoff tomorrow to see who the Royals will play on Tuesday.
The Orioles played two series against the Tigers this year, neither of which worked out well for the Orioles. They went just 1-5 and were outscored 20 to 33. But both of those series were very early in the year, April 4-6 and May 12-14. I wouldn't rush to judge the O's chances by the season series, of course. But the Tigers are a pretty scary team despite their flaws. They have excellent starting pitching and a few hitters who can really mash. Of course, it's the playoffs, which means all of the teams are good, including the Orioles.
Stay tuned between now and Thursday for detailed breakdown of the Tigers and the upcoming series. I can't believe we have to wait four days!