The Indians are currently struggling, losing 4 of their last six, but you would not be able to tell this from the standings.
The Tribe have the best record in the American League at 31-19, along with a six game lead in the AL Central over the Detroit Tigers. This is the largest lead in any division in the MLB. The next largest lead in only 2.5 games, which is held by the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Central. They own a 2.5 game lead over the Milwaukee Brewers.
The AL Central is usually a very strong division, and the Indians are usually struggling to contend. As with many things in 2011, the Indians are very lucky with the current state of the division. The records are as follows:
Cleveland Indians 31-19
Detroit Tigers 26-25 6 games back
Kansas City 23-29 9 games back
Chicago White Sox 24-31 9.5 games back
Minnesota Twins 17-34 14.5 games back
The biggest disappointment in the division, and also the MLB, is the Twins. They are the 2-time defending AL Central champs, and came into the season looking to repeat as division champs. They have had injury problems this year and only have 6 home wins this year. Their only bright spot so far this season is Francisco Liriano’s no hitter. That is great, but being 17 games under .500 before June usually signals a year that will ultimately end up in the front office rebuilding the team.
With the Twins seemingly out of the picture, the Indians have one less team to worry about. The Royals are beginning to fall apart after their great start, and the White Sox are coming off a blow out loss in Toronto. They are very inconsistent and the veterans they brought in this year, Adam Dunn and Alex Rios, are not doing enough to make a difference.
This leaves only the Detroit Tigers. Their ace Justin Verlander threw the second no hitter of his career this season, and is coming off a win against the Boston Red Sox. They are hanging around the .500 mark, and if they continue to play at that rate, the Indians have to be careful. If they continue to lose games the way they have been lately, their 6 game lead can quickly be reduced to 3 or even 0.
The Indians will spend their Memorial Day in Toronto to begin a three game series. Fausto Carmona will get the start on Monday and will need to pitch well in order to get the team back to their winning ways.