Aug 16, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Indians first baseman Carlos Santana (41), third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall (center) and relief pitcher Bryan Shaw (27) celebrate a 6-0 win over the Baltimore Orioles at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The Week Ahead: August 18th

The Week Ahead Could Lead to a Standings Shake Up

How things “stand”:

The Tribe still find themselves on the outside looking in at the playoffs following Sunday’s series finale loss to the Orioles. In the division, Cleveland sits a healthy 6 games back of the red hot Kansas City Royals. The Motor City Kitties have continued to struggle, leaving Detroit a game and a half back of the division lead.

On the Wild Card side of things, the Indians playoff picture is a little brighter, but not by much. They are 5 games back of the second Wild Card slot currently held by the Seattle Mariners. Said Kitties are a mere half game out of that same spot, with a size-able three game lead over the next closest team, our old pals the New York Yankees. Toronto sits between the Indians and the Yankees at 4 games back.

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The Week Ahead:

Cleveland Indians

Week difficulty rating: Looking Good

Schedule: Off on Monday 8/18, @ Minnesota 8/19-8/21, vs Houston 8/22-8/24

Real quick: Bauer goes on a dreaded road start on Tuesday, but House and Kluber give a good chance at a series win against a team that struggles at home. Houston is playing like the Astros we all know and love, winning the series @ The Prog should be expected.

Kansas City Royals

Week difficulty rating: Looking Good

Schedule: @ Minnesota 8/18, @ Colorado 8/19-8/20, off 8/21, @ Texas 8/22-8/24

Real quick: Shouldn’t have a problem taking the series finale from the Twins after bludgeoning them on Sunday. The Rockies are in shambles, but anything can happen at Coors Field. Except the Rockies beating the Royals. Texas has the worst overall and home record in major league baseball. Only negative, after starting the series in Minnesota on 8/15, that’s one heck of a road trip.

Detroit Tigers

Week difficulty rating: Could be good, could be bad

Schedule: Off on Monday 8/18, @ Tampa Bay 8/19-8/21, @ Minnesota 8/22-8/23 (DH on 8/23)

Real quick: Kitties have been scuffling as of late, losing this past weekend series at home to the Mariners. The Rays are coming off a well-played series against the Yankees, and everybody knows how tough it is to sweep a double header, even if it is in Minnesota. Tigers need to use this week to turn it around if they want to stay in contention for the central.

week ahead

Aug 15, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Seattle Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano (22) hits a single in the fifth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Seattle Mariners

Week difficulty rating: Looking Good

Schedule: @ Philadelphia 8/18-8/20, off 8/21, @ Boston 8/22-8/24

Real quick: Mariners are hot right now, coming off taking 3 of 4 from the White Sox, sweeping Toronto in a 3 gamer and taking two of three from the Kitties. Philly has been their same brutal self all of August, 3-7 in their last 10. The Red Sox have been playing decent ball, taking 2 of 3 from the Angels and both from the Reds before splitting the weekend against Houston. Seattle should win both series.

New York Yankees

Week difficulty rating: Could be good, could be bad

Schedule: Off on Monday 8/18, vs Houston 8/19-8/21, vs White Sox 8/22-8/24

Real quick: Many thought the Yanks would turn the corner after taking 3 of 4 from Detroit in the beginning of the month. They then ran through the bandsaw from Northeast Ohio the following series. Michael Pineda is back, and with Brandon McCarthy throwing well, Houston should be no problem.  Unfortunately they’ll run into Chris Sale and Jose Quintana, the only two White Sox starters worth worrying about, over the weekend.

Toronto Blue Jays

Week difficulty rating: Not so hot

Schedule: Off on Monday 8/18, @ Milwaukee 8/19-8/20, off 8/21, vs Tampa Bay 8/22-8/24

Real quick: What should be a leisurely week with two off days turns into a possible disastrous one when you look at how hot the Brewers have been. In their last ten, they are 7-3, beating the Dodgers for 5 of those wins (and beating Clayton Kershaw once). Milwaukee is also solid at Miller Park. Things could get easier if the Rays scuffle vs the Kitties this week.

Tampa Bay Rays

Week difficulty rating: Could be good, could be bad

Schedule: Off on Monday 8/18, vs Detroit 8/19-8/21, @ Toronto 8/22-8/24

Real quick: Already talked about Detroit’s recent struggles, the Rays need to build off their series against the Yankees this weekend and win two at the Trop. Toronto is coming off being swept by Seattle and losing 2 of 3 to the White Sox this past weekend, and plays at division leading Milwaukee twice before lacing them up against Tampa Bay.

Tags: AL Central AL Wild Card Cleveland Indians Preview Robinson Cano

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