The Cleveland Indians are right near the top of the American League Central standings.
That is always good news.
But this is not like past years when the division was weak and the Indians were just waiting for everyone else to fall off the pace.
Now the Chicago White Sox are atop the standings and are also the No. 1 team in ESPN’s MLB power rankings.
The White Sox enter Saturday with the best record in baseball and sit 1.5 games ahead of the Indians.
That means the Indians are close to having the top record in the game, which is great news.
Interestingly enough, the Detroit Tigers and Minnesota Twins sit at the bottom of the Central and all of MLB 10.5 games behind the White Sox.
The White Sox are playing like a World Series team. Talented and focused.
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) May 13, 2021
Results Against Chicago so Far
The Indians and White Sox get to play each other 19 times in 2021 and have already had eight matchups so far.
The season series is tied 4-4 and that includes a no-hitter, along with three games that ended with one team getting shutout.
It is obvious that both teams are in for a good rivalry this summer.
The question is if both can keep playing at this high level.
One thing that could help is both teams taking on the Twins and Tigers so often.
Detroit is a team that was expected to be bad and rebuilding.
Minnesota is a huge surprise at 12-24 on the year.
There is still plenty of time to turn it around, but at some point it will be too late to recover.
The Twins are also losing against Oakland as this article is being written.
The Kansas City Royals also just ended an 11-game losing streak and may be more average than they appeared in April.
That means the Indians and the White Sox have 57 divisional games against teams who appear to be of lesser talent.
— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) May 13, 2021
The 19 head-to-head matchups will likely determine who wins the Central.
A Competitive MLB Race
There are only a few truly bad teams in MLB at this point.
The Twins, Tigers, and Colorado Rockies are all at least nine games back of the White Sox.
The rest of the league is tightly packed together and only four teams entered the weekend with at least a .600 winning percentage.
So expect some major changes between now and the trade deadline.
The hope is that the Indians are on the right side of the standings shift.
The Indians and White Sox meet again on May 31 for a doubleheader.
That means another four-game series is in order that could vault Cleveland into first.
A similar scenario was in place nearly two weeks ago when the Indians marched into Kansas City and exposed the Royals as frauds.