American League Central Team-by-Team

Review the American League Graphs

Here's a view of the AL Central standings on a day-by-day basis, starting with the tenth game of the season.

AL Central Standings

Team Graphs on this page:  White Sox  Indians  Tigers  Royals  Twins 

Following are graphs of the ten-game averages for each team. The green area represents the number of games each team has won of its last ten played. The two lines are 10-game moving averages of runs scored and allowed per game over the same time period, adjusted for park factors. The fixed line represents the league average number of runs scored per game.

The tables list vital stats by month. FIP stands for "Fielding Independent Pitching" and is based on the following formula: (13*HR+3*BB-2*K)/IP. DER stands for "Defense Efficiency Ratio" and is essentially calculated this way: Non-catcher putouts/# of balls hit fairly (not including HRs). The DER stats on this page are based on limited data; the trend between months per team is more valid than the absolute number.

White Sox Ten Game Averages
April May June July Aug Sept
OBP .330 .310 .320 .355 .346 .329
SLG .440 .377 .405 .517 .499 .439
FIP 1.20 1.76 0.85 0.64 0.58 1.57
DER .745 .717 .740 .706 .713 .756
White Sox Comments
August 31, 2003

The All Star break transformed the White Sox from a sub-.500 team to one of the best teams in the league, featuring outstanding batting and pitching. They hit a mid-August slump at Anaheim and Texas, but otherwise it's been full steam ahead.

The real turnaround has come at the plate: Frank Thomas, Magglio Ordonez, Paul Konerko, Carl Everett (nice acquisition), and Joe Crede have all been outstanding in the second half. Only Thomas performed at this level in the first half.

Really, the pitching has been good all season long; four of the top twenty pitchers in the league are White Sox and fielding kudos go to Miguel Olivo and Jose Valentin (the AL Gold Glove winner at shortstop, by Win Shares).

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Cleveland Ten Game Averages
April May June July Aug Sept
OBP .307 .315 .332 .319 .305 .316
SLG .388 .394 .386 .427 .410 .404
FIP 1.62 1.35 1.00 1.19 1.48 1.44
DER .723 .715 .726 .738 .726 .727
Cleveland Indian Comments
August 24, 2003

This is a team that has improved significantly during the year. It took the Indians 53 games to reach a point at which their runs scored exceeded runs allowed over a ten-game average. By that measure, they had the worst beginning of the season, even worse than the Tigers. They then had a span of 60 games in which they played .500 ball, though they stunk on both offense and defense right after the All-Star break. Now, they are having a very good August.

This most recent spurt has come against some decent competition -- Mariners, Angels and Twins -- and their success has been driven by some very good pitching, including good performances from Lee, Traber, Sabathia and the recently departed Anderson .

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Detroit Ten Game Averages
April May June July Aug Sept
OBP .258 .309 .299 .309 .314 .306
SLG .262 .379 .379 .409 .436 .368
FIP 1.47 1.58 1.76 2.38 1.93 2.04
DER .705 .761 .708 .723 .699 .686
Detroit Tigers Comments
August 24, 2003


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Kansas City Ten Game Averages
April May June July Aug Sept
OBP .349 .314 .351 .333 .341 .333
SLG .458 .385 .445 .434 .424 .426
FIP 1.04 1.61 2.01 2.56 1.64 1.36
DER .731 .693 .695 .754 .698 .720
Kansas City Royals Comments
August 31, 2003

The Royals are a wonderful statistical anomaly. They are batting .275 overall, but they lead the league in batting with runners in scoring position, at .306. As a result, they are scoring 1/3 more runs per game than their basic offensive elements would predict. They are also ahead of their won/loss projection (Pythagoras, don't you know) by five games, primarily because they've given up a lot of runs of more than ten in a game (41 altogether).

But forget about the obscure statistics. Darrell May? Angel Berroa? Jose Lima? Who knew? The Royals had a great start, and they also had a good run just before the All Star break. However, a lot of this is due to their schedule: the Royals have done a very good job of beating the Tigers, Indians and the first-half version of the White Sox. They are 36-20 in the division and 25-37 against the other AL teams.

The Royals will play the Tigers and Indians in September, and they'll manage to miss the Twins, but they won't be able to duck the White Sox (second half version). Should be fun.

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Minnesota Twins' Ten Game Averages
April May June July Aug Sept
OBP .309 .349 .352 .334 .346 .354
SLG .388 .470 .455 .390 .430 .444
FIP 1.57 0.65 1.11 1.72 0.99 0.86
DER .752 .716 .684 .706 .724 .720
Minnesota Twins Comments
August 31, 2003

The Twins were awesome in May, horrible in early July but, most importantly, above average in August. For the month of August, they've managed to stay at 6/10 games won on a steady pace. They haven't experienced a dramatic turnaround a la the White Sox, but they've had just as good a record since the All Star break.

They've been doing it with pitching and fielding. The starting rotation, so brutal at times in the first half, has been very, very good. Johan Santana has the league's second-best second-half ERA (2.39; leader is Tim Hudson at 1.74), and Lohse and Rogers have been solid. The Twins also have one of the best bullpens in the league.

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