After several teams endured a wild and windy weekend and after a couple of double-headers, baseball heads into a new week with one wraparound series finishing up and new matchups all around. Two East teams that hit bottom fast have shown signs of bouncing back, while the leaders in the West have come back to earth.
And the Indians -- yes, the Cleveland Indians -- have the best record in the American League as we sit here on this Monday morning.
This could be a very interesting season indeed.
Let's have a look at the current standings, as well as a glance at who-plays-whom heading toward next weekend:
American League Central --
Cleveland Indians (11-4 .733 0 Games Behind) The Indians finished off their third sweep of the season in five series, taking down Baltimore and assuming first place alone on Sunday afternoon with the Royals' loss. The Tribe now goes to Kansas City for four games to decide who will lead the division entering next weekend.
Kansas City Royals (10-5 .667 1 Game Behind) When the Seattle Mariners finally broke through to win the finale of a four-game set in K.C., the Royals fell into second place, a game back. But now the Indians come to Missouri for four games in an intriguing battle for the divisional lead.
Chicago White Sox (7-8 .467 4 Games Behind) Chicago comes off of being swept by the Angels and finds themselves four games back of the Tribe, after beating Cleveland two straight to open the season. The White Sox are off to Tampa Bay for a four-game series against the resurrecting Rays.
Detroit Tigers (7-9 .438 4.5 Games Behind) The Tigers climbed to .500 by winning the first two of a four-game set in Oakland, but then dropped the final two to once again fall below the break-even point. Detroit continues their West Coast swing with a three-game series in Seattle.
Minnesota Twins (5-10 .333 6 Games Behind) The Twins won in Tampa yesterday, salvaging the final game of their series against the Rays, and now head to Baltimore for four, in a somethings-gotta-give kind of series between two teams in early-season trouble.
American League East --
New York Yankees (9-5 .643 0 Games Behind) The Yankees took two out of three from the Texas Rangers over the weekend (thus allowing the Indians to claim the best record in the AL). Now New York -- after a day-off today -- heads north of the border for an abbreviated two-game set with the Blue Jays.
Toronto Blue Jays (7-8 .467 2.5 Games Behind) In this division, there is a danger of the Yankees getting so far ahead that all the other teams will have to settle for contending for a wild-card. Toronto -- after completing a four-game set in Boston with a Patriots' Day game today -- will have a chance to keep the Yankees close, with a two-game series at home against the Bronx Bombers beginning tomorrow.
Baltimore Orioles (6-8 .429 3 Games Behind) The Orioles had it going on, sitting at 6-1, but a devastating seven-game losing streak has Baltimore sinking fast. Can the Orioles right their ship in the friendly confines with four against the Twins? We will see, beginning tonight.
Tampa Bay Rays (6-9 .400 3.5 Games Behind) The Rays broke out of the doldrums of a 1-8 start with five straight wins -- a streak that ended yesterday against Minnesota -- and are showing signs of life, although without Johnny Damon winning game after game in the last at-bat...Tampa now entertains Chicago for four games in the Sunshine State -- although it is hard to see sunshine through a dome.
Boston Red Sox (4-10 .286 5 Games Behind) The Red Sox -- after losing the series opener to fall to 2-10 -- have taken two in a row from Toronto, and wraps up their series with the Jays this morning on Patriots' Day in Boston. The Sox then head to Oakland for two, and then on to Anaheim for the opener of a series with the Angels on Thursday.
American League West --
Los Angeles Angels (10-5 .667 0 Games Behind) The Angels ended the Indians' eight-game run last Tuesday and are now on a five-game run of their own, having just come off a sweep in Chicago. Now the fun really starts for Los Angeles, which heads to Texas for a three-game battle for first place with the Rangers. The Angels then head back home to take on Boston, which comes to Anaheim on Thursday.
Texas Rangers (10-5 .667 0 Games Behind) The Rangers were at one time sitting at 9-1, but -- after losing four-of-five, including two-of-three in New York -- find themselves deadlocked atop the West with the Angels, who visit Arlington for three games starting tonight. Whoever wins the series will lead the West heading into next weekend.
Oakland Athletics (8-8 .500 2.5 Games Behind) The A's were able to salvage the final two games against Detroit to give them a split with the Tigers and to climb back to .500. By winning those last two games, Oakland was able to pick up two full games on first place and to stay in range. Now Oakland plays two at home against Boston before heading up to Seattle on Thursday to begin a series against the Mariners.
Seattle Mariners (5-11 .312 5.5 Games Behind) After a closed-door clubhouse meeting, the Mariners finally beat Kansas City yesterday, salvaging one of four from the Royals. Seattle now returns home for three against Detroit, and begins a series against Oakland on Thursday.
In the National League, the Cincinnati Reds lead the Central by a game-and-a-half over the St.Louis Cardinals. Cincinnati sits at 9-6 and is the only team in the division over .500. In the East, the Philadelphia Phillies -- at 10-4 -- lead the Florida Marlins by two full games, and in the West, the Colorado Rockies have the best record in the majors at 12-3, and lead the San Francisco Giants by four full games.
For a full look at the standings, for breakdowns of home/away, division records, etc, please check the standings on Yahoo! Sports.
I will "see you" again on Friday and we will see where...why, where we stand...so to speak.