It's going to be a mad dash to the finish in the wide open AL Central, and the Cleveland Indians (44-41) are hoping that this time around they'll come out on top after a slow finish to 2011.
Coming out of the All-Star Break, the Indians are only three games behind the Chicago White Sox but have a hot Detroit Tigers team on their tail. They need to start the second half of the year strong and will get that chance as they visit the Toronto Blue Jays (43-43) for a three game set. The Indians famously had the lead in the AL Central last season right up until the All-Star Break, at which point a terrible second half slowly slid them out of the playoff picture.
The pitching match up will feature Justin Masterson (5-8, 4.40 ERA) of the Indians taking on Ricky Romero (8-4, 5.22) of the Jays, who will try to snap a three game losing streak that has seen him hold a horrific 10.80 ERA. Chris Perez of the Indians will look to re-start his streak of saves as well if the game gets tight, a long streak that was snapped when he blew one to the Tampa Bay Rays right before the break.
The game will be at 7:07 p.m. ET at Rogers Centre.
For more on the Cleveland Indians and the Toronto Blue Jays, check out their respective SB Nation blogs at Let's Go Tribe and Bluebird Banter. More news and analysis on Major League Baseball in general can be found over at Baseball Nation.