I don’t believe the Cleveland Indians can make a run at the Detroit Tigers over the final 41 games of the season.

But the Kansas City Royals – who beat the Tigers 2-1 in the first game of Friday’s day-night doubleheader – could end up being a thorn in the side of the heavy favorites to reach the World Series.

Here’s why:

The Indians (65-56 and six games behind) could be finished off by the tough schedule they face in the weeks ahead. They begin a six-game road trip to Oakland and Anaheim on Friday night. Then Cleveland has three home games with the Minnesota Twins before taking to the road again at Atlanta against the Braves (74-47) and then to Detroit.

The Tigers (71-50) have dominated the Tribe this season with a 13-3 record and the only remaining games are the three at Comerica Park.

The Royals (63-57 and 7.5 games back) are now 6-4 against Detroit and the challengers have nine head-to-head matchups remaining with a chance to make up ground. The Royals could very well sweep this doubleheader with “Big Game” James Shields facing Toledo call-up Jose Alvarez in the night game.

The folks in Las Vegas don’t see this coming. The Bovada web site on Friday listed Detroit at 5/1 odds to win the World Series as the American League favorite. Bovada has both the Indians and Royals at 45/1 odds.

I’m not saying Kansas City is going to overtake the Tigers. What I am saying is that they have the best chance.