The Detroit Tigers may not be the super-human juggernaut that many analysts believe they are … but they're pretty damn close.
I came to this conclusion the other day when, in a particularly strong bout of optimism, I thought maybe the Royals can find a way to do it this year. If they keep it close into September, maybe they can take this division with 90 wins after a late season run. *eye twinkle*
This led to an unfounded belief that maybe the Tigers aren't as good as people think. So, I dug into the numbers, and was crushed by the reality that the Tigers are freaking incredible on paper. It's kind of hard to look at.
Start with their pitching staff, third in the AL in ERA (3.75) last year, and that was with a suspect bullpen. They were second in starters' ERA at 3.76, which is fantastic. Their top four starters had ERAs under 3.74; Justin Verlander led the group with a 2.64. The only starter in their top six in starts with an ERA over four was Rick Porcello, and I could see him losing his spot in the rotation to Drew Smyly. Every one of these pitchers other than Porcello had a K/9 rate of at least 7.64, and each of them had a BB/9 rate under three.
Taming Tigers Will Be Tough
Kings Of Kauffman | Feb 3