The Detroit Tigers had a significant lead in the American League Central this season. In fact, up until six days ago, the Tigers had not seen a day this season where they were not at least sharing the division lead. That is until Kansas City beat up on Max Scherzer in just four innings. The Royals put up 10 runs on the 2013 AL Cy Young award winner in just those four innings. The Royals went on to beat the Tigers 11-4. All of a sudden, Detroit’s dominance of the Central appeared to have vanished in the blink of an eye.
However, Detroit has won four of it’s past five games since that 11-4 route by the Royals. And now the Tigers are back to leading the AL Central by 2.5 games. The Tigers are going to win the division and probably by at least five games. This is just a prediction so I’m not saying it’s guaranteed to happen but I feel it will. Take it for what it’s worth.
But what is there to Detroit that you can’t like? Wait, I know what there isn’t to like. Justin Verlander and his 6.26 ERA. Another thing is Max Scherzer and his ERA that is now well above 4.00. But that doesn’t bother me in the least bit. Why? Because Detroit’s other three starters; Anibal Sanchez, Drew Smyly, and Rick Porcello, all have ERA’s under 4.00. Scherzer and/or Verlander will come around at some point, whether it’s just one of them or it’s both. But it will happen because those two are two of the best in the game today. Not this year, but speaking relatively towards recent success.
On top of the great numbers from their other three pitchers, the Tigers have one of the best offenses in baseball. Detroit averaged 7 runs per game over the weekend in their sweep of the Indians on the road. There’s no doubt how good Miguel Cabrera is but the Tigers have gotten a lot of production outside of Cabrera. Ian Kinsler is hitting .294 with 8 HR and 35 RBI. It’s no doubt that Detroit’s potent offense has been in large part because of a phenomenal season, at least first half, by Victor Martinez. V-Mart is hitting .331 with 19 HR and 49 RBI.
The Tigers are going to be fine because they can win 2-1 ballgames, they can go back in forth in slugfest’s and outscore the opponent if needed, and they can also just flat out crush a team. Similar to what they did Sunday to Cleveland. Regardless of how they win, it’s clear Detroit is able to do it night in and night out. That little slip up they had happens throughout the baseball season. It’s longer than any sports season as far as games go and from time to time, teams cool off. But that won’t phase Detroit because they have the right pieces to take the AL Central again this year.