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Detroit Tigers Season Predictions | 2014 Season Betting Preview

2014 MLB Team Previews – Tigers

The Tigers have been playoff regulars of late, last year losing a series to the eventual champion Red Sox that definitely left a bad taste in their mouth.

The strength of that team was a stellar starting pitching staff featuring Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer and the Major’s best hitter Miguel Cabrera – who has won back to back MVP awards. Those strengths remain this season

Despite their recent success the Tigers made some big moves in the offseason. The sacrificed some pop for some speed but more important they shored up a bullpen that was the team’s achilles heel. The AL Central is still pretty tame so really those moves were done with an eye to giving them a better chance of winning in the playoffs. Plus they have a new manager – Brad Ausmus.

Sportsbook’s Odds to Win

AL Central: -225
AL Pennant: +400
World Series: +900

Key Additions:

The Tigers pulled off one of the biggest trades in recent memory when they essentially swapped 1B Prince Fielder for 2B Ian Kinsler. You can say what you want about Fielder’s diminishing power but he was still fearsome enough to protect Cabrera which is as key as anything else. This move makes them a better defensive team with Cabrera back to 1B and some other domino moves that followed.

The more important move might have been the acquisition of closer Joe Nathan. The Tigers have not been able to find someone to nail down big wins the last few seasons and flame throwing righty Bruce Rondon is not quite ready for the role. Nathan may be getting up there in years but there is no sign he is losing his stuff and his presence will make a big difference.

Probable lineup

CF Austin Jackson
2B Ian Kinsler
1B Miguel Cabrera
DH Victor Martinez
RF Torii Hunter
C Alex Avila
LF Rajai Davis
3B Nick Castellanos
SS Jose Iglesias


With the recent injury to OF Andy Dirks it looks like Rajai Davis is going to receive more playing time than originally anticipated to start the season. That might be good for fantasy players but in real life his value is not as high.

The bottom of the lineup features a couple of youngsters who still have to prove themselves. The defense should be fine but if they are zeroes in the lineup this team will be even more dependent on their starting pitching than they already are.

Probable rotation

RH Justin Verlander
RH Max Scherzer
RH Anibal Sanchez
RH Rick Porcello
LH Drew Smyly

The top three in this rotation is as good as any in the American League. All three can dominate a lineup and pitch deep into games taking pressure of a bullpen that is not nearly as sharp. It will be interesting to see if Scherzer can maintain the form he had last season. It was meeting his prospect expectations but it was still the first time we had seen him that consistent.

Porcello may be the weak link as Smyly is a high ceiling guy. He excelled in a bullpen role last season and if he can make the steps that a guy like Chris Sale made in his debut season as a starter the Tigers could be unstoppable.


RG Joe Nathan

Nathan might not be the difference during the regular season but he could be come the playoffs. The veteran closer came back from injury and proved in Texas that he is still among the elite at the position. He will given Bruce Rondon a chance to grow into the role and really lengthens their bullpen, which is only better than average on the whole.

2014 Detroit Tigers Prediction

Try as they may none of the other teams in the American League Central have closed the gap with Detroit. With that awesome pitching staff and sufficient offense it would not surprise if they finish with the best record in the American League during the regular season. In any playoff series they are likely to be the favourite if their pitching is healthy so lets say this teams makes it back to the World Series this season.

From a betting perspective though this team will be the favourite an awful lot so there might not be too much money made on these frontrunners. The other teams in the division will probably deliver more units.

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About The Wiesguy

The Wiesguy is a newcomer to the handicapping scene. Hailing from Toronto, Canada he is always sweet on the underdogs and you can often find his thoughts, musings and picks at moneydogs.blogspot.com.