The 2016 MLB season begins in just nine days and the LT Profits Group are here profiling every team to help with your MLB picks before opening day.
The excitement is building as the start of the 2016 MLB season is now just nine days away, with the season starting with three games next Sunday, April 3rd, followed by the rest of the league beginning play Monday, April 4th. So in an attempt to help with your MLB picks, we are here profiling all 30 MLB teams in advance of opening day, and now our profiles continue with the Detroit Tigers, who finished fifth and last in the American League Central in 2015 at 74-87.
First off, here is a summary of the Detroit betting statistics for the 2015 season. Note that these stats are always for regular season games only and that the units won or lost are based on betting one unit every game, with those units and Over/Under records based on the closing lines from Pinnacle Sports.
Detroit Tigers 2015 Betting Stats
The Tigers had the dubious distinction of going from “first to worst,” in fact winning four consecutive American League Central titles before the last place finish last year. It certainly did not help that one of the best hitters of all time Miguel Cabrera missed a large chunk of the season with a severe calf injury, or that the pitching broke down after being a major strength of the team during the string of division titles.
Next we take a look at the Tigers’ statistical summary for the 2015 season.
2015 Detroit Tigers Team Statistics
|Runs per Game||4.28||15th|
The Tigers actually still led the Major Leagues in batting average last year despite the injury to Cabrera, but they did miss his power as the total home runs were down from previous seasons. But the biggest disappointment was the pitching staff, not only the starting rotation but also a bullpen that reverted back to the days of the awful Detroit bullpens just before the streak of success began five years ago.
2016 Detroit Tigers World Series Futures
So was the bad season for the Tigers last year just a one-season aberration? Well, they certainly added enough talent this off-season to help ensure it was, and do not forget that besides Cabrera, Victor Martinez was also injured and he may have been rushed back last season as he was not his usual self upon his return. With that being said, Detroit might actually offer some value at these odds.
2016 Detroit Tigers Batting Forecast
Believe it or not, Cabrera does not hold sole possession of the highest projected WAR of the 2016 Tigers according to the ZiPS projections even with his nice 4.2 WAR forecast. Instead, that figure ties him with J.D. Martinez, who comes off of a breakthrough season. Detroit also has two other every day players that forecast to a WAR of at least 3.5.
One of those is returnee Ian Kinsler at exactly 3.5, and the other one is a key off-season signing in Justin Upton at 3.7, a stark improvement over the expected left field platoon of Anthony Gose and Mike Aviles before the Upton signing. Remember too that ZiPS is not high on Victor Martinez at a 1.3 predicted WAR, but he could easily surpass that if he was indeed affected by his injury during his throw-away season last year.
2016 Detroit Tigers Pitching Forecast
The pitching should be greatly improved for the Tigers this year as they added Jordan Zimmermann to the starting rotation and Justin Verlander finally looked healthy toward the end of last season. Verlander forecasts to a 2.9 pitching WAR, but he could do better assuming the second half of 2015 was not a mirage.
The bullpen had a bigger overhaul, adding a legitimate closer in Francisco Rodriguez, who quietly had a great season for the Milwaukee Brewers last season, as well as a couple of serviceable set-up men in Mark Lowe and Justin Wilson. If the pitchers all live up to their capabilities, the Tigers may very well be back in the title hunt this season after a one-year hiatus.