Category Archives: justin verlander

2017 MLB Season Preview: Detroit Tigers

2017 MLB Season Team Detroit Tigers Mikie Mahtook funnyNearly every expert predicted the Detroit Tigers would battle the Royals for the AL Central title last year. The Royals fell off a cliff, but the Tigers still put up a little fight for the division. The Indians ended up running away with it by winning 94 games.

The Tigers missed a Wild Card spot by three games. I blame the back-end of their starting rotation for them missing the postseason. Their bats were alive and even Justin Verlander looked like his old self.

I thought the Tigers would make a few big moves this offseason, but their biggest transaction was trading for a platoon-option centerfielder Mikie Mahtook.

Here is the 2017 MLB season preview for the Detroit Tigers.

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2016 MLB Season Preview: Detroit Tigers

justin upton detroit tigers 2016 mlb season preview america's white boyThe Detroit Tigers went from AL Central division winners in 2014 to basement dwellers within a calendar year. Al Avila took over as general manager and spent the offseason correcting some of the wrongs former GM Dave Dombrowski made.

The Tigers have more firepower on their roster right now than the roster that made it to the World Series a few years ago. That’s a scary thought…but their starting rotation isn’t up to that level.

Can Victor Martinez and Miguel Cabrera play in more than 120 games this season?

Here is the 2016 MLB season preview for the Detroit Tigers.

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2015 MLB Team Preview: Detroit Tigers

Detroit Tigers 2015 MLB team preview Miguel Cabrera funny zubaz shirtless weirdThe Detroit Tigers won the AL Central in 2014, but Kansas City was the team to make the most noise in the postseason. Miguel Cabrera has broken down late in the season in back-to-back years. He had surgery this offseason to fix his nagging ankle injury.

The Tigers let former Cy Young winner Max Scherzer walk, but added Yoenis Cespedes this offseason. He is expected to further protect Victor Martinez and Cabrera in the lineup. Detroit should light up the scoreboard this season.

Can Detroit’s bullpen hold up this season? Will Joe Nathan keep the closer job for the entire year?

Here is the 2015 MLB season preview for the Detroit Tigers.

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2014 MLB Un-All-Star Team

CC Sabathia New York Yankees MLB Un-All-Star Team 2014It has become a yearly tradition that we look at all the former MLB All-Stars that aren’t having stellar years.

The season is a little more than half over and it’s not too late for some of these players to bounce back and turn their seasons around.

Since I’m an active fantasy baseball owner, it didn’t take me long to make this list. A few of these guys were on my teams early this season, but were quickly dropped after a few weeks of bad numbers. I spent most of my time just baffled that some of these guys were actually All-Stars at one point.

The old benchmark for an All-Star was thrown out with the bathwater when Bud Selig decided each team must have one representative in the All-Star Game.

I omitted all the former All-Star pitchers that are currently out recovering from Tommy John surgery. I tried not to add position players who suffered a major injury, but decided to include them if they had over 100 at-bats this season (sorry, Prince Fielder).

Here is our 2014 MLB Un-All-Star team.

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Can Detroit Win AL Central With Verlander Struggling?

Justin Verlander Detroit Tigers Funny Hilarious MLB Sucks Kate UptonJustin Verlander has been in the running for the Cy Young award in nearly every season for the better part of a decade. In the span of his career, the Detroit Tigers have went from worst to first in the AL Central. They couldn’t have done it without his dominant pitching.

Things aren’t going so well for Verlander this season. He currently has a record of 6-7 with a 4.98 ERA. Detroit is only leading Kansas City by a half game in the AL Central. While the official MLB Futures betting lines have the Detroit Tigers in contention to take the AL Central Division, I am no longer comfortable with their position in the top spot as the Royals look to make their move on them.

Matthew Leach of MLB.com wrote an in-depth article breaking down Verlander’s problems this season. Leach opines that he shouldn’t be breaking down at 31 years old. As a power pitcher, he should actually be firmly in his prime. His velocity has taken a hit and he’s even having issues against players the second and third time through the order. This is new territory for Verlander.

What’s going on with Detroit? What should we expect from them going down the stretch?

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2014 MLB Team Preview: Detroit Tigers

Kate Upton Justin Verlander Detroit Tigers 2014 MLB Team PreviewThe Detroit Tigers were one groin injury away from winning the World Series last year. Miguel Cabrera’s injury couldn’t have happened at a worse time. Even with Prince Fielder and Justin Verlander having down years (Verlander still managed to land Kate Upton, so much respect), they still won the AL Central.

Detroit made some big moves this offseason. They traded Fielder to Texas for Ian Kinsler and bolstered their bullpen by signing closer Joe Nathan. They’ll miss Jhonny Peralta, Omar Infante and Doug Fister, but they are replacing them with above average talent. The impact of losing them shouldn’t hurt them much. The AL Central isn’t a hard division to win this year.

Can Max Scherzer repeat last year’s Cy Young performance if Verlander has another average season?

Here is the 2014 MLB season preview for the Detroit Tigers.

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2013 MLB Team Preview: Detroit Tigers

Jim+Leyland+Smoking+Detroit+TigersThe Detroit Tigers have one of the most talented pitchers in the Majors (Justin Verlander), one of the best power hitters in the game (Prince Fielder) and the reigning AL Most Valuable Player (Miguel Cabrera)…so the AL Central should be easy to win, right? Kind of.

After Verlander, the rest of the Tigers starting rotation are inconsistent. When Verlander started, the Tigers were 21-12. In games without him, Detroit was only 67-62.

Will the Tigers go forward with their current rotation or will they make a few trades?

Victor Martinez is back from his knee injury. Will be produce at the same level as 2011, or has he lost a step?

Here is the 2013 MLB season preview for the Detroit Tigers. Continue reading

Who Will Win American League Cy Young?

The American League Cy Young race is full of the usual suspects. You usually have a dominant picther from the Yankees and Red Sox (check), one from the AL Central division leader (check), and a few dark horses that are no longer in the divisional race (check). Check out who are the favorites and who could come from behind over their last 7 or 8 starts of the season.

Leading Candidates

Justin Verlander – He is tha anchor of a nice pitching staff in Detroit. He currently 14-7 with a 3.38 ERA and has an alarming 211 strikeouts in only 181 innings of work this season. He had a dismal 2008 season and it is nice that he bounced back. The Tigers are currently winning their division, but it could hurt him that he won’t get as much exposure as pitchers on the Red Sox and Yankees. I think he will at least finish in the top three in voting and could take the award.

C.C. Sabathia – He had a rough start to the season, but over the last two months, he has been great. It helps him that he gets a lot of run support from the modern-day “Murder’s Row” the Yankees have assembled. He has a fairly high ERA to be up for the Cy Young, he’s currently at 3.59. He is leading the league in wins (15-7) and his WHIP is 1.13, which is great. It will help him that he’s on the Yankees and that he probably should have won the award last season, but he switched leagues mid-season.

Roy Halladay – His season has been marred with “Am I getting traded?…okay, how about now?” banter all season. He has had a great year despite all of the distractions, he’s 13-7 with a 3.03 ERA. He has been a workhorse with five complete games and will easily get to 200 innings this year. He’s still a leading candidate for the Cy Young, even if his chances aren’t as great as Verlander or Sabathia’s at getting another Cy Young.

Zack Greinke – If the season ended at the beginning of June, then Greinke would have been the unanimous winner, but the Royals hit bottom and Greinke had a few bad starts. He still had a great year and is still leading the AL in ERA with a 2.43, a full .3 a head of the next guy on the list, Seattle’s Felix Hernandez at 2.73. Greinke has a 12-8 record with 5 complete games, if he were on a contender, I am confident that he would be a 20-game winner. He is also currently 2nd in the AL in strikeouts with 197. If he had run support, Greinke would be in stronger position to win the AL Cy Young.

Dark Horses

Josh Beckett – The Red Sox may not win the AL East this year, but they are fighting for their Wild Card life. Beckett has helped them by pitching well, but he has been erratic at times. He has a 3.65 ERA, but is 14-5 this year. He had a month-long stretch that he barely gave up any hits, but that streak has ended and he’s hittable again. I would say that he’s a dark horse to win it, unless he can pull out a perfect game between now and the end of the season.

Scott Feldman – The young ace of the Texas Rangers isn’t used to being considered for end of the year awards, but he deserves a little recognition. He’s currently 13-4 with a 3.87 ERA for the Rangers, but only has 84 strikeouts, but that isn’t his expertise. He has helped the Rangers contend for the AL Wild Card and with Kevin Milwood, Dexter Holland, and Tommy Hunter has transformed the Rangers starting rotation. He has too high of an ERA to win, but should garner some votes.

Jared Weaver – Weaver had a horrible first couple weeks of the season. At one point his ERA was nearing double digits. Over the last few months, he has trimmed his ERA down to 4.03. He is 13-5 with 143 strikeouts for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Over the course of his dominance, they have bolted all the way to the best record in the American League. Weaver also has a high ERA to win this award, but the way he has pitched lately could change some minds.

Jeff Niemann – At the beginning of the year, The Tampa Bay Rays were needing to trim down their starting rotation and Niemann was almost the odd man out. He has pitched great this year and especially at home in Tropicana Field, he has a 2.67 ERA at home. This season, Niemann is 12-5 with a 3.87 ERA, something that the Rays didn’t expect from him, those numbers were expected out of David Price, Scott Kazmir, or Andy Sonnanstine. He’s not a sexy pick for the Cy Young, but if can get the Rays into the playoffs and dominantly pitch the rest of the way, there’s a slim chance.

I would say that award is Justin Verlander’s to lose. He just has to stay the course and pitch consistently and he should take it home. C.C. Sabathia should finish second, but as much press that the Yankees garner, he could leapfrog Verlander if they keep winning and getting ample run support for their pitchers. At this point it’s too close to call, but when it’s all said and done, Verlander should finally win the AL Cy Young.
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