Season predictions roundup: Tigers are good

I meant to do this earlier, but between roster moves, late spring injuries and travel, didn’t get the chance. The upshot of that is that is an even greater abundance of predictions to round up.

Mitch Williams has the Tigers going to the World Series, though he doesn’t predict what happens from there. His MLB Network colleague, Ken Rosenthal, predicts Detroit to win the whole thing, though he admits his record on predictions isn’t good at all. Peter Gammons predicts a division title for the Tigers but an Angels-Giants rematch in the World Series.

Over at ESPN.com, every one of their 49 experts picked the Tigers to win the AL Central, the only division everybody could agree upon. Jayson Stark, John Kruk, Peter Pascarelli, Jorge Arangure, Kevin Goldstein and A.J. Mass all picked the Tigers to win the World Series.

Likewise, all eight experts at SI.com picked the Tigers to win the Central, and a few of them picked Miguel Cabrera as their AL MVP. Unlike elsewhere, however, none of them picked the Tigers to get to the World Series, much less win it.

CBSSports.com’s Scott Miller picks the Tigers to win the World Series, and he’s one of the rare souls to predict a repeat for Justin Verlander as AL Cy Young winner. Miller’s colleagues, Jon Heyman and Danny Knobler, also pick the Tigers to win it all. Heyman put them atop what he pledges will be his only power rankings all year, and no other AL Central team is higher than 19th.

13 Comments

If I’ve learned nothing else over my years of baseball watching, it’s that a season takes many twists and turns. Just look at last year when we were locked in a tight race then, due to a couple of transactions and a change in the lineup by JL, we blew the entire division away over the last two months. This makes it a real crap shoot to predict how a season will go.
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I suspect we may be somewhat overrated in some quarters because of the Prince Fielder acquisition. People seem to forget that Prince is really just replacing Victor Martinez, so I see that as neither a gain nor a loss. The rotation is the same as last year (with the exception of Fister for an entire season, a definite gain). Scherzer and/or Porcello would have to make strides to add another gain there. The bullpen should be improved. The defense as it stands now is not as good as last year. I think Cabrera will do okay at 3rdbase but we may be a little disappointed in Fielder’s work at 1stbase. Miggy was really good over there, better than many think. The team culture is excellent. Nothing seems to get these guys down, and that’s a tribute to Jim Leyland and staff, along with the team leaders in the clubhouse and on the field.
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There will be another Central Division club that plays well. Which one is anybody’s guess. This won’t be a walk in the park by any means, especially in the early months. It’s still imperative to win the division games, something we did extremely well last year. That’s the difference between a runaway and a dogfight.
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I’m going to pick the Tigers to win the Central with 95 wins. Again.

Rich – I agree with you. I think the Tigers will need to make a trade in July to prepare for the postseason. I think the strength of the team is the pitching, which may surprise some national writers.
I would actually consider Prince a gain to VMart (and I love VMart). His power, along with his sneaky good hitting for average, will put even more fear into opposing pitchers. I agree that MCab is a better fielding 1B than given credit for.
I worry about 2 AL Central teams: Chicago and KC. Different concerns, Chicago has the vets that if everyone rebounds, they will be real good (Peavy, Dunn and Danks are the keys). KC has some great young talent, if they pull it together, their offense could play with ours. They have problems with their closer (Soria’s loss was big).
SHould be a fun season. Look forward to blogging with everyone here, I do enjoy the community!

I agree the only thing I hate about this time of year is the over-analyzing of the season. They play the games for a reason, and I just don’t get caught up in all the bs. I can’t wait for the Tigers to take the field, and root for them win or lose. Yes, it should be an exciting season, but anything can happen. Let’s just enjoy it for what it’s worth.
–Mike
http://burrilltalksbaseball.mlblogs.com

The big question for me: Is James Richard Leyland ambidextrous?
(Saw a photo of him signing autographs with his left hand).
My opinion of Fielder replacing VMart is a little more enthusiastic. I think it finally puts some power in our infield. I also think the flexibility with the DH (rather than being anchored to VMart) will be a real godsend this year for us and for JL.
No criticism by any means of VMart. He was, in my opinion, the MVP on our club last year and it was a bad break losing him. However, his replacement (and face it, this would never have happened without the blown knee), is going to rejuvenate and reform this ball club.
I hope Belliard can have as much success with Fielder as he did with MCab’s conversion to 1st base.
I think we will have impressive years from Raburn and Delmon. So-so from Peralta but I am concerned that AJ and AV may have poor years. Avila is my favourite Tiger so it does pain me to say that.
The 2-3-4-5 hitters and the 1-2-3-4 starters are gonna carry this team through any adversity we may encounter.

…and think of next year when VMart comes back to the lineup!

Excited for the day and year! Can’t stand being picke, as 2008 is still fresh in my memory.

Let’s go get them boys! I never make predictions this early, I just like to enjoy the ride of the season. I hope I can get the radio at work to tune in, it never usually does and trying to watch on gameday is tough when I am supposed to be working!

Jason,
Thanks for all your spring training coverage.
It’s great to have such a professional beat writer.
I look forward to your continuing updates throughout the season!

They will win the Central for sure. Texas will beat the Halos. And the Yankees will make it as wild card.
Soon or later Miguel will be back at 1b and Fielder must go to DH. Perhaps in 2013 but it will be done.
The bullpen is good . Valverde , Benoit, Dotel must be among the top three in MLB for 7,8,9.For sure Al Al will be missed but Coke and Balester will do the job.
Worries? Scherzer and Smyly
And innings too long with 5 runs scored that can get pitchers arms cold and force them out too soon (like in 2007)

When Victor returns where would you put him in that scenario? I don’t think the fans or Fielder want to see him DH for the remainder of his contract. A few days here and there and probably more as the years go by, imo.

The true I would expect 1/3 games of Cabrera at 1b, 1/3 at 3b and 1/3 at DH. With Fielder 1/3 at DH and 2/3 at 1B .

In 2012, they will be great and is for them to lose it like I said in late august last year.

I’m a basket case. Lester is no slouch.

It is official:
1. Austin Jackson, CF
2. Brennan Boesch, RF
3. Miguel Cabrera, 3B
4. Prince Fielder, 1B
5. Delmon Young, LF
6. Ryan Raburn, DH
7. Jhonny Peralta, SS
8. Alex Avila, C
9. Ramon Santiago, 2B
Justin Verlander, P

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