The Detroit Tigers, after losing to the Texas Rangers on Sunday despite a three homer day by Miguel Cabrera, stand at 23-19 on the season. That’s 89-win pace which would (should) be just fine for postseason inclusion. But if we only include games against the subset of baseball teams that aren’t the Houston Astros, their record is 17-18. That’s decidedly less than 89 win pace.
Some might look at that non-Astros record and decide to hit the panic button – especially since the Tigers have lost eight of their last twelve games – but it’s really a meaning less fact. I mean, it’s funny to look at because the Astros are so bad they shouldn’t count (LOLz), but the Astros aren’t really so bad they shouldn’t count. Detroit should (and will) perform better against some of the (other) good teams in the American League, but beating the really bad teams (and beating them soundly) does also count. It counts for both (a) their overall W-L record and (b) learning something about their true talent level.
The Detroit Tigers haven’t always played great baseball this season, but they’ve mostly played good baseball, and they’re pretty much right on track record-wise. With a 23-19 actual record (89-win pace) and a 26-16 pythagorean record (100-win pace), it’s hard to say they’re underperforming as a team. They’ve happened to lose a few games recently,* they’ll happen to win a few games in the future, and they’ll end the season right where we thought they would.
*One of the Google search terms that landed someone on this site today was something like: “what’s going wrong with the Detroit Tigers?”.The answer, my friend, is nothing.