MCB staff looks ahead to the second half of Detroit Tigers 2014 season

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Oct 18, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers fans celebrate and hold up a sign after game four of the 2012 ALCS against the New York Yankees at Comerica Park. The Tigers won 8-1 to sweep the series and advance to the World Series. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Look back at your predictions before the season and where you had the Tigers going this year. Have your expectations changed? If so, how do you see the 2014 season ending for Detroit?

Matt Snyder: I thought the Tigers would win the division as a 90-95 win team, and so far they’ve been just that. Despite a month-long stretch that saw the club fall into a 9-20 tailspin, they find themselves entering Friday with the third-best record in baseball (on pace for 94-95 wins) and the biggest division lead (6.5 games) in all of baseball.

Chris Hannum: The Tigers are at about where I expected them to be, frankly.  Some guys I expected more from (Verlander), some guys I expected less (Sanchez), but overall I figured the Tigers would be a tad worse than last year in terms of run differential and talent on paper, but win at just about the same clip thanks to better luck in close games and extra innings.  The team does steal more bases, but changes to defense (still bad) and bullpen (still bad) looked cosmetic and have thus far proven to be cosmetic.  As far as my ultimate predictions for the team: I had the Tigers finishing 2nd in the Central behind the Royals, but KC hasn’t hit the ball as hard as expected and the Tigers have yet to suffer the catastrophic injury I’d expected to make that happen.  At this point it is looking more likely (to me) that the Tigers get the division crown rather than a wild card.  I hadn’t expected the Tigers to have much success in the postseason this year due to the bad ‘pen, and while I still don’t I am at least hopeful that it could look different by season’s end.

Michael Emmerich:I think I picked 87-88 wins. Two months ago that looked way off the mark. Two weeks ago it looked too high. Going forward, throw in a couple more streaks, both good and bad, and I’m thinking the Tigers win 90 games, good enough to take the Division by 4-5 games.

Grant Stoye: Not a bit. I’m still confident they will win the World Series.

Tom Zahari: I had the Tigers in the World Series and losing to the Dodgers. The expectation of making it to the World Series has not changed. It comes down to the Tigers starting pitching for me. If the Tigers get on a hot streak like they are on now during the playoffs, I really feel they could not only make it to, but win the World Series. If they start playing like they did when they went 9-20, they will make a very early exit from the postseason.

Blair Tatrault: The team finished the first half on a high note, so it’s hard not to be optimistic. My expectations remain unchanged-this team should win their division and be competitive in the postseason. If they solve the bullpen puzzle, they can go all the way.

Matt Pelc: I had the Tigers beating the Dodgers in the World Series. I truly feel that the organization from Mike Illitch on down to the bat boy understands that this may be the Tigers’ last best chance at winning it all. The only thing that concerns me is Joe Nathan. He just can’t be trusted in October.

Sam O’Toole: The Tigers are on pace for 95 wins this season, right where I thought they would be. I believe they got their rough patch out of the way early and see them running away with the AL Central down the stretch.