Sep 6, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; A Detroit Tigers ball cap with the reflection of Kansas City Royals Kauffman Stadium in the sunglasses. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports
The Detroit Tigers have owned the postseason hardware in first-half of the 2010s.
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Prior to Justin Verlander winning the MVP award in 2011, there had been just six other Tigers who have won the award in around 110 years of baseball. Mickey Cochrane (’34), Hank Greenberg (’35 and ’40), Charlie Gehringer (’37), Hal Newhouser (’44 and ’45), Denny McLain (’68) and Willie Hernandez (’84). (Ty Cobb technically won the award in 1911 but it was not awarded officially through MLB and the MVP award went dormant not long after until the early ’30’s)
When Miguel Cabrera won it in back-to-back years in 2012 and ’13, it marked the first time an AL team won three consecutive MVPs since Roger Maris (twice), Mickey Mantle and Elston Howard won it four straight years for the New York Yankees from 1960 to ’63.
Many are discounting the Detroit Tigers’ chances in 2015 and with that comes lowered expectations. Should a player excel on a surprise team, he could have a leg up on the MVP race.
Let’s take a look at five players who can easily win team MVP on the Tigers and, under the right circumstances, could sneak into the league MVP race.