2. Detroit Tigers 90-72
Questions all around for the Tigers coming out of spring training. Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez are the key to this team winning this year and won’t have played but a handful of times heading into opening day. Cabrera has battled injuries the past two years and if healthy will compete again for the MVP award. Yoenis Cespedes figures to be a big factor in this team’s ability to compete as does J.D. Martinez’s ability to repeat.
The Tigers needed to and didn’t make a move in replacing Alex Avila as catcher and it will cost them this year again with no real strength and depth behind the plate. The starting rotation will compete just fine even though it is not as strong as last year. David Price will turn in a Cy Young worthy year for the Tigers.
We all know what didn’t get fixed – the bullpen. I’m shaking my head as I write this and will probably turn the games off after the seventh inning when the Joba Chamberlain and Joe Nathan horror show takes over. Bruce Rondon and Joakim Soria could factor in and I wouldn’t be surprised if Soria becomes the closer early in the season.
The Tigers could just as easily finish fourth in the Central Division at nearly .500 if the bullpen falters and Cabrera and Martinez don’t factor. But they’ll earn a wild card spot and their streak of AL Central Division crowns will be over. And we will see another early exit from the 2015 postseason.