MLB Predictions 2016: Why The Detroit Tigers Will Win the World Series

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Aug 6, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler (right) receives congratulations from teammates after hitting a walk-off two-run home run in the ninth inning against the Kansas City Royals at Comerica Park. Detroit won 8-6. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 6, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler (right) receives congratulations from teammates after hitting a walk-off two-run home run in the ninth inning against the Kansas City Royals at Comerica Park. Detroit won 8-6. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Detroit Tigers fans have been waiting for a World Series title for years. Thanks to an influx of talent coupled with weakened opposition, Detroit could bring home the trophy.

Detroit Tigers baseball. There’s nothing like it. And, for the next eight-odd months, we’ll be engrossed with the team. Every game, every roster move, every… well everything really. It comes with the territory of being a fan.

Of course, every fan hopes their team can win it all.  The Tigers certainly have had the talent to win the World Series in years past. Miguel Cabrera and Justin Verlander are Hall of Fame players, while standouts like Victor Martinez and Max Scherzer could be on the cusp of Cooperstown by the time they retire.

However, bullpen breakdowns and bad luck prevented the team from claiming baseball’s ultimate prize. This year could be different.

Right off the bat (yes, that’s an intentional pun), the Detroit Tigers field a much improved roster in 2016. Jordan Zimmermann has joined the rotation to give manager Brad Ausmus yet another top-of-the-rotation arm to pair with Justin Verlander. Zimmermann, with improved defense and run support, should thrive in Detroit. The former National could even be a dark-horse Cy Young contender

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Even with some combination of Tyler Collins, Anthony Gose and Mike Aviles, the Tigers would have fielded an elite offense. However, with new addition Justin Upton in town, Detroit now boasts arguably the best run-scoring unit in baseball.

Other quality offseason acquisitions include slugging catcher and pinch-hitting fixture Jarrod Saltalamacchia as well as utility ace Mike Aviles.

With Zimmermann and Upton joining a nucleus that includes Cabrera, Verlander, Victor Martinez, Ian Kinsler and J.D. Martinez, Detroit has as good of a shot as anyone to win it. Even more significant than the big name additions was the subtle improvement of the bullpen. Francisco Rodriguez, Mark Lowe and Justin Wilson join an undervalued group of incumbents to form a group that could quietly be one of the most successful in the league.

All told, general manager Al Avila addressed all of the team’s needs in the offseason. Not only did Avila address all of Detroit’s needs, but he also added significant quality.

The Tigers numerous offseason additions have no doubt helped position the team to contend this season. In other words, the team has firmly wedged its proverbial foot in the door in the discussion for baseball’s best team.

However, the losses sustained by other teams could throw the door wide open.

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Other AL Teams Have Lost Talent

The division-rival Kansas City Royals lost Ben Zobrist, Johnny Cueto and Ryan Madson. Stepping in for the trio will be Omar Infante, Ian Kennedy and Joakim Soria, respectively. While the Madson/Soria swap is a bit of a push, going from Zobrist and Cueto to Infante and Kennedy is a definite downgrade.

Like Kansas City, fellow 2015 playoff team Toronto lost an ace. David Price departed in free agency, and the AL East ball club replaced him with… J.A. Happ and his pedestrian 4.19 ERA.

Ran by former Detroit general manager Dave Dombrowski, Boston made strides by bringing in the likes of Craig Kimbrel and Price, but the Red Sox still have a number of question marks across the diamond.

Lastly, Texas will be a dangerous team, but the Rangers have uncertainties in the rotation and behind the plate.

Next: Spring Training Improvements

In other words, the race for the American League pennant and the World Series crown are respectively wide open, giving the Detroit Tigers a legitimate opportunity to win it all.  The Detroit Tigers clearly have the talent to win, and given the status of the rest of the league, they’ll do just that.

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