Entering play on Friday, the Detroit Tigers possessed the third-highest run differential in the American League at +10.
Despite five teams owning a better record in the AL, Detroit remains near the front of the pack where run differential is concerned. The team is only one lopsided, blowout victory from overtaking the Kansas City Royals and Baltimore Orioles for the best run differential in the junior circuit.
Last season in the American League, the top four—and five of the top six— teams in run differential made the playoffs. In fact, Detroit finished last season with what was by far the worst differential (-114) in the league. Chicago was the next closest team at -79.
If the Tigers can keep the run differential in the green and at a relatively high number, the team will be in excellent shape moving forward.
With a high-powered offense and an improved bullpen, Detroit should be able to maintain a high run differential. Additionally, the team has achieved this number despite Justin Verlander and Shane Greene posting ERAs north of seven. Verlander’s ERA won’t be anywhere near that high, while Greene will likely be replaced by either Norris, Boyd or Fulmer if he continues to post a high earned run average.