Detroit Tigers Will Make the Playoffs

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Aug 2, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler (3) in the field against the Chicago White Sox at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 2, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler (3) in the field against the Chicago White Sox at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Detroit Tigers will make the playoffs. The team wants it and they will earn their way there. No doubt about it.

Yes, I do know the team. I’ve watched all of the games from the green seats at Comerica Park and from the comfort of my couch. I’ve seen what the Detroit Tigers can do and I’ve seen what they can do for other teams.

But, they have what it takes to make it to the playoffs.

There are 17 games left and the Tigers can win them. Probably not all of them, but they can win enough.

Here’s my reasoning and I’m not using any numbers:

The first reason that they will make the playoff is due to the batters. The first five men in the lineup have a proven record of getting on base and scoring. It is difficult to argue against Ian Kinsler, Cameron Maybin, Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez, and J.D. Martinez.

Sep 13, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers center fielder Cameron Maybin (4) receives congratulations from starting pitcher Justin Verlander (35) after scoring in the first inning against the Minnesota Twins at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 13, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers center fielder Cameron Maybin (4) receives congratulations from starting pitcher Justin Verlander (35) after scoring in the first inning against the Minnesota Twins at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /

Yes, they all have had their moments of slumping (J.D. looks like he’s suffering a bit at the moment), but they have all proven that they can shine. Kinsler looks like he is on an upswing – he almost hit for the cycle last night against the Minnesota Twins. Cabrera is still a phenomenal hitter. Maybin just seems to get on base. And, V-Mart proved he can still hit the long ball….it’s just too bad he can’t get new knees.

The most exciting part of the lineup is on its way back. Nick Castellanos will return and so will his bat. While he’s no Ian Kinsler at the plate, he was making a name for himself as a powerful hitter who deserved to play in the Big Leagues. He already had 18 home runs in this 105 games prior to his injury. He’s got a few more to hit this season.

The other surprise of the season that will help bring the Tigers to the playoff is Andrew Romine. He has been on fire lately, both offensively and defensively. The Tigers are lucky to have him on the bench. I’m not going to get into his numbers, but he certainly passes any eyeball test as a third baseman! And his speed is certainly worth mentioning.

The next reason is Jose Iglesias. The human highlight-reel continues to make plays that are mind blowing. While his bat seems to have slowed a bit, his feet haven’t. When he makes it on base, he is a true threat. No one can doubt his hustle this season.

Sep 12, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias (1) dives into home ahead of the tag by Minnesota Twins catcher Kurt Suzuki (8) to score a run in the seventh inning at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 12, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias (1) dives into home ahead of the tag by Minnesota Twins catcher Kurt Suzuki (8) to score a run in the seventh inning at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /

Then there is the pitching. The ups and downs in the rotation and the bullpen have all been noted, but these men want to win. Yes, it’s easy to focus on the negatives; because when they happen, they are so glaringly ugly. But, there have been several shining moments. Just the fact the Tigers have made it this far with so many young arms is worth noting. Michael Fulmer is putting up numbers comparable to Hall of Fame pitchers. We fans have seen that he is human, but the dude can throw.

The other men in the rotation have also shown their mettle. Justin Verlander is as competitive as always and he is in the discussion for the Cy Young. Matt Boyd and Daniel Norris have both been on an upward trend (with the exception of Boyd’s last start). And of course, I must mention Anibal Sanchez, Jordan Zimmermann, and Mike Pelfrey – but even with them in the rotation, the Tigers are STILL just one game out of the Wild Card race. One. Game. 

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There have been a few other highlights that tell me they are going to make it. The Tigers catching platoon may not have a notable combined batting average, but they are forces behind the dish. James McCann has become a leader on the team and there is no doubting that his arm is a weapon. It’s also difficult to ignore Justin Upton; yes, he is not perfect, but his home runs are absolutely beautiful and clutch.

It is also hard to ignore a few of the bullpen pitchers. Bruce Rondon has grown into a force. And there’s the matter of Francisco Rodriguez: he keeps it interesting, but he gets the outs at the right time. There is no doubting that Alex Wilson has also been an asset. Yes, there have been moments of doubt, but the bullpen has done its job this year better than in previous years.

Next: Detroit Draft Picks Excelling in MiLB

The Tigers have come too far to not make it to the playoffs. The team has struggled through injuries that would have destroyed other teams. They have managed to play almost 150 regular season games without any reported drama in the clubhouse. They will make it to the postseason. I have no doubts.

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