Detroit Tigers News

Detroit Tigers: Predicting the Starting Rotation

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Mar 2, 2017; Lakeland, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander (35) throws a pitch during the third inning of a MLB spring training baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 2, 2017; Lakeland, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander (35) throws a pitch during the third inning of a MLB spring training baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports /
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Detroit Tigers
Feb 24, 2017; Lakeland, FL, USA; umpire Laz Diaz (63) says good bye to Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander (35) who left the game following the fourth inning of a spring training baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports /

Justin Verlander
Age: 34
Throws: Right-Handed
Years of Major League Experience: 12
2016 Stat of Note: 5.2 WAR

Obviously the easiest call on this list, Justin Verlander returns once again to lead the Detroit Tigers rotation.

The team’s resident ace is coming off an excellent 2016 campaign that saw him post one of the best stat lines among pitchers in Major League Baseball.

Verlander made 34 starts, totaling 227.2 innings. Both of those numbers finished second in the American League to former Tiger David Price.

What’s more, Detroit’s starter also struck out 10.04 batters per nine innings. He also turned in a 3.04 ERA, a 3.42 SIERA, a 3.48 FIP and a 3.78 xFIP.

Verlander will likely once again be in the discussion while also front-lining a Tigers rotation with the chance to be among baseball’s best.

If Fulmer, Norris and Boyd can take steps forwards and if Jordan Zimmermann can return to the form he showed with the Nationals, Detroit should be poised to return to the playoffs after a two-season absence.

Verlander should also benefit from the Tigers adding catcher Alex Avila.

Not only did the club bring back a veteran who has plenty of experience with Verlander and the rest of Detroit rotation, but the Tigers added a player who found plenty of success against his former teammate.

Playing for the White Sox, Avila was one of only two players to go yard twice against Verlander last season.

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