Best of the Rest?
Getting to said 82 wins would be a tough task for the Tigers, but it isn’t impossible. What’s more, no teams are exactly lighting the world on fire to sneak into the postseason.
Outside of the Yankees just one other team has a run differential in the green—the Texas Rangers.
The Yankees, Twins, Royals and Angels are the only teams with their respective heads above water in terms of the .500 mark, and the last three are each just two games.
Essentially, the Wild Card race is just waiting for a team to get hot and slide in next to New York atop the proceedings.
A hot streak from the Tigers—something that isn’t totally out of the question given the talent on the team—may not vault the club to the top of the standings.
However, it would put Detroit back in the thick of things.
If Detroit can somehow trim the wild card lead down to something like five games by the beginning of September, they’ll have a decent chance of turning things around.
September Call Ups
Once September hits, the Tigers will be able to augment the team’s roster with additional call ups.
This means more bullpen options for Brad Ausmus to tinker with, as well as additional bench options.
In a perfect world, Detroit will be able to ease Jairo Labourt, Myles Jaye and perhaps Bryan Garcia and Zac Reininger into the Majors while veterans like Buck Farmer, Kyle Ryan and Blaine Hardy return and throw effectively.
The likes of Labourt and Garcia may provide upgrades in the bullpen considering their ability to miss bats.
This could help Detroit win a game or two purely based on the defensive upgrade.
So far this season, Castellanos has notched a -9.2 UZR/150, a -6.6 UZR and a -12 DRS in 984.1 defensive innings at third this season.
Using Candelario, who profiles as a steadier defender, should help matters.