Detroit Tigers News

Detroit Tigers are down, but not 100% out of playoff contention at this point

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BALTIMORE, MD - AUGUST 04: Justin Upton #8 of the Detroit Tigers celebrates with his teammates after hitting a grand slam in the eighth inning during a game against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on August 4, 2017 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - AUGUST 04: Justin Upton #8 of the Detroit Tigers celebrates with his teammates after hitting a grand slam in the eighth inning during a game against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on August 4, 2017 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Tigers
PITTSBURGH, PA – AUGUST 08: Jeimer Candelario #46 of the Detroit Tigers singles to right field in the sixth inning during the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on August 8, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /

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.

Additionally, Jim Adduci and JaCoby Jones should also return, giving the team a solid pinch-hitting option and a pinch-running threat late in games.

Should Nicholas Castellanos move to right field more often down the stretch, Detroit will be able to utilize Jeimer Candelario at third base more.

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.

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