Detroit Tigers: USA Today predicting another long summer in Motown

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

In one of what figures to be many gloomy projections for the Detroit Tigers in 2020, USA Today on Tuesday predicted a 54-108 record.

Detroit Tigers fans know that the preseason predictions for 2020 are not going to be pretty. Indeed, after a 47-114 finish to 2019, that’s to be expected. Yet with additions such as C.J. Cron, Jonathan Schoop, Austin Romine, and Ivan Nova this offseason, there had to be some belief that the team could at least take a step forward as far as wins and losses were concerned.

On Tuesday, USA Today released their projected records for all thirty MLB teams, based on the cumulative opinions of six writers. Their opinion calls for only a modest improvement in 2020, as the Tigers would finish with a 54-108 record. Not only that, but they would finish in the American League Central cellar by a whopping 11 games behind Kansas City.

Of their prediction, the newspaper had the following to say: “It’s going to be another miserable year in Motown, but at least once every five days, the Tigers can hand the ball to Ivan Nova and see league-average performance, in all its glory.”

Never mind the fact that the Tigers actually had three starting pitchers – Matthew Boyd, Spencer Turnbull, and Daniel Norris – all post respectable ERAs that were all lower than Nova’s was in 2019. With the additions, plus some room for growth with some of the young players, there’s reason to believe that the Tigers can at least avoid triple-digit losses in 2020.

Yet USA Today doesn’t seem to think enough about either of those factors to have the team even coming close to that. If the changes the Tigers have made to the roster in 2020 are only worth seven more wins, was it worth making those moves? Probably not. No, the team will need to make a bigger jump than that for it to be considered a success in terms of wins and losses.

Anyway, as we get closer to Opening Day, we figure to see more projections like these. It would be nice to see the Tigers get a little more love than a 54-108 record from other outlets, but even if they don’t, we all know that the 2020 season will be about much more than the final record. The bottom line is that this is just one small group of experts’ opinion and that we shouldn’t get too worked up about it.