In a shortened 60-game season, many Detroit Tigers are relevant for your fantasy baseball team. Here are the initial projections for each player that can help you win your league in 2020.
Steamer is one of the most accurate fantasy baseball projections systems on the planet and the award-winning team just updated their projections for the shortened 2020 MLB season. This article will examine the Detroit Tigers’ projected season statistics and put them into the context of the upcoming fantasy baseball season. The stats are based on 5×5 standard-Roto league scoring—for pitching we will examine wins, ERA, WHIP, strikeouts, and saves. For batters, the most important stats are home runs, runs, RBIs, steals, and batting average. We will also explore the Average Draft Position (ADP) as a way to find “sleepers”.
Detroit Tigers Pitchers:
Matthew Boyd (ADP: 142) is the Tigers’ ace for the year and he is projected to go 4-4 with a 4.36 ERA in 11 games. Overall, Streamer projects Boyd will be better than last year, but I don’t believe they are giving him enough credit. Last year, Boyd’s xFIP was 3.88 so I expect his ERA will finish around 4.00, which isn’t great, but it is a huge improvement compared to his career ERA (4.92). For strikeouts in 2020, Steamer projects 71Ks is 64.0 innings (10.58 K/9), which is solid, but I think he will be even better. Last year, Boyd demonstrated that he’s one of the best put-out pitchers in the game with his incredible slider. In the off-season, he vastly improved his curveball, which should take his game to the next level.
In drafts, Boyd is the 43rd starting pitcher off the board and he is being selected around Kyle Hendricks (ADP:141) and David Price (ADP: 144). Compared to Hendricks, Boyd offers a ton more upside with higher strikeouts and a better ERA. As for Price, he continues to age and the Dodgers are always iffy on letting pitchers go deep into games. In a shortened season, this is even more of a concern. Boyd is a steal where he is currently being drafted and he should finish as a top 25 fantasy pitcher this year.
The Tigers closer, Joe Jimenez (ADP:186), is projected to earn 11 saves with a 4.20 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP. To put this into perspective, the best closers in the league, such as Aroldis Chapman (ADP: 69) and Kenley Jansen (ADP: 96), are projected to save only 13 games. Right now Jimenez is the 14th closer off the board in drafts, flanked by Keone Kela (ADP:180) and Ian Kennedy (ADP: 187). For this year, your best bet is to pay up early on closers to secure an ace. From there, drafting Jimenez and another middle-tier player should be enough to make you competitive in this category.
Detroit Tigers Batters
C.J. Cron (ADP: 202) is projected to lead the team in homers (11), RBIs (32) and runs (27) while slashing a .262/.325/821 batting line. Cron could also be a trade candidate as he is only on a one-year deal. When considering roster construction, Cron has the ability to be a top 5 first baseman because he has great power and plenty of playing time. Because of this and his current ADP, Cron is one of my favorite sleepers in the whole draft. Edwin Encarnacion (ADP: 157), Ryan McMahon (ADP: 175) and Christian Walker (ADP: 185) are all being drafted ahead of Cron and that should not be the case. Encarnacion is going to be fighting for DH time in Chicago with Yasmani Grandal. Ryan McMahon doesn’t offer much more than a decent average and Steamer has him only 6 points higher than Cron (.268 vs .262). Lastly, Walker had a breakout season last year, but Cron is projected to be better than him in every meaningful statistic. Cron is criminally underrated, so enjoy the value.
The Tigers’ utility man, Niko Goodrum (ADP: 228), is projected to be a decent contributor in four roto-categories this year with 6 home runs, 23 RBIs, 26 runs, and 4 stolen bases. Most importantly, Goodrum is projected to lead the team in at-bats (193) so he should have plenty of opportunities to produce counting stats. Another feather in the cap of Goodrum is that he is 1B, 2B, SS, and OF eligible, so in a shortened season with a lot in the air, his position flexibility brings a lot of safety for fantasy owners.
Miguel Cabrera (ADP: 271) is projected to lead the team in batting average (.277) while contributing 7 home runs, 26 RBIs, and 24 runs. Jonathan Schoop (ADP: 312) is projected to be the second-best home run hitter on the team with 10 bombs, despite the fact that he hits most of his balls to center field (the biggest part of Comerica Park). I don’t think that will hold up, but because second base is so shallow in fantasy, he is worth a look as a back-up fielder or as a middle infielder in deep leagues (15 teams or more). Cabrera is being drafted between Joey Votto (ADP: 266) and Victor Caratini (ADP: 306). I believe this is a “pick your poison” kind of scenario seeing as all of them have their faults, but since Miggy looks like he is in the best shape of his life and still hits the ball hard with great plate discipline, I’ll take the former Triple Crown Winner.
Victor Reyes (ADP: 404) is one of my favorite deep sleepers this year because he contributes to two of the hardest categories to solidify in fantasy: stolen bases and average. Reyes is projected to steal four bases and bat .273 but I believe the ceiling is even higher. Lastly, Cameron Maybin (ADP: 544) is another solid avg/speed source who is still available incredibly late in the drafts. With five steals, Maybin is expected to lead all Tigers and if he can replicate his .285 average from last year with the Yankees, he should be worth rostering in deep leagues.
The 2020 MLB season is going to be one of the weirdest seasons any of us have ever seen. When it comes to fantasy baseball, anything is possible in 60 games which means many of the Detroit Tigers could find themselves as top fantasy contributors at a very discounted price.