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Detroit Tigers: ESPN AL and NL Central Power Rankings Overview

DETROIT, MI - JULY 29: Niko Goodrum #28 of the Detroit Tigers celebrates with a foot tap with JaCoby Jones #21 of the Detroit Tigers after a 5-4 win over the Kansas City Royals at Comerica Park on July 29, 2020, in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - JULY 29: Niko Goodrum #28 of the Detroit Tigers celebrates with a foot tap with JaCoby Jones #21 of the Detroit Tigers after a 5-4 win over the Kansas City Royals at Comerica Park on July 29, 2020, in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images) /
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The Detroit Tigers are 5-5 and with no games until Friday, let’s take a look at both the AL Central and NL Central teams in the ESPN Power Rankings.

With news today that the Detroit Tigers-St.Louis Cardinals series is postponed, we are left with the buzz of the Tyler Alexander’s nine strikeouts in a row, the back and forth camp about Casey Mize being on the rotation and watching other teams in action. It has been a crazy first week of baseball, that’s for sure. So to keep up with what’s going on with the Tigers’ rivals, we present our first weekly recap of the power rankings that is focused on the Central division teams.

28. Pittsburgh Pirates (2-7)

The Pirates are sitting in last in the NL Central. The bats, outside of Colin Morgan, have combined for four home runs, while he sits with five already. They are dead last in batting average in the majors at .177. It doesn’t support the decent job it has gotten from their starting rotation, which has an ERA of 3.79 but they are ranked near the bottom of the league in terms of K per 9 at 8.76. The Tigers go on the road to face them on Friday.

26. Kansas City Royals (3-7)

We were glad to see Whit Merrifield leave Detroit . After earning a split with Detroit, they got swept by the Chicago White Sox over the weekend. The bullpen was knocked around to the tune of 11 runs on Saturday and gave up 7 runs on Sunday. Going to be a long season for the Royals but they got some arms for the future.

24. Detroit Tigers (5-5)

The sting of losing both games in the doubleheader is still fresh but with all the strikeouts they had at the plate, yesterday marked the first time they were shutout on the season so that is a positive. The bullpen has been a pleasant surprise and to see Soto get out of a jam with a nice catch by Demeritte was good to see. The starters’ ERA of 5.93 and K per 9 of 7.46 has to improve in order for Detroit to stay in playoff contention, which they are currently super early into the season.

16. Cincinnati Reds (4-5)

The strength of their starting rotation puts them up here with performances from Sonny Gray, Trevor Bauer and Luis Castillo. Nick Castellanos in his last five games, going back to the series against the Cubs, .444/ .500/ .1.222 with four home runs, 10 RBIs.

15. Chicago White Sox (5-4)

Another 2018 MLB draft pick made his debut last week in the AL Central in Nick Madrigal. In just his 3rd game of his major league career, Nick collected four hits. A cool piece of history took place last week on the south side.

However, with all this offense. their starting rotation will need to step up. K per 9 of 6.63 and their starters have a 6.38 early on. Yikes.

13. St. Louis Cardinals (2-3)

This was scary to read in regards to the Cardinals on Friday, Per ESPN: 

You have to be very concerned,” Emory Univ. Oxford Coll. epidemiologist Zachary Binney said Fri. about MLB’s viability. “This is now two instances of the virus sneaking into a team from the community and causing multiple cases. If the Cardinals suffer an outbreak that looks like Miami’s you’d have to consider suspending the season as you’d expect issues like this to crop up again and again and again.” He said more info’s needed, but protocols aren’t working.

Jack Flaherty so far in one start looks to be the ace he was in the second half of the season in 2019.

12. Milwaukee Brewers (3-3)

Brandon Woodruff has looked good early on but the offense has struggled and now they lose Lorenzo Cain for the season as he opted out.

10. Chicago Cubs (7-2)

Craig Kimbrel’s stat line: 1.1IP 2H 4R 4BB 0SO 2HR. Ouch. Beyond that, Tyler Chatwood has been a stud so far and the combo of Kipnis and Hoerner has worked very well at second base for the Cubs.

7. Cleveland Indians (5-5)

Cleveland’s rotation is one of the best in the American League but ran into the buzzsaw that is the Twins over the weekend, losing 3 out 4.  Their offense will need to click soon in order to keep up with Minnesota for a crack at the division title. But man, they can develop starting pitching so well.

3. Minnesota Twins (7-2)

The power is already on display, ranked third in the majors in home runs but their bullpen is averaging 11.54 K per 9. A major blow came to their rotation as they lost Homer Bailey to the IL. But Kenta Maeda has adjusted nicely to the AL. In two starts, 11IP, 5H 2ER 2BB and 12K.

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