Detroit Tigers: Five Ugly Stats to Make You Cringe
Detroit Tigers Stat: 2.28
So 2.28 would be a great number if we were talking about an ERA, but of course we aren’t. That’s the number of home runs the Detroit Tigers bullpen is allowing per 9 innings so far this year. It’s easily the worst in baseball — the next closest team is the Washington Nationals at 1.69 — and there are 17 bullpens out there with a HR/9 rate less than half of Detroit’s.
Detroit Tigers relievers have allowed 14 home runs in 55.1 innings this year, compared to 12 home runs in 83.1 innings from their starters. Buck Farmer has already given up four home runs this season (in 6.2 IP) after allowing just three last year. José Cisnero has given up two home runs (in 6 IP) after allowing just one in 2020, and Tyler Alexander has coughed up three long balls in 6.1 innings after giving up eight in 36+ innings last year.
It would be nice if we could tell you the the Tigers have just been unlucky, but that doesn’t appear to be true. Their bullpen has allowed the second-highest slugging percentage of any team, behind only Colorado, but according to Statcast, their expected slugging is 30 points worse than their actual number. It’s the highest in baseball, and it suggests the bullpen has actually been a little lucky. Yikes.