3 keys for the Detroit Tigers to win the American League Central

The Detroit Tigers are a long shot to win the division, but we have seen crazier things in life. So what needs to happen for this team to make it back to the postseason?

Detroit Tigers celebrate after a win against the Cleveland Guardians.
Detroit Tigers celebrate after a win against the Cleveland Guardians. / Duane Burleson/GettyImages
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The Detroit Tigers need to continue their success against division rivals.

One major reason the Detroit Tigers came as close as they did to the division title last season was their success against other division teams. They finished with the best record against AL Central teams at a whopping 35-17 (.673). Those 35 wins contributed 45% of their total wins last season. This is one of the major advantages of being in a terrible division. Facing bad teams more often leads to an inflated record, and unlike college football, the strength of the schedule doesn't matter in this case.

When teams in the AL East have to face the Yankees, Orioles, and Rays, it poses many challenges. When teams in the AL Central have the pleasure of facing the Royals and White Sox, it can give a huge boost to morale and that ever-important number in the win column.

It is scary to think that nearly half of the team's wins came against division foes who are nowhere near the top of the league. This could pose a problem for the Tigers when they get into the postseason, but it could help get them to that point. It's one of those situations where it's great for the Tigers' regular season but problematic with any hopes of playoff success -- if they even get there.