Detroit Tigers all-time starting rotation by WAR

Here's a look at what the Tigers' Mount Rushmore of pitching looks like by the numbers.
Detroit Tigers v Colorado Rockies
Detroit Tigers v Colorado Rockies / Dustin Bradford/GettyImages
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The Detroit Tigers are one of the baseball's most storied franchises. Since 1901, the Tigers have been a fixture in Major League Baseball with numerous Hall of Famers having played for them including Ty Cobb, Hank Greenberg, Al Kaline, Alan Trammell, and Jack Morris.

Going a step further than just identifying the greats is determining the Tigers' Mount Rushmore on both sides of the ball. The offense is fairly straightforward as guys like Cobb, Kaline, and Greenberg stick out like sore thumbs as all-time baseball greats. However, choosing the best pitchers in Detroit Tigers history is actually surprisingly tricky.

Here is the Detroit Tigers all-time starting rotation by WAR

If you ask any Tigers fan for their top 5 Tigers pitchers, you will likely get a bunch of different answers. Many will point to Denny McLain and his 31 win Cy Young season to argue for his inclusion. Max Scherzer's five seasons in Detroit are fondly remembered especially when you add in what he has done the rest of his career. Older fans will probably give Jim Bunning some love for his time with Detroit on some pretty bad Tigers teams.

To remove some of the subjectivity from this discussion, it is probably best to use a somewhat neutral measure like WAR. For this list, Baseball-Reference's WAR calculation gets the nod mostly because of how powerful their search database is for this sort of thing. Each player will also be limited to the WAR they accumulated in a Tigers uniform and must have started at least 60% of their appearances. Many folks will be upset that Jack Morris didn't make the cut, but his 37.7 rWAR finished in a very strong sixth place.

Anyways, those are the rules in a nutshell. Here is the Tigers' all-time starting rotation.