PECOTA is pretty low on the Detroit Tigers for the 2023 season
Last season, many people and projections were high on the Detroit Tigers. Baseball Prospectus' PECOTA projections were not one of them. They projected the Tigers to win 68 games in 2022. Many people thought that was too low. As it turns out, the projection ended up being too high, as they only ended up winning 66 games.
This season, PECOTA is projecting more of the same. They project the Detroit Tigers to go 65-97 this season, which would be one game worse than last season. Since many people seem to believe this team will lose 100 games this year, this may seem optimistic. For myself, I think it's a bit too low.
Everything that could have went wrong, went wrong last season. Injuries beyond belief, so many hitters underperforming, and the GM was fired. It's a brand new season. The team is healthy for the most part. Some of these things are going to even out.
Austin Meadows should bounce back. He has a chance to be the best hitter on the team. Javier Baez shouldn't be as bad as he was in 2022. Riley Greene should take a step forward.
Pitching wise, the injuries should even out. The Tigers are trying to be sure of that, too. They hired a new head athletic trainer and brought on some assistant pitching coaches to help prevent arm injuries. They also have a ton of depth, and with Chris Fetter at the helm, it's hard not to be optimistic about the pitching staff.
On paper, this team *should* be better than last year. It's largely the same roster offensively that was probably a 75-80-win team had things not gone awry in 2022.
Will they be good? Probably not. Will they compete? It seems unlikely, but you never know. At the same time, would I be completely shocked if they finished 65-97? No, not completely. They didn't really do anything to improve the worst offense in baseball from a year ago, and while I think some players will improve, they still don't have a ton of talent offensively. This could easily still be a bottom five offense in the league again this season.
We'll do official predictions as we get closer to the start of the regular season, but I think the Detroit Tigers will end up with more than 65 wins. I think they'll be better than last year. I understand PECOTA's pessimism toward the team, but I think the Tigers will outperform their projection this season.