MLB insider blatantly disrespects Tigers after opening series

USA Today does not seem to believe in the Tigers yet
Detroit Tigers v Chicago White Sox
Detroit Tigers v Chicago White Sox / Nuccio DiNuzzo/GettyImages

When the Detroit Tigers completed their Opening Weekend sweep of the rival Chicago White Sox, they put three in the win column for the first start to a season since 2016. The Tigers have struggled through April, with losing records every year since AJ Hinch became manager.

But if anyone can fix that, it seems like it'll be these 2024 Tigers. In their three games on the South Side, Tarik Skubal completely dominated opposing hitters, holding things down as he waited for his offense to wake up. Wake up they did in the second game, when they got 12 hits down for seven runs for a comeback win in extra-innings. The series capper was just as close and lower-scoring once again, but highlights included a promising outing for Jack Flaherty and two Detroit dingers.

On Monday, the Tigers added a fourth win in as many games with a 5-0 shutout of the Mets.

Fans can tell the Tigers are feeling good and looking good, but not everyone seems to agree. Gabe Lacques, writing for USA Today, published a power ranking for all 30 teams in the wake of Opening Weekend, and he put the Tigers down at No. 21, sandwiched between the St. Louis Cardinals (who lost their first series) and the Pittsburgh Pirates (who won commandingly). Something doesn't make sense here.

MLB insider snubs Detroit Tigers in power rankings despite commanding opening series sweep

All 13 Tigers batters to make their season debuts this weekend got at least one hit — Mark Canha and Kerry Carpenter both walked away with four and one home run and a double apiece. Even Javy Báez got two hits, stole a base, and represented the sole scoring run for the Tigers on Opening Day.

Aside from a rocky Tigers debut for Kenta Maeda on Saturday, the pitching staff also looks good. Skubal and Flaherty dusted White Sox hitters in their starts, and the bullpen featured rode high on performances from Tyler Holton, Jason Foley, and Shelby Miller, who extended his run-less streak dating back to June 6 of last year.

Meanwhile, the Tigers ranked lower than the Guardians and Twins on Lacques' list, despite the fact that neither fared so well as Detroit in their opening series and were facing the likes of the Oakland Athletics and Kansas City Royals, which could explain some of the run-fests both Cleveland and Minnesota enjoyed.

Ah, well. The Tigers have been the underdogs for years now, and maybe persistent underestimation will give them even more fire through the season.

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