MLB insider makes stat-based case for Tigers as ‘next Diamondbacks’

The Detroit Tigers look better than they have in years, and MLB Network's Jon Morosi has great expectations for them.
Oakland Athletics v Detroit Tigers
Oakland Athletics v Detroit Tigers / Mike Mulholland/GettyImages

Despite the 2-1 series loss against the A's in their Opening Series at Comerica this past weekend, the Detroit Tigers still have a lot to be proud of in the early weeks of the season. Thanks to a couple of rain delays in New York, they were the last undefeated team in the league until the second game of a double-header on April 4, and the loss still came after the pitching staff no-hit the Mets through eight innings.

In their return to Detroit, they won their electric home opener against the A's in a great back-and-forth game that saw ace Tarik Skubal in tip-top shape (at least for this first two passes through Oakland's order), and young guns and old-timers alike show up for the offense.

That game led MLB Network's Jon Morosi to call his shot for the Tigers as a postseason contender, using the 2023 NL Champion Diamondbacks, who went into the playoffs tied with the Marlins for the worst regular season record of the 12 postseason teams, as a prime example.

MLB Network's Jon Morosi believes the Tigers have a clear shot at the postseason

Last year's World Series matchup was one of the most unlikely in recent history, with two Wild Card teams mowing their ways through juggernauts like the Dodgers, Phillies, Orioles, and Astros to make it to the top. Of course, the Rangers eventually won out, but it was a miraculous showing from the Dbacks, the little team that could. Morosi specifically pointed to their 17th place team OPS at the end of the regular season last year in his argument for the Tigers, whose bats have already struggled to support a mostly dominant pitching staff.

The Tigers are sitting at No. 2 in the AL Central, hot on the heels of the Guardians but also with the Royals right behind them in the rearview mirror. The season is long, and the Tigers have their work cut out for them, but if they can conjure up any of the magic bestowed up the 2023 Diamondbacks (and the bats can shape up a little), a postseason appearance doesn't seem too far outside the cards. At the very least, the Tigers seem to be in good shape to take their first winning record since 2016. Our fingers, toes, legs, and so on are crossed.