SI’s Jon Heyman Ranks Tigers #8 in Likely Playoff Teams
Posted on September 2, 2011
… behind the Diamondbacks. (!?!?)
8. Tigers. The Tigers have arguably the best pitcher (Justin Verlander) and best hitter (Miguel Cabrera) in this derby. But the question is whether their other players are good enough. The offense seems fairly well supported by Victor Martinez, Alex Avila and others (their 614 runs are eighth best). But Verlander will have a lot of pressure on him. Their starting pitching is better than the 4.17 overall ERA (22nd best), as that number is affected by a coterie of previously untested No. 5 starters employed before GM Dave Dombrowski astutely added a decent No. 5 starter in Doug Fister (No. 5s don’t generally pitch in the playoffs, anyway). The issue, though, is what kind of performance they’ll get by anyone other than Verlander. Closer Jose Valverde is 39 for 39 in saves, but the rest of the bullpen hasn’t been quite as efficient (the 4.11 ERA is 25th best).