2016 O/U Wins (Westgate):
2016 AL Central Odds (Westgate):
Projected Starting Rotation:
Justin Verlander, Jordan Zimmermann, Anibal Sanchez, Daniel Norris, Mike Pelfrey
Casey McGehee, Bobby Parnell, Justin Upton, Jordan Zimmermann, Mike Pelfrey
Handicapper’s Take: “Health and age seem to be a common theme with the Tigers heading into 2016. This is an aging squad with their core -- Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez, Ian Kinsler, Justin Verlander, and Anibal Sanchez -- all north of 30 years old. They spent big dollars on Justin Upton and Jordan Zimmermann but it can't offset the fact that at least a few of the aforementioned group is likely going to miss significant time due to injury.
Verlander finished last season strong (2.27 ERA L14 starts) after a horrific start following an early season arm injury. The fact that he threw only 133 innings in probably a good thing after being one the league's biggest workhorses. That said, at 33 years old, he's going to battle with middle-of-the-rotation stuff. Anibal Sanchez is also on the backend of his career and a likely candidate to miss time due to injury. His constant arm problems finally caught up with him as he post a near-5.00 ERA. Daniel Norris has promising upside but dealt with cancer during the offseason. If healthy, he's got the best stuff on the staff. Newly acquired Jordan Zimmermann can chew up innings at an effective rate though the soon-to-be 30-year-old righty must adjust from the pitcher friendly NL East/Nationals Park to the American League. Note that his velocity dipped last year and his HR/FB rate jumped from 6.4% to 10.9%. And lastly, Mike Pelfrey gets no breaks by switching teams within the division after posting a 4.26 ERA and horrific 4.70 K per 9 rate for Minnesota last season. With the exception of Norris, there's a strong possibility the remaining four starters post the lowest K-rates of their careers behind a below average defense. And don't forget 34-year-old Francisco Rodriguez and his diminished stuff will be asked to close games.
The profile of a once good, but now aging ball club is not ideal for positive expectations. The AL Central has a slew of clubs lined right around .500 in terms of season o/u wins. If the Tigers can avoid cluster injuries, then yes, there's the potential to contend. But as mentioned, bettors should be very leery of banking on this roster to hold up over the course of 162 games."
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