Everybody has an opinion – prediction round-up

I think everyone remembers last year when the Tigers were pretty much a lock for the playoffs in the minds of many prognosticators. Sure, it was up for debate whether they’d win the American League or the World Series, but they were post season bound. Not so much this year. A number of sites and outlets and experts are doing some predicting and, well it ain’t so pretty.

Ken Rosenthal puts the Tigers in last place in the Central. But he acknowledges that anyone in the Central could win it.

Sports Illustrated picked the Tigers to finish 4th with 77 wins, 8 games back of the Twins who they think take the divison with 85 wins.

ESPN the Magazine picks the Tigers…5th in the AL Central because the rotation is questionable.

David Pinto at Baseball Musings picks the Tigers to also finish last, but he gives them a 17% chance of winning the division which is only slightly less that random!

The folks at Baseball Prospectus give us a number of projections and predictions. Joe Sheehan ranks them as the 23rd worst team in baseball, but that is still better than the White Sox and Royals. Chris Kahrl cites PECOTA and has them winning only 80 games, but that is good enough for 2nd in the Central.

Seamheads.com takes the Tigers 2nd with 84 wins, 2 games off the league pace.

Baseball Digest Daily’s panel of writers peg Detroit as the 3rd best team in the division.

And the geeks (I use that term affectionately) at Beyond the Box Score pick the Tigers anywhere from 2nd to last.

If you read through all the links though there is a pretty consistent theme. The Tigers aren’t that good, but they might not have to be to stay in the mix. As for my predictions, those are coming soon.


  1. Jer

    April 3, 2009 at 10:51 pm

    Ill take all thats said with a grain of salt .. They predicted the Tigers to win it all last year. So to say that they will not and are the worse team but still have a chance, Is only being said to cover there ASSES. Because they dont know what will happen.

  2. Sky

    April 3, 2009 at 11:01 pm

    Jer, many systems had the Tigers doing quite well, but not everyone had them winning the division or winning it all. Some places were smart enough not to buy into the 1000 runs thing. The nice thing is that most of the talent from last year’s team is still around, and many places (more in the mainstream) are likely underrating them. They have more guys coming off down years than up years, which is good.

  3. Jeff Molby

    April 4, 2009 at 12:31 am

    [David Pinto] gives them a 17% chance of winning the division which is only slightly less that random!

    I’ll echo that. My prediction: somwhere between 60 and 100 wins. I won’t be surprised no matter what it is. The ceiling of the team’s core is obviously high, but the standard deviation is also very high. Predictions for this particular season for this particular team are basically meaningless.

  4. Coach Jim

    April 4, 2009 at 9:50 am

    I happen to catch the Sporting News predictions, and they put the Tigers in 4th, ahead of the Sox.

    Predictions like this are based on all teams experiencing equal luck. That just never happens, and there are no formulas to determine luck. Luck can be good or bad. Good luck is when you bring up rookies that contribute more than exptected, like Granderson, Verlander, and Zumaya did in ’06. Bad luck is usually injuries. This year we start with Bondo and Zoom on the DL. Will we have enough good luck to offset that?

  5. Chris

    April 4, 2009 at 11:16 am

    I am encouraged to see the expectations so low. In recent years, going all the way back to the ’06 WS, the Tigers have performed terribly when expectations for them were high.

  6. Angus

    April 4, 2009 at 11:38 am

    I am fairly pleased with the changes made. Tigers shed some payroll and improved on defense. Starting pitching will dictate who wins the Central and the Tigers front 5 lineup is a toss up just like about everyone else in the division. Sports Illustrated picked them to win the WS in 2008 and look where that got us.

  7. Clanks

    April 4, 2009 at 11:51 am

    “I say that big talk’s worth doodly-squat.” –Granny Hawkins, The Outlaw Josie Wales

    Let’s play the games!

  8. Brad

    April 4, 2009 at 11:59 am

    ESPN The Magazine expects the Tigers to have one of the best defensive teams in baseball. That should vastly improve a starting rotation that replaces Dontrelle Willis with Edwin Jackson, and Nate Robertson with Rick Porcello. If Bonderman can bounce back, I like our chances.

  9. Mr. X

    April 4, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    Shone has the Tigers at 85 wins and ranked 5th in power rankings.


  10. Jer

    April 4, 2009 at 12:48 pm

    I see where your going with this.. I just don’t hold a lot of stock in th “So called Experts”

  11. Kevin in Austin (now Dallas)

    April 4, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    We’re gonna be bad.

  12. Tbone

    April 4, 2009 at 2:42 pm

    It’s all about the pitching and the confidence factor is at its lowest point in years heading into this season.

    82 wins.

  13. Vince in MN

    April 4, 2009 at 4:09 pm

    I agree that pitching should be the key. Therefore, pulling the plug on both Robertson (87 mph fastball) and Rodney (can’t find the plate) before waiting too long, should be worth about five wins right there.

  14. Mr. X

    April 4, 2009 at 5:25 pm

    The Defense is a huge part of how well the pitching does. Our defense is perhaps the best in baseball. Some people just don’t realize that Everett/Inge is a dramatic defensive upgrade from Renteria/Guillen. Those guys are going to steal about 60 hits by themselves over the course of the season, that itself will make the innings shorter for our pitchers.

    Stealing 60 hits equates to 20 innings that the pitchers won’t have to throw. Think about all the games the Tigers lost last year because we left one of our pitchers in one batter too long. That might not happen this year because of our defense.

    Then we have are pitching upgrades. Perry and Porcello could shine. Porcello might be a groundball machine with his A+ sinker, and Perry can just flat out overpower everyone. What if we then add an effective Zumaya and Bonderman to our mix? That “if” could make this an excellent pitching staff.

    The Tigers hitting 1 thru 6 is as good as any in baseball.

    This season is going to be a treat for Tiger fans.

  15. Robert Hall

    April 4, 2009 at 8:01 pm

    At least the Tigers don’t get jinxed on day 1.
    I hope they do well this year. My take is that they
    have a very good team and somebody needs to
    light the fire. I would take Miggy, Maggy, and Grandy
    on my team any day. No problem putting up wins if they
    don’t have cancers in the clubhouse (ie. rodriguez, sheffield, and
    maybe robertson now?). This team should be ok.

  16. ron

    April 5, 2009 at 1:45 am

    We’re gonna rebound higher than a spaldeen on hot asphalt-93 wins!

  17. Dylan

    April 5, 2009 at 2:48 am

    I’m ready to get this season going. Should be a fun ride, the division is essentially up for grabs.

  18. ron

    April 5, 2009 at 12:50 pm

    This is the perfect storm. Hopefully, the team will have “Win one for the Gipper” mentality all year long.

  19. Dave BW

    April 5, 2009 at 1:29 pm

    Go Plexiglass Principle!!!

  20. David

    April 5, 2009 at 3:36 pm

    Tigers have enough strengths and pieces to win the World Series

    They also have enough weakness to only win 70 something.

    The only thing I’ll say outright is I think they are a pretty sure lock to be over .500 when it is all said and done… Beyond 82 wins this team is too hard to predict atm…you can’t predict injuries(possibly anyone) or major regressions or major bounce backs (Verlander/Inge/Guillen/Bonderman/Polanco) or how long hot rooks will stay hot rooks(Porcello/Perry)

    Like Verlander said this team is a “Sleeping Giant”, but will it still be sleeping come September?

  21. Chauncey

    April 5, 2009 at 5:02 pm

    To me, the Tigers look to be clearly better than last year, at least defensively and in their middle relief, which you would think would translate to at least 5-8 more wins- maybe even more. So that right there puts them in the low 80’s for wins. If the back end of their rotation and they figure out what they’re doing in the 8th-9th innings early on, then this is definitely a team that could win 90+ games. But like others have said, if those areas don’t work out and cause problems the whole year, then this is a team that will be closer to .500, or under, than to 90 wins.

    One thing about all these national media predictions, and last year proved it for the Tigers- they get too hung up on what happened the previous year, and tend to not follow the team closely enough through ST to make an educated prediction.

  22. ron

    April 5, 2009 at 5:55 pm

    David, “we’ll bite and we’ll claw until they’ve lost and we won. Whoa, wake up the sleeping giant.”

  23. David

    April 5, 2009 at 7:02 pm


  24. Mark in Chicago

    April 5, 2009 at 9:06 pm

    The “experts” have a tendency to rely heavily on the previous season when making their predictions for the current year. In other words, they generally have no idea what they’re talking about.

  25. David

    April 5, 2009 at 9:34 pm

    Some “experts” do it better than others, but usually yea, in many cases their knowledge/predictability skill seems piss-poor and they go with the established favorites (ie Red Sox)

    Bill’s Opening Day post must be a biggie!

  26. mcb.

    April 5, 2009 at 9:35 pm

    I would agree that this team could really go either way. Luck has more than a little bit to do with it. I hate that people try to predict the outcome of the season…. all it does is give unreasonably high or unreasonably low expectations for everyone. There is a reason that we actually play the games…

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  28. Dylan

    April 5, 2009 at 10:20 pm

    I am impatiently waiting for billfer’s preview post…

  29. Tim D

    April 5, 2009 at 10:30 pm

    81-81. In a weak division, they will be in it until Labor Day.

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  31. ron

    April 6, 2009 at 12:01 am

    David, a lyric from a Twisted Sister song, I think. Mcb, High expectations are good. If they don’t pan out, you become depressed. Big deal. But if they to come to fruition, that feeling can last forever, almost. Baseball depression only lasts til football season,er.. hockey season.