Over/under: Wins for Tigers

March, 19, 2012
3/19/12
10:41
AM ET
You know the story: The Detroit Tigers won 95 games in 2011, defeated the Yankees in the Division Series ... and then added Prince Fielder to a lineup that ranked fourth in the AL in runs scored.

SportsNation

Over/under prediction: 94 wins for Tigers

  •  
    62%
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    38%

Discuss (Total votes: 1,370)

So the Tigers will be better in 2012?

Not so fast.

While the Tigers scored 787 runs, they ranked just eighth in the league in runs allowed with 711. That would suggest a record of 89-73, which the Tigers exceeded by six wins, in large part due to Jose Valverde's perfect season of 49 saves in 49 opportunities. Can Valverde and Cy Young/MVP winner Justin Verlander repeat their monster seasons?

Other than Fielder, the biggest addition to the Tigers will be a full season from Doug Fister, who went 8-1 with a 1.79 ERA in 10 starts after coming over from Seattle. Nobody thinks he's that good, of course, but he could provide a nice lift to a rotation that was mediocre once you got past Verlander. Max Scherzer (4.43 ERA) and Rick Porcello (4.75 ERA) have potential but inconsistent performances mean they have yet to elevate beyond past back-of-the-rotation starters.

And while Fielder will provide another big bat alongside Miguel Cabrera, remember that the guy he's essentially replacing was pretty good -- Victor Martinez hit .330/.380/.470 and drove in 103 runs. Fielder will be an upgrade due to his power, but it may not be as large as many believe.

So what do you think? The Tigers' over/under is at 94 wins.

David Schoenfield | email

SweetSpot blogger

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