Oct 5, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers first gameemanMiguel Cabrera
(24) during player introductions before game three of the 2014 ALDS baseball playoff game against the Baltimore Orioles at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
2: Detroit Tigers (87-75)
For the first time in four years, the Detroit Tigers will not win the American League Central Division.
The offense is still near the top in the league, but with word that MVP-runner up Victor Martinez needs surgery to repair torn meniscus in his left knee (the same knee he injured when he missed the entire 2012 season), there is some reason to be worried.
Yoenis Cespedes should help recoup some of those numbers, but no one can replace Martinez’s exceptional 2014 season in Motown.
The reason they lose out on their fifth straight divisional crown is because of the pitching. Max Scherzer has left for the Washington Nationals, and Justin Verlander is another year removed from his MVP year of 2011. David Price struggled in his half-season in Detroit (extrapolated over a full year, it would have been his worst since his rookie year), and Anibal Sanchez is one of the best No. 3 pitchers in baseball.
All this without regarding they lost a clubhouse figure in Torii Hunter, they have a bullpen that struggled mightily in recent years despite big name and the declining health of former Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera paves the way for another team to win the division for the first time in nearly half a decade.