What do you get when you combine newly infused young talent with meaningful expenditures on the free agent market? You get the 2016 Tigers, a 73-62 team right in the thick of things.
The Tigers haven’t even relegated themselves to just a wildcard yet as the AL Central is currently in reach.
Cleveland Indians 78-56 —
Detroit Tigers 73-62 5.5 GB
The wildcard is even more of a reality.
Boston Red Sox 76-59 + 2.0
Baltimore Orioles 74-62 —
Detroit Tigers 74-62 —
Houston Astros 72-64 2.0 GB
New York Yankees 70-65 3.5 GB
Kansas City Royals 70-66 4.0 GB
Seattle Mariners 69-67 5.0 GB
The Tigers with their high-octane offense and improving rotation look like a good bet to unseat the Orioles and sneak into the playoffs. In a crowded field, the Mariners have basically dropped out of the picture. If you recall, the White Sox took 3-of-4 from Seattle in a series that sent their season down the tube.
So the White Sox were the definition of spoiler there. Can they do the same to Detroit?
Detroit gets a tough draw in a series against Chicago that opens on Monday afternoon. They’ll have to face Sale, but will have the revived Justin Verlander as their counter. Miguel Gonzalez will likely go Tuesday and Quintana gets the ball Wednesday. The Tigers currently list those match ups as TBA.
In theory, this is a series that could set the hot bats from Motown back a bit. Just last week, the South Siders went toe-to-toe with the Tigers and had a chance to win every contest. Their bullpen had other ideas however as Robin Ventura continues to use Albers and Jacob Turner in close games. They’re also just 5-11 against Detroit this season.
The White Sox have a chance to take the wheels off the team from the capital of automobiles, but fringe bullpen talent and recent woes in the division say otherwise.
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