clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

How do you feel about the Tigers lineup?

Tigers fans have become accustomed to watching an extremely effective offense. Will the 2015 version meet those standards?

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

In each of the past two seasons, the Tigers have ranked second in baseball in runs scored. They also ranked in the top two in each of the triple-slash stats (batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage). Miguel Cabrera won the MVP in consecutive years in 2012 and 2013, and Victor Martinez covered for him by finishing as the runner-up in 2014. An argument could be made that Martinez was actually the best hitter in the league last season, but got penalized in the voting for not playing a defensive position. Both star hitters will be returning in 2015.

They'll be joined in the middle of the order by new acquisition Yoenis Cespedes, who may not be a prolific on-base hitter but has slugged at least 22 home runs in each of his three seasons in the majors and won the Home Run Derby two years in a row. J.D. Martinez put up MVP-caliber numbers in 2014 as well, and will be returning to the middle of the order.

The top of the lineup will definitely include Ian Kinsler and his .273/.344/.449 career slash line. Who joins him at the top, however, is still up in the air. Most likely, Anthony Gose and Rajai Davis will platoon in the leadoff spot, who have produced .316 and .358 OBP against opposite-handed pitchers in their careers, respectively. That leaves the bottom of the order as some combination of Nick Castellanos, Alex Avila, and Jose Iglesias (perhaps with a healthy dose of James McCann against left-handed pitching).

Steamer, a projection system for baseball statistics, predicts that the Tigers will score 4.43 runs per game, good enough for fourth-best in baseball. None of their AL Central rivals are found among the top ten in that ranking. The Tigers' lineup may have taken a small step down, but should still be among the best in the game.