The computer projections, best guesses, and mathematical algorithms are flooding in for the 2016 MLB season. And they aren't looking so hot for the Tigers. It started with the FanGraphs ZIPs projections that have the Tigers at a respectable, but uninspiring 81-81 that results with the team finishing third in the AL Central. The relatively meh prediction is mostly due to the low projections for Victor Martinez and the rotation. This will be a common theme.
Next was USA Today, who provided the Tigers with one more win at 82-80, but one spot lower in the AL Central. I'd laugh but they clearly know something we don't know, considering there hasn't been a 100-loss team since 2013 and they have three of them.
Finally, the PECOTA rankings from Baseball Prospectus gave the Tigers' their worst prediction. That would be a 79-83 record, good for third in the AL Central. At least they are spot on with the Royals, who they peg at 76-86. Nailed it.
The moral of the story, as it is every year in every sport, is that projections are totally worthless. They will provide a barometer of how many good players you have. And how many variables a team has. And that's about it. Algorithms simply can't solve for injuries, the magic of chemistry or your manager inexplicably using your bullpen. The Royals have had under .500 predictions the past three years, andddd yeah.
Fan bases with good projections will laud their favorable outlook while fan bases with poor predictions will dismiss them. Life goes on. Let's just get to real baseball already. Unless you send me a really positive Tigers projection. Then I would love to discuss it in detail.
Tigers links, get your Tigers links here
So much spring training ... stuff. Pitching should be better. Probably. Will the Tigers contend? Maybe. Drew VerHagen is PUMPED to play baseball. Nick Castellanos, more mature. Oh yeah, and Kurt drops some wisdom on why so many contracts end after 2017. Read that one so I stay employed. (Editor's note: Yes, do that.)
Other important baseball news
Mookie Betts, not great at driving golf carts. And in not shocking news, Jose Bautista hasn't paid for a drink since the infamous bat flip. Let's watch that again for old times sake.
Man that's good stuff.
There are still a bunch of pretty OK players left
Hey someone has to sign Dexter Fowler, right? Keep tabs on the stragglers with the SB Nation free agent tracker.
My usual FanGraphs section
I swear I'm not on commission. Dave Cameron provides the BEST and WORST moves of the 2016 season. Guess which list Mike Pelfrey graces. And here is an article about FanGraphs and their articles. Its internet baseball content inception.