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Bless You Boys 2022 Detroit Tigers predictions

We’re feeling downright optimistic, as you’ll see in our predictions. Either way, let the party begin with a series win over the White Sox!

Detroit Tigers v Minnesota Twins Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images

The big day is finally here. Opening Day in Detroit, and we’re going to have a good time. It doesn’t hurt that the season begins with the foe the Tigers will need to take down to ever reclaim control over the AL Central. With the Chicago White Sox first on the docket, the intensity level should be high even if the the reigning division champs still look like the best of the bunch by a solid margin.

However, while some of us view the 2022 Tigers as the team that will fall just short of the playoffs, others are banking on a big year and things finally going the Tigers way. For others, well, seeing is believing, and there is certainly a good chance that the team doesn’t really do better than last year’s record. The variance for a team depending on young talent is pretty high. It’s probably going to take an awful lot going right for the top end predictions to come true, but overall, we like this roster. Could use a few more strong pieces, but we’ve got to go with our gut feelings here.

Everyone knows the projection systems don’t really like this team that much. And frankly, since roughly 2013 this site has probably tended toward an ever more pessimistic view as the team’s payroll grew and their farm system withered. The early years of the teardown were largely throwaways other than in the draft. But over the past two years, the organization has gone through a comprehensive overhaul, from the front office, to the coaching staff, to the player development departments. The team has quite a lot of talented young players. If there’s a time to buy in, it’s right now. We’re feeling the optimism for once, as you’ll see below.

Let’s hear your predictions for the Tigers in the comments. Wins, place in the Central, team MVP, CY, ROY. Or just tell us how you’re feeling on Opening Day. One way or the other, this team should be fun and competitive.

Ashley MacLennan

85 wins, second in Division

I’m sticking with Riley Greene ROY because I’m delusional and that’s okay. Give me Javy for MVP, and Skubal to have a breakout year for Cy. I think the Tigers are going to have a nice solid little year and if they can keep it together all season they have a whisker of a chance at that extra wild card. The AL East is going to be brutal competition for that though.

Patrick O’Kennedy

Tigers 85 wins, second place

MVP: Javy Báez

CY: Tarik Skubal

ROY: Spencer Torkelson

The Tigers improved defense alone should be enough to make them relevant in 2022. There were holes all over the field last year that have been repaired with two way players. They lack stars, but have solid to good players at all positions at least until the injury bug bites. They will go as far as their young pitching staff will take them, and that is a work in progress. They’re probably not quite a playoff team just yet, but they’ll be fun to watch.

Brandon Day

I think for once I’m just going to let myself be optimistic.

Tigers 85 wins, second place.

MVP: Javy Báez

CY: Eduardo Rodriguez

ROY: Spencer Torkelson

I’m being a bit stubborn here, admittedly. Of course I’m aware of the projection systems, although honestly PECOTA looks downright insane on this one. After the Tigers signed Chafin and Pineda, and being sure Riley and Tork would be on the Opening Day roster, this was going to be my prediction. But you know there going to be injuries. It hurts that Riley and Cisnero are both out for substantial time, but the White Sox and Red Sox have lost Lance Lynn and Chris Sale, respectively, for two months or more as well. Things go wrong. But I actually quite like the Tigers roster with Meadows in there, and presumably Riley Greene in our back pocket for a debut in late May or more likely June.

I don’t think the AL Central is that strong. If the Tigers beat up on the locals and maybe make a strong deadline move they could snag a wild card spot. Not quite ready to expect that, but they’ve still got a pretty deep group of 2-3 WAR players and/or platoons, with young talent that could significantly improve, and more help on the way. I really like the Tigers coaching staff and think we have more help on the way from the farm. And I also think the East and West divisions may just beat each other into stalemates more than last year. Most of the worst teams got better. In general I just expect a lot of surprises this season. Hopefully the Tigers can take advantage of some chaos.

Brady McAtamney

Give me 86 wins, second place.

MVP: Austin Meadows

Cy: Casey Mize

ROY: Spencer Torkelson

The team isn’t perfect. There are still holes — namely the bullpen — but this is the best Tigers team in maybe 7 or 8 years. There will be bumps in the road, but with a weaker division schedule their path to more wins is much easier than, say, someone out East.

At the bare minimum, this team should be a joy to watch. With Miggy’s counter of home runs and hits (hopefully) climbing, to the electricity of guys like Baddoo and Báez, the emergence of Tork and Greene, the development of Mize, Skubal, Manning and much more, there are a lot of really fun storylines to follow. Tryout time is all but over — save for a few guys and the injury replacements in the bullpen, this is a big league roster.

In Hinch we trust. Let’s go Tigers.

Peter Kwasniak

Tigers 88 wins, second place

MVP: Meadows,

CY: Rodriguez,

ROY: Torkelson

Division, Division, Division! So much of a season depends on what you do against your own division. I think this year the Tigers flip the script on how they played vs the AL Central last year. They went 30-46 against their AL Central foes, with a uniform 7-12 or 8-11 record against each team. The only team that seemed improved was the White Sox, but even now they are without Lance Lynn and Garrett Crochet, which could bring them right back to where they were last year. The Twins made some impressive moves on offense, though really most of their offensive firepower will be Correa and Buxton (when he’s healthy). They really didn’t upgrade in pitching though, they lost Berrios, Maeda, and Pineda and replaced them with Sonny Gray, Dylan Bundy, and Chris Archer. That’s not an intimidating rotation in any way.

The Guardians of Gridlock did absolutely nothing except change their name and logo (which promptly collapsed). They are entirely banking on a healthy season from their existing rotation. The Royals at least tried to improve, and they have some talented rookies debuting this season, but they are far away from establishing themselves as a threat. This is a division ripe for harvesting wins. If the Tigers simply flip their records against Cleveland, Minnesota, and Kansas City, that’s a 41-35 divisional record, which would get them 88 wins on the season if they play the same against the rest of their opponents. There is every reason to believe they can accomplish this.

It’s not like they lucked their way into a 77-win season last year with the roster they had. Their Pythagorean W-L record based on runs scored and runs allowed puts them at 75 wins, and they had a 23-23 record in 1 run games. In other words, they weren’t getting that lucky. They just had a bunch of memorable game winners. Their record reflects exactly how they played. This was a genuine breakout season. AJ Hinch unlocked something with this team and Al Avila and Chris Illich broke out the financial muscle to take it to the next level.

The projected fWAR from all their major offseason signings and trades comes out to be 13.4 fWAR, which would give them about a 90 wins season if you do the highly inexact straight addition to last year’s record. Pretty close to 88 wins. Still if they can just focus on beating up on their own divisional foes, things should take care of themselves. I don’t expect them to have a winning record vs Chicago, but the rest are beatable. Especially when you consider how right-handed heavy the starting rotations of the division are. The 3 best lefty starters in the entire division right now might all be in the Tigers opening rotation. Two of the teams don’t even have a left-handed starter in their projected starting rotation! Meadows CRUSHES right-handed pitching and the Tigers can send out 4 additional left-handed or switch-hitting players in their regular lineup once Greene returns. The plan of attack for the season that the Tigers have come up with cannot be clearer. WIN AGAINST YOUR OWN DIVISION. I think they can and will do that.

Rob Rogacki

88 wins, FIRST place

MVP: Baez,

Cy: Rodriguez

ROY: Torkelson

Yeah, I’m calling it. The Tigers were better than their record indicated last year, nearly pulling back to .500 after a dreadful April. They were above .500 from May 1 onward, and played .521 ball in the second half. Any drop-off from players like Robbie Grossman, Jeimer Candelario, and the catcher position should be at the very least offset by the additions of Baez, Meadows, and Torkelson, and one imagines the pitching should only get better. I think the bullpen is a major issue, but let’s be honest: that has been the case for going on 20 years now. I don’t think they are a 90-win team, so this prediction hinges partially on things going wrong in Chicago and Minnesota, but the White Sox aren’t exactly off to a great start on the injury front so far, and Minnesota’s pitching is suspect.

Cameron Kaiser

82 wins, third place.

MVP: Baez

Cy: Skubal

ROY: Greene

I’m a natural pessimist and I’m trying to keep myself from being disappointed if this young Tigers team doesn’t make the jump many seem to be expecting this season. Make no mistake, the Tigers are a team on the rise that should have success sooner rather than later. However, the fact that the Tigers will be relying a ton on those young players is why I’m not ready to predict playoffs just yet. I think Greene and Torkelson will be good, and I think Mize and Skubal will be very good, but none will be good enough to carry a team to the top of the division given that the pitching depth is exceptionally thin and the bullpen looks to be bad (again).

Improvements were certainly made this offseason, but the team overperformed last year, and betting on that to happen again is a tough thing to do. There’s certainly a path to the playoffs this season, but it involves just about everything breaking Detroit’s way along the way. I’m very excited about the trajectory of this team, but am not ready to project the Tigers as a competitor for a playoff spot.

Edit: (At this point, the Chris Paddack for Taylor Rogers deal between Padres and Twins goes down)

Rob

Ok maybe Minnesota’s rotation is less suspect now but they just got rid of their best bullpen arm from a pen that wasn’t very good last year.

Peter

Brought in a RH starter that hasn’t put it together in 2 years and shipped out their lefty closer. Thanks Twins!

Fielder’s Choice

79 wins, third place.

MVP: Javy Báez

CY: Gregory Soto

ROY: Spencer Torkelson

Regression from a few players will mostly negate the gains made by the new additions, and we may learn that the youth movement still needs some time to get up to speed. Look for the real jump to happen in 2023.

Zane Harding

87 wins, 2nd in AL Central

Team MVP: Javier Baez (can’t see him not leading our team in fWAR)

Team Cy: Eduardo Rodriguez

Team ROY: Spencer Torkelson

Highly expecting a strong upward trend. Hard team for projections to guess due to all of the young talent. Most usually point to the prospects, but the impact that Hinch’s coaching staff has already had on Mize/Manning/Skubal leads me to expect a very positive year from the rotation. That, plus a lineup that I legitimately like with Meadows’ arrival, leads me to think we crack .500 in a fairly weak division, and sneak into a wildcard.

Mr. Sunshine

95 wins, 1st AL Central (that’s right, I went there)

MVP: Tarik Skubal

Team Cy Young: Tarik Skubal

Team ROY: Spencer Torkelson

This is the year Skubal rounds into an elite starting pitcher, improving his command to the point hitters are wearing diapers to face him in case his pitches cause them to lose control of their bowels. Tork comes in and hits bomb after bomb while a smiling Miggy is having the best time in years, knowing the future is bright. The White Sox can’t overcome an early slide with half their team injured, and settle for second place and a wild card spot. The rotation ends up as a pretty great strength, as Skubal, Mize, E-Rod, and a sneaky great season from Tyler Alexander (who is just good enough they keep him in the rotation full time by mid-season) power one of the AL’s best groups. Riley Greene misses a few months but comes back gives Tork a run for his money on ROY, but the time costs him the title. The infield defense is so improved it’s a legit shock when ground balls find the outfield grass, and Arby’s has to move to a 4 HR free curly fries promotion due to the power surge from the offense.

Brandon

You really are Mr. Sunshine!

Mr. Sunshine

Someone in the AL/NL thread was harping on us for not being big enough fans, so I went big here. but I absolutely think Skubal is in for a breakout season.

(is currently wearing a Skubal t-shirt)

Brandon

I agree with that. Think E-Rod has the best season of his career and Skubal gives him a decent run for his money for best pitcher on the team. Come on bullpen. Hold it together. (the yearly prayer of all Tigers fans)

Peter

Wait, the promo isn’t already 3HR for curly fries? Did they drop it to something lower cause of the crappiness of the team recently?

Cameron

It was 3 runs last year lol. 3 HR was 2010-2016 with the big boppers lol

Adam Dubbin

80 wins, 3rd in AL Central

Team MVP: Javier Baez

Team Cy: Eduardo Rodriguez

Team ROY: Spencer Torkelson

It will be a fun but still frustrating year as the Tigers try to claw their way out of the cocoon of mediocrity they’ve been mired in since undertaking the youth movement. My confidence in the three individual awards picks is near zero as I suspect there will be some surprise performers this season, but the names I listed will serve as spacefillers in case I’m wrong. Before the latest rash of injuries, I was willing to give the Tigers 83 wins and 2nd place in the AL Central, but I fear the injury bug will be as persistent as a summer mosquito in the Everglades as the dog days roll through.

Jay Markle

82 wins, 3rd in AL Central

MVP: Austin Meadows

Cy Young: Eduardo Rodriguez

ROY: Spencer Torkelson

The only part of this prediction I feel confident about is placing Tork as the team’s best rookie. Had Greene been healthy entering the season, I think I’d have chosen him, but that broken foot is a killer. The prediction I feel least confident about is Detroit’s place within the division. There are universes diverging not too far from ours with the Tigers anywhere from best of the batch to fourth of five.For the Tigers to get to the postseason, they have to eke out more production than last year from the relief corps. Early injuries are a bad, bad omen but Alex Lange stands out as a candidate to fill big shoes. His late season emergence seems repeatable due to a change in pitch mix and improved fastball command. Thanks, Coach Fetter!

Meadows is a bit of an against-the-grain selection, and I understand why Baez leads the vote. However, with so little reliable depth at shortstop and a legitimately good - not great, but good - outfield rotation, AJ Hinch will have an easier time protecting Meadows from pitchers he shouldn’t be allowed to face late in games or on the occasional start than the free-swinging El Mago. The opportunity to shave a little negative production off Meadows’ season will, in my eyes, give him the better chance at the best overall season.

Brandon

Yeah I thought about Meadows for the same reason. AJ says he’s going to play everyday, but also that this doesn’t mean he might not sit against a tough lefty. Pretty confident that whatever the coach-speak, AJ will get the best out of the group.