Will the Detroit Tigers and San Francisco Giants happen to meet again for a World Series rematch? It’s just one of many baseball possibilities in 2013. (rbglasson, Flickr)
—You can read part one of our preview here.
As everyone can attest, the beginning of any new season just wouldn’t be exciting without offering some predictions. With that in mind, we put our prognosticator hats on today and take a look at some thoughts for how things might turn out in 2013, both for the Tigers and baseball in general.
Don’t worry, if we happen to be wrong, we’ll be sure to admit it along the way.
The Most Exciting Tiger In 2013 Will Be…
Max DeMara: Max Scherzer. No, it’s not because we share first names, either. Scherzer was one of the more exciting pitchers on the roster the second half of last season, and he’s primed to repeat that performance. Pitching with Anibal Sanchez for a full year should give him a boost. Expect to see some dominating games out of Scherzer near the top of Detroit’s rotation, as he’s capable of mowing people down with strikeouts and grabbing wins.
Chris Burke: Austin Jackson. He really found himself last season, and I think he’s ready to take an even bigger step forward this year. If Jackson ever discovers the art of stealing bases, he could be a 20-20 guy and an absolute nightmare for opposing pitchers.
Andrew Tomlinson: Victor Martinez, hands down, we saw what he could do before he was injured and I am very excited to see what he does now in that lineup with Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera hitting in front of him.
Rob Starrs: Victor Martinez is a wild card this year. He has looked good in Lakeland, healthy and happy. He is such a big boost for the clubhouse and I think he has a big year. With him only being a designated hitter, it will be all about excitement on offense so Martinez can do his thing in the batters box.
One Bold Prediction For This Year:
DeMara: Things won’t end exactly as planned, meaning, everyone is already assuming the Tigers will do big things in the playoffs and finally win a World Series. They neglect the fact that the Los Angeles Angels are also loaded, and if they get some pitching, it would be a dogfight for Detroit just to make it back to the championship round. As it stands now, I see the Tigers losing in the ALCS to the Angels, perhaps letting many fans down.
Burke: Max Scherzer wins the Cy Young. Well, you asked for something bold. If Scherzer pitches like he did over the second half last year, this is a possibility — he might lead the league in strikeouts, is capable of an ERA around 3 and, with this team, could approach 20 victories.
Tomlinson: Phil Coke becomes the Tigers’ closer of the future for the time being after seizing it from Bruce Rondon early on in the season.
Starrs: The Tigers will win 100 games this year.
Which Central Division Team Will Be Detroit’s Biggest Roadblock?
DeMara: Cleveland Indians. Perhaps not from the standpoint of being a true contender, but Cleveland played Detroit unnecessarily tough last year stealing some games, and with Terry Francona now in the dugout and a few key additions, expect that to happen again. Nobody expects the Indians to contend, but they have enough pesky players to make the Tigers’ lives miserable for a few series here and there.
Burke: Chicago White Sox. I know Kansas City is (again) the chic pick, but I still need to see that franchise succeed even a little bit before I deem them a true contender. As like last year, I think the White Sox will be better than people expect, and that lineup will win them a decent number of ball games.
Tomlinson: Chicago White Sox.
Starrs: The Kansas City Royals have been giving the Tigers fits for the past 5 years. They are a young hungry team that could push the Tigers throughout the year.
Take Your Pick (each division winner + ALCS + NLCS + World Series)
DeMara: Blue Jays, Tigers, Angels, Braves, Reds, Dodgers. ALCS: Angels over Tigers. NLCS: Dodgers over Braves. World Series: Angels over Dodgers.
Burke: Rays, Tigers, Angels, Braves, Reds, Diamondbacks. ALCS: Tigers vs. Angels. NLCS: Reds vs. Nationals. World Series: Tigers over Reds.
Tomlinson: Blue Jays, Tigers, Angels, Nationals, Reds, Dodgers. ALCS: Tigers. NLCS: Nationals. World Series: Tigers over Nationals.
Starrs: Orioles, Tigers, Angels, Nationals, Brewers, Dodgers. ALCS: Tigers over Angels. NLCS: Nationals over Dodgers. World Series: Tigers over Nationals.
Max DeMara is a senior editor at The Detroit Sports Site. You can find him on Twitter @SportsGuyTheMax