Justin Verlander was so dominant in 2011 that he was named both the MVP and the Cy Young winner. The last time a pitcher from the American League won both awards in the same year was in 1992 (Dennis Eckersley).
Verlander is one of the most consistent pitchers in baseball. Since 2009, Verlander has logged 200-plus innings, 20-plus strikeouts, and at least 18 wins per season.
In 2011, the Tigers went into the season with Verlander and questions with the rest of the rotation.
In 2012, it’s a different story. The Tigers have a really solid pitching rotation this year. They have a good young arm in Rick Porcello. In 2011, Porcello made big strides in becoming a legit Major League pitcher. Porcello finished the year 14-9, with over 100 strikeouts.
The knock on Porcello this year has been his 4.75 ERA from a year ago. People tend to forget that he is only 23 years old. If Porcello continues to make natural improvement, he could be a really good number two by year's end.
Doug Fister was acquired from the Seattle Mariners last summer in a trade. While with Seattle, Fister was 3-12 with a 3.33 ERA. When he arrived in Detroit, something changed in his pitching. He finished the year with Detroit at 8-1 as a starter with an ERA of 1.79.
Verlander, Porcello, and Fister could be a really good one, two, three punch for the Tigers. And you cannot forget about Max Scherzer. Scherzer finished 2011 with a record of 15-9. He also had his highest ERA of his career in 2011. Scherzer is going to improve on his career-high ERA, and that could lead to more than 15 wins.
The starting pitching staff for the Tigers is one of the best in baseball.