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For whatever reason, the Detroit Tigers just haven’t clicked this season like they did last year. You would assume that the addition of Prince Fielder over the offseason would help the Tigers, but they’re currently under .500 and one of the worst teams in the AL. I don’t mean worst talent-wise, but worst WAR-wise, according to FanGraphs.
What is surprising is that Fielder and Miguel Cabrera have played very well, yet the Tigers still can’t seem to figure it out. Austin Jackson, who had been pretty bad over the last few seasons, has been incredible for Detroit this year and leads the offense in WAR.
Outside of Justin Verlander, the Tigers' pitching staff hasn’t been very impressive either. Max Scherzer and Rick Porcello—the team’s No. 2 and No. 3 starters—have been adequate at best this season. Even Jose Valverde, who was dominant last season, hasn’t been sharp.
The AL Central is still very up for grabs, which is a big part of the reason the Tigers aren’t close to being out of the division yet. They don’t have the easiest second-half schedule, but if the pitching can step up their game, the Tigers should be in good shape.
If GM Dave Dombrowski isn’t satisfied with the pitching by the trade deadline, look for the Tigers to make a move. As Fox Sports’ Jon Morosi tweets, Shaun Marcum could be an option for them. Detroit also might get a boost to their lineup if Victor Martinez can quickly recover from his torn ACL, though Chris Iott of MLive.com writes it wouldn’t be until late September.
Either way, I wouldn’t be too worried if I were a Tigers fan. There are plenty of games left to be played, and you can’t count out a team with Justin Verlander on it.