MLB Predictions 2011: Can Miguel Cabrera Get Detroit Tigers Back to the Playoffs
Miguel Cabrera and the Detroit Tigers were in the news a lot this past offseason. Sure, they signed Victor Martinez and Joaquin Benoit, but it was for more wrong reasons that they found themselves in the headlines recently.
Following another incident involving Cabrera and his drinking problem, many people began to wonder what would happen next to the star slugger and the Tigers. Everyone knows that as Miggy goes, the Tigers go as well. The question remains, can Cabrera put his demons behind him and help lead Detroit back into the postseason?
MLB.com polled a panel of analysts to give their 2011 predictions, and they selected the Tigers' slugger to take home some hardware this season.
MLB.com's panelists said that "If Cabrera's off-the-field troubles are behind him, an MVP-type season would be truly amazing, and, without a doubt, one of the best storylines of 2011."
Yet as strong as they feel about Cabrera as a player, they do not feel the same way about his team in the Motor City.
That same panel said that the Minnesota Twins will come out as American League Central champions, saying that "The health of Justin Morneau and Joe Mauer likely will determine whether the Twins, quietly as always, win a third straight AL Central title. That's old hat. The real trick in Minnesota would be making it out of the ALDS -- they haven't done that in five tries since 2002."
The Chicago White Sox happen to be my pick for the division, although I do see the Twins getting in as the wild card winners. Chicago has an incredible lineup, while Minnesota has very deep pitching.
The Tigers could have a very good season, and they could compete for the division. But they have too many questions at the back end of the rotation and the bottom half of the lineup for me to make them the favorites. I am just not completely sold on Rick Porcello and Max Scherzer quiet yet, and I have little hope that Brad Penny can stay healthy for an entire season.
For more on the first pitches from every game, make sure to check out Bleacher Report Mets Featured Columnist Ash Marshall, who takes a look at MLB Opening Day 2011: 20 memories, Stats and Facts from Baseball's Opening Day.
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