It may be a frigid wasteland across the state of Michigan, but MLB spring training is right around the corner.
Pitchers and catchers reported for the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday. The rest of the roster will join them today, while the first spring training game is next Sunday.
With a new manager and a young roster, what are the odds for the 2021 Tigers? Well, to put it bluntly, not good.
Detroit Tigers among the longest odds in 2021
Online sports betting sites in Michigan are not looking too highly at the 2021 Detroit Tigers right now.
Across the board, Detroit finds itself as one of the teams with the longest odds to win a championship of any kind.
|Detroit Tigers 2021 Season Odds||BetMGM||DraftKings||FanDuel||PointsBet||William Hill|
|World Series Winner||+8000||+25000||+10000||+10000||+10000|
|AL Central Winner||+4000||+4000||+4000||+4500||+4000|
When it comes to the World Series, the Tigers’ odds range from +8000 to +25000. DraftKings Sportsbook is the place that really doesn’t care for Detroit’s chances.
In the ALCS chase, most books are listing the Tigers at +6000 to win the pennant.
When it comes to the AL Central, the Tigers are largely listed at +4000 to emerge as the winner this season.
If you plan to make a World Series wager on Detroit, do a little line shopping to find the best value. But also keep in mind the changes the Tigers are dealing with this year, too.
A.J. Hinch gets his second chance with the Tigers
Late in the 2020 season, Ron Gardenhire announced his retirement as manager of the Tigers due to health concerns. Gardenhire was in the midst of his third season with the club.
Looking to make a splash, GM and President Al Avila hired A.J. Hinch to take over the reins.
Hinch is fresh off a year-long suspension for his role in the Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal. That led him to lose his job despite winning the World Series with Houston in 2017.
The hire drew some negative criticism from the national media, but Hinch does have an impressive record over five seasons with Houston.
Hinch racked up a 481-329 record with four playoff appearances and two ALCS championships. He did so with a similar roster build that the Tigers are trying to do now.
Hinch takes over a Tigers club that has not posted more than 64 wins in the last four seasons and was just 23-35 in the COVID-shortened 2020 season.
Detroit has finished fifth in the AL Central in three of the last four seasons.
Unproven pitching staff taking the mound
Only three teams allowed more runs in the American League last season than the Detroit Tigers. Detroit posted a 5.63 team ERA in 2020 with a 1.43 WHIP.
This year’s pitching staff should be an interesting mix for Detroit. The Tigers have a lot of promise behind young arms like Casey Mize, Tarik Skubal, and Matt Manning.
Mize was the No. 1 pick of the 2018 MLB Draft and he made seven starts in 2020. While he was 0-3 with a 6.99 ERA, he still showed some electric stuff, recording 26 strikeouts in 28.1 innings.
Skubal, a 2018 MLB Draft pick, started seven games last season and had a 5.63 ERA with a 1.22 WHIP.
Manning was a first-round pick in 2016 that has yet to make his MLB debut. He was the 2019 Eastern League Pitcher of the Year and was part of the 2019 All-Star Futures Game.
Spencer Turnbull was the most successful of the arms last year with a 4-4 record and 3.97 ERA. He and Matthew Boyd combined for 23 starts in 2020 and will be back to lead the rotation in the beginning of the year.
Jose Urena will also factor in after signing a 1-year, $3.25 million contract in December. He was 0-3 with a 5.40 ERA last season with Miami Marlins.
In the bullpen, the Tigers bring back Bryan Garcia at closer. He recorded four saves last season and had 1.66 ERA over 21.2 innings, which was by far best on the team.
Consistent offense a big question for Detroit
Detroit had some flashes of hitting during 2020, but still finished with just 249 runs, which ranked 23rd in MLB.
Miguel Cabrera is back for his 19th season and coming off a 10-home run, 35-RBI season over 57 games. The veteran has struggled with injuries over recent years, but Avila believes Cabrera is coming to camp in great shape.
After a slow start to 2020, Jeimer Candelario became one of Detroit’s top hitters. He finished second on the team with 29 RBI while hitting .297. Candelario led the team in total bases for the season with 93.
Willi Castro was a pleasant surprise at shortstop in 2020, hitting .349 over 36 games with six home runs and 24 RBI.
After seeing Austin Romine sign with the Chicago Cubs, Detroit brought in veteran Wilson Ramos on a 1-year, $2 million deal. Ramos hit just .239 last season with 15 RBI.
Should Detroit struggle again this year, we could see prospects like Riley Greene and 2020 No. 1 pick Spencer Torkelson.
Those hoping for a miracle season from Detroit are likely not getting it in 2021. However, the Tigers seem to be building a promising future that could lead to success sooner rather than later.