The Detroit Tigers are on their final leg of the 2021 MLB season.
Making the postseason is out of the realm of reasonable possibility, but the Tigers have still made positive strides this year.
With 21 games remaining, there are also still some storylines to keep an eye on these final weeks of play.
Detroit Tigers’ chase for .500: Mark not likely
The Tigers come into this weekend at 66-75 on the season following a 5-1 win Wednesday over the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Detroit has flirted with the .500 mark at times this season, but it doesn’t appear as if the Tigers will be able to get there this season. The closest they have come since the opening weeks was within three games, when they were 58-61 on Aug. 14.
The Tigers have their next 12 games against current division leaders in the Tampa Bay Rays, the Milwaukee Brewers and the Chicago White Sox.
Even if Detroit does stumble down the stretch, the Tigers are still certain to go over projected win totals heading into the start of the season. The prospect for 70 wins even seemed like a great stretch after a 9-24 start to the year.
Still, there are some odds available
The Tigers are still mathematically in the race in the AL Central and the Wild Card.
However, Detroit currently sits 15 games behind the White Sox for first in the division. In the Wild Card, Detroit is 13 games behind the New York Yankees for the final playoff spot.
That sort of rally isn’t happening.
Yet, odds are still being offered for the Tigers to win the World Series and the AL Central. DraftKings Sportsbook has Detroit’s World Series and AL championship odds at +100000.
The odds to win the AL Central remain the same, as the White Sox are currently listed at -100000.
Two players are still in the season awards chase based on having available odds.
Akil Baddoo remains in the AL Rookie of the Year hunt at +8000 odds, according to BetMGM Sportsbook. Tampa’s Randy Arozarena remains the favorite at -130.
Baddoo is hitting .258 this season with 12 home runs, 20 doubles and 49 RBI.
Matthew Boyd is surprisingly listed by DraftKings in the AL Cy Young race. Boyd had +20000 odds to win the honor. Gerrit Cole is a -105 favorite, while former Tiger Robbie Ray is at +140.
Boyd has started 15 games this season and is just 3-8. However, he has a 3.89 ERA with a 1.27 WHIP. Boyd has 67 strikeouts and 23 walks, and his ERA is going to be a career-best unless he falls apart in his final starts.
In Friday’s series opener with Tampa, Boyd gets the start. Detroit is listed as a +125 underdog at home to the Rays and starter Michael Wacha.
2021 World Series, Rookie of the Year, Cy Young Odds
Detroit Tigers vs. Tampa Bay Rays Odds
Miguel Cabrera on the hunt for 3,000 hits
Miguel Cabrera remains a focal point for Tigers fans and the national media.
Fresh off Cabrera hitting the 500-home run mark last month, he is now closing in on 3,000 career hits.
The Tigers’ first baseman is coming off a big back-to-back performance against Pittsburgh, going 7-of-8 with two doubles and three RBI.
Cabrera enters this weekend series with 2,971 career hits. It’s tough to see him getting 29 hits over 21 potential games, but stranger things have happened.
The veteran face of the Tigers has put together a positive season after struggling out of the gate. Cabrera was well below the Mendoza line for the early stages of 2021. However, he now is hitting .261 for the year with 15 home runs and 66 RBI.
When he eventually reaches 3,000 hits, Cabrera will be the seventh player in MLB history with both 3,000 hits and 500 home runs. He will join Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Rafael Palmeiro, Albert Pujols, Alex Rodriguez and Eddie Murray.
Don’t look for Tigers’ top prospects this month
One question throughout the 2021 season was: “When will we see Spencer Torkelson and Riley Greene?”
The answer to that appears to be — you won’t.
Manager AJ Hinch recently came out and said the duo won’t make their MLB debuts in 2021, as he wants them to fully develop in the minors before moving up in 2022.
Both were called up to Triple-A Toledo in mid-August, and that is where they will remain for the time being.
The Tigers selected Torkelson first overall in the 2020 MLB Draft as a third baseman, but Hinch said the Torkelson is the future first baseman for Detroit.
This year, over three different minor league stops, Torkelson is hitting .266 with 26 home runs, 23 doubles and 78 RBI.
Greene was taken fifth overall by the Tigers in the 2019 MLB Draft. The outfielder is hitting .299 over two minor league stops this year. He has 21 home runs, 20 doubles, seven triples and 74 RBI. Greene also has stolen 14 bases.