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Considering a best bet for the Detroit Tigers 2020 win total

The rebuilding Tigers improved their lineup with the addition of C.J. Cron and Jonathan Schoop. Is it enough to keep them competitive in 2020? We discuss that and thoughts on their win total during the regular season.

Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Matt Boyd delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The bar isn’t set high for the Detroit Tigers to outperform their 2019 season. When you end the regular season with a 47-114 record, you can only go up from here, right?

While it certainly would be quite a feat for a team to lose over 110+ games for a second straight season, the outlook on this team isn’t very promising. As they continue to go through their rebuilding process, they’ll look to avoid being the team with the most losses in the league for the second-straight season. Let’s take a look at what they’ve done and how the upcoming season projects.

Additions

SP Ivan Nova
C Austin Romine
C Eric Haase
1B C.J. Cron
2B Jonathan Schoop

Subtractions

SP Tyson Ross

Offseason news

To their credit, the Tigers did add some power to their lineup. They signed two former Twins players who combined for 48 home runs and 137 RBI last season. While Cron and Schoop will most certainly contribute to a higher strikeout rate for this team, the power they provide is undeniable. Cron should slide right into the cleanup spot in the order while Schoop while likely land either fifth or sixth.

The question to answer whether or not they will have men on base to knock in. The Tigers were dead last in OBP last season at .294, as they were only one of two teams who had an OBP under .300. With JaCoby Jones and Niko Goodrum projected at the top of the lineup, it’s not exactly players you’d normally slot at the top of your lineup with neither player posting an OBP higher than .322 last season. Nonetheless, these guys can knock in runs on their own and this will help a team that was second to last in both home runs and OPS.

The Tigers also added Ivan Nova to their rotation, who should slot into the number three spot in their rotation. Nova is far from an attractive name from a fantasy perspective with his lack of strikeouts but he displays very good control and will provide plenty of innings. Nova has made at least 26 starts since 2016 while pitching for four different clubs. His presence in the rotation will come behind Matt Boyd and Jordan Zimmermann. As the season progresses, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Tigers take a look at their top Casey Mize, who scouts are projecting to one day be the ace of this staff. However, if and when that time comes, it likely won’t be enough to save this Tigers season.

The biggest hole on this team comes with their bullpen. Joe Jimenez should be closing out games while Buck Farmer will set him up. Before they get to that point, however, is anyone’s guess. The Tigers bullpen allowed the fifth-most runs and home runs in the league. While the offseason isn’t over, the Tigers have yet to address this need and instead could decide to go with some of their young arms to fill those roles. John Schriber, Gregory Soto and Bryan Garcia should all have a role once again in this bullpen.

Best bet

As you’d expect, the Tigers win total for the upcoming season is set very low. Amongst all 30 teams, they have the second-lowest total, set at 57.5 on DraftKings Sportsbook. Only the Orioles have a lower total by just a game at 56.5. For me, I couldn’t imagine taking the over on this total with an organization that is so early in the rebuilding process. The Tigers are fully committed to rebuilding their team and rightfully so. They have a good farm system and in a couple of years, we’ll likely be talking about a competitive Tigers team. Even with the upgrades in their lineup, I don’t see it as a 10 game swing in terms of their win total from last season.

Detroit Tigers UNDER 57.5 wins

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