2022 Detroit Tigers Predictions and Odds to Win the World Series
The Detroit Tigers will head into the 2022 season with the hopes of capitalizing on a weak division after going 77-85 in 2021. They possess a young roster and added a few veteran pieces this offseason with the hopes to flip into “win-now” mode.
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Detroit made some waves this offseason, which began by inking former Red Sox pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez to a five-year $77 million deal. The lefty had some struggles allowing runs and had a 4.74 ERA, but he also posted the highest strikeout rate (27.4%) and lowest walk rate (7.0%) of his career. Rodriguez is expected to serve as the veteran presence amongst the youthful pitching staff and will be the ace in the rotation.
Javier Baez was also brought in during free agency as he agreed to a 6-year $140 million deal with Detroit. This move will allow Willi Castro to move to his more natural position at second base and improve the defensive issues that the Tigers faced last season. The franchise also added two-time Gold Glove winner Tucker Barnhart at catcher to stick with this theme of improving defensively.
The Tigers also acquired Austin Meadows from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for Isaac Paredes and a draft pick. They also have Meadows’ brother in their minor league system, which would be a cool story to watch if Parker Meadows is able to make his way to the big leagues. This is more than just a feel-good move as a real argument could be made that Meadows will now be the most complete hitter in the Tigers lineup.
For the most part, the Tigers kept their 2021 roster intact. Utility player Niko Goodrum moved to the Houston Astros after playing in 90 games with the Tigers last season. The San Francisco Giants also stole left-handed pitcher Matthew Boyd away from Detroit after a solid 2021 season. Boyd was productive last season, but Eduardo Rodriguez is expected to be an upgrade for the franchise.
Projected Lineup (2021 stats):
- Akil Baddoo (OF)- .259 13 HR
- Robbie Grossman (OF)- .239 BA 23 HR
- Javier Baez (SS)- .299 BA 9 HR
- Austin Meadows (OF)- .234 BA 27 HR
- Miguel Cabrera (DH)- .256 BA 15 HR
- Jeimer Candelario (3B)- .271 16 HR
- Jonathan Schoop (3B)- .278 BA 22 HR
- Spencer Torkelson (1B)- N/A
- Tucker Barnhart (C)- .247 BA 7 HR
This is a youthful squad, but the pieces are falling in place for the Tigers to be competitive. Spencer Torkelson is one of the top six prospects in the majors and is expected to make the leap into the starting role at first base this season. Riley Greene is also a top-six prospect but unfortunately picked up a foot injury that will sideline him for a good portion of the season. If the outfielder can return to his high level of play, he could provide a positive boost later in the season. There will be some growing pains with this Tigers team, but they are set to be a fun team to watch at the minimum.
Projected Rotation (2021 stats):
- Eduardo Rodriguez- 4.74 ERA
- Casey Mize- 3.71 ERA
- Tarik Skubal- 4.34 ERA
- Matt Manning- 4.81 ERA
- Tyler Alexander- 3.81 ERA
Outside of Eduardo Rodriguez, the entire Detroit Tigers starting staff is age 26 or younger. Each player has shown some exciting flashes in their development but also carries some risk because of their age and lack of experience. Each of the four youthful starters has fewer than 200 career innings pitched in the MLB which is unique for a starting staff.
While the changes made to the roster indicate the team is heading in the right direction, they still have plenty of work to do. The Tigers have +7000 odds to win the World Series and +800 to win the AL Central, which both seem to be ambitious goals for the franchise. Their win total for the season has been set at 77.5, which is somewhat surprising considering their 77-85 record last season.
Given the upgrades that the team has made, this should be a total the youthful team should comfortably hit. Making the leap into a playoff team seems to be a stretch, as indicated by the +350 odds, but winning a minimum of 78 games will be a much easier task and is a worthwhile bet. One player prop that is worth taking advantage of is Javier Baez over 26.5 home runs on the season. There is some disappointment in the addition due to how heavily the Tigers were linked to Carlos Correa, but Baez will still make an extremely positive addition, and this is a bit of a prove-it year for him. Baez has hit over 26.5 home runs in a season three times already in his career and will be looked at to provide a spark in the Detroit lineup which he should deliver on now that he is fully healthy.
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