Different team. Same story.
Last year at this time, the Detroit Tigers were projected by many to not only win the American League Central, but finish with the most wins in baseball and contend for the World Series crown. They didnít quite get there, losing to the Boston Red Sox in the ALCS.
This year, despite losing slugger Prince Fielder, right-hander Doug Fister and closer Joaquin Benoit, among others, the projection is the same from sabermetrician Clay Davenport, the co-founder of Baseball Prospectus: The Tigers will finish 91-71, win the AL Central for a fourth consecutive year and finish with the most wins in baseball in manager Brad Ausmusí first season.
The Tigers also have a 75 percent chance to make the postseason. Davenport has the Cleveland Indians finishing 85-77, followed by the Chicago White Sox at 79-83, the Kansas City Royals at 77-85 and the Minnesota Twins at 72-90.
To replace some of their off-season losses, the Tigers added second baseman Ian Kinsler in the Fielder trade with the Texas Rangers, plus closer Joe Nathan and utility players and releivers such as outfielder Rajai Davis, infielder Steve Lombardozzi and reliever Ian Krol.
Right behind the Tigers at 90-72 are the Tampa Bay Rays and the St. Louis Cardinals.
Davenport describes how he came up with these projections below his projected standings, using a combination of computerized player projections and expected playing times for each player.
Bovada currently has the Tigers at 17-to-2 odds to win the World Series, behind only the Los Angeles Dodgers at 13-to-2.