The expectation for 2021, on the other hand, is much the same as it was when COVID-19 interrupted the 2020 season. The Detroit Tigers have a number of fascinating prospects who are expected to arrive this season. This summer, the Tigers did an excellent job of signing veterans to one-year, low-risk contracts. They also have an abundance of young talent ready to step up.
If health permits, Miguel Cabrera will return to the plate at age 40. If he can stay healthy, the Tigers have no reason to believe that they cannot win another World Series. Even if they do not win another World Series, they should still be considered contenders for most of the next decade thanks to their top-notch farm system.
The Tigers are extremely unlikely to make the playoffs in 2021. Their greatest chance is to sneak into the wild card race, as they are now 9.5 games behind the Oakland A's, who currently occupy the coveted bottom slot. However, there are five teams to overcome in order to get there.
In addition to the Athletics, the Yankees, Mariners and Red Sox all have better records than them. The Tigers do not have much time left in their current contract with Dan Haren, so if they want to keep him around, they will need to be more successful in the future. He is a free agent after this season.
If they were to make the postseason, it would be because of the wild card. Since the introduction of the system in 2014, only two teams that didn't win their division have made the playoffs: the 2016 Cubs and the 2019 Nationals. Both of these teams had very little chance of winning their division before the season began; the Tigers could be the third team to do so this year.
However, both of these teams had enormous advantages over the other teams in their leagues. The Cubs were considered by many to be the favorite to win the NL Central before the season began, while the Nationals were expected to dominate in D.C. After losing their first two games, each team went on a hot streak and never looked back.
The Detroit Tigers want to improve on their 23-35 record from the previous year's truncated season. It was their third last-place finish in the AL Central in the in four years. The Detroit Tigers' MLB futures odds, including their projected 2021 victory total and World Series odds, are shown below, courtesy of BetMGM.
They have the second-lowest odds to win the AL Central (behind the Chicago White Sox), but have the best odds to win the World Series.
The Tigers had one of the worst offenses in baseball in 2019. They ranked dead last in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, runs scored, and total bases hit. Their -999 OPS was also the lowest in the AL.
Notable hitters lost to free agency this off-season include Jacob Ellsbury, Matt Kemp, and Nelson Cruz. The Tigers also traded away Justin Verlander and David Price during the offseason. This makes them a very risky team to bet on in 2020.
However, they do have some young talent on board who could lead the way back to the playoffs. Tyler Davis will be called upon to replace the loss of Cabrera at the top of the lineup. He hit.292 with 14 home runs and 77 RBI over 143 games in 2019. Nicholas Castellanos is another young player who could break out in 2020. He finished with 29 homers and 99 RBI last season while playing first base and the outfield.