Note: This article is written collaboratively by Richard Duma and Benji Kramer.
With the Detroit Tigers series against the White Sox being split 1-1 so far with a game remaining, the Motor City squad is 9-6 and sitting at 2nd in the AL Central 0.5 games back of the Twins, and a half of a game ahead of the Indians.
Even though Detroit is over .500 by 3 games, they’re run differential is 0, and they have played the Reds, Royals, and White Sox so far.
In terms of stats, JaCoby Jones is leading in batting average at .311, as well as home runs with 5, and RBIs with 12, meaning that if the season ended today JaCoby Jones would have the Tiger Triple Crown. He also leads the team in OPS at 1.113.
Pitching-wise, Spencer Turnbull leads the team with 2 wins, and also leads Detroit in ERA at an impressive 2.00. He also has the most strikeouts on the team with 18.
Joe Jieminez has 5 saves for us, and Buck Farmer has 4 holds in the set up spot.
Looking at where we stand as a team, the Tigers are 10th in the MLB in OPS at .741, and smack dab in the middle in batting average at .234 at the 15th spot.
Detroit is 7th in dingers, hitting 24 balls out of the fair fences so far, and 15th in RBIs with 73. Detroit is also 16th in runs scored at 77.
Pitching has been somewhat of a struggle for the Tigers, as they have a team ERA of 5.11, which is 26th in the MLB.
The Tigers have also given up 75 earned runs, which is 11th most in the MLB, and they’ve given up 19 homers, which is 19th in the majors.
Detroit has had some struggle striking batters out, as they have only 105 through 15 games, which is 27th in that department. Their WHIP isn’t terrible at 1.30, however, which is the 17th lowest in the league.
With the standings and stats being covered, let’s recap our thoughts about the first 15 games of the Tigers’ season.
At 9-6, did you expect the Tigers to have this record at this point in the season?
Benji’s Take: I didn’t expect this at all. If you would have told me in March that the Tigers would be 9-6 15 games in, I would have laughed in your face and called you a homer. I thought they would be somewhere below the .500 mark.
Richard’s Take: I expected Detroit to get off to a halfway decent start, probably somewhere around 5-10 to 8-7, but I’m surprised the Tigers have gotten off to this start.
Even though our pitching has still been subpar, our bats are looking solid, and we’re playing like a .500 team instead of a team that would finish 10-15 games under.
Do you think the Tigers can keep up this kind of play?
Benji’s Take: It’s kind of hard to tell. I think they are good enough to beat good teams but not great teams, as they are 3-3 against the only playoff team they’ve played in the Cincinnati Reds. So we’ll see what happens, but I think they will stay around the .500 mark for the rest of the season.
Richard’s Take: I don’t know if the Tigers can keep playing as good as they are now, but it’s not completely unrealistic to say the Tigers are capable of finishing the season around .500.
You could argue that 15 games is a small sample size, but you have to remember that that’s ¼ of the whole entire season.
Which players have you been most impressed with so far?
Benji’s Take: Obviously I’m most impressed with Jacoby Jones. The dude has been playing out of his mind. A player that’s also having a sneaky good season is Victor Reyes.
Reyes is batting .293 with a .770 OPS and has 12 hits in 14 games. These stats aren’t crazy, but it’s definitely something to feel good about.
Someone that has impressed me out of the pen is Buck Farmer. Farmer in 6 appearances has a 2.84 era and a 1.105 whip.
Richard’s Take: Well the obvious answer here would be JaCoby Jones, as he leads the Tigers in just about every stat when it comes to hitting the baseball.
Pitching wise I’m liking what I see from Spencer Turnbull. Matt Boyd and Ivan Nova haven’t been the hottest pitchers in baseball as of late, so Turnbull stepping up in his couple starts has been huge for us.
Our bullpen has been a little inconsistent, but I’m mostly happy with what I see from them as well.
What do you think our record will be after our next 15 games?
Benji’s Take: The next 15 games will be very telling for this Tigers team as they play the Cardinals, (if that happens) Twins, Cubs, and White Sox. Obviously those are very talented teams, and if they come out of it at 17-13 I’d take that, but I could see them at 15-15.
Richard’s Take: We have some tough divisional series coming up, but I think we can play at a level decent enough to have a record of about 17-13 through 30 games at the high end, and our floor should be about 12-18.
Photo Credit: AP Photo / Paul Sancya