Detroit Sports

Why Are The Tigers The Best MLB Team So Far In 2014?

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The Detroit Tigers will enter play Friday night with the best record in baseball as they look to extend their current win streak to four games and win their ninth straight road game this season. The Tigers will go into play of Friday with a 24-12 record, good for a .667 win percentage. There are multiple reasons why the Tigers have played the most consistent baseball this season, but we will look over only a few of the key reasons here. The Tigers own the biggest division lead of all the divisions in baseball, leading Kansas City by 5.5 games prior to Thursday’s game. Here are three key reasons why all of these have come to fruition so far this season:

The rotation is one of the best in baseball

The Tigers own one of the majors best rotations to date which has limited any losing streaks the Tigers have had this season. The longest losing streak the Tigers have had so far has been two games and that is due largely in part to the starting rotation. When you have pitchers such as Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, and Annibal Sanchez, there are not going to be many lengthy losing streaks in a season. Rick Porcello is also in the midst of a breakout season as he is currently 6-1 with a 3.22 ERA, his lowest of his career. Drew Smyly has shown that he belongs in the rotation and this starting five will give even the best hitting teams fits.

The offense is very efficient with the bats and on the base paths

The Tigers feature a lineup day after day that has the best hitter of our generation in Miguel Cabrera and a man who is as hard to get out as they come in Victor Martinez. The past few seasons the Tigers were an offense that used power to score runs. This season, the Tigers have used mainly speed to manufacture runs in all different ways. The addition of Rajai Davis has been perhaps one of the best free agent signings of the offseason. Davis has added a completely new element to the Tigers team and has helped them accumulate 35 stolen bases this season in 36 games. The Tigers stole 35 bases all of last season. The 35 stolen bases is the second most in the majors behind only the L.A. Dodgers. The Tigers currently are batting .277 as a team which is tops in the American League. The combination of solid hitting plus speed on the base paths is a nightmare for opposing pitching. Miguel Cabrera also returning to form in the month of May most likely has opposing pitchers tossing and turning at night.

Consistent road play

A good strategy for a team looking to make the playoffs is to play .500 baseball on the road and win as many as possible at home. The Tigers have gone beyond that step to go 11-4 on the road this season, winning their past eight in a row. The Tigers are most likely going to win around 50 games at home, so if they are able to even play a little below their current road pace, they could finish with 100+ wins on the season. The month of May will show how good of a road team the Tigers really are. The Tigers play 18 of 29 games on the road in May, with all of the games being against quality opponents. The Tigers will enter play on Friday having won all of their road games thus far in the month of May, part of their current eight game road win streak.

As previously stated, there are many more reasons why the Tigers currently own baseball’s best record. If the Tigers are able to continue their torrid early season pace, this will be one of the best summer’s for baseball in recent Tigers history. That is not certain to happen, but one thing that is for certain is the fact that no team currently wants to play these Tigers.

-Brett D’Angelo

About Brett D'Angelo

Oakland University graduate and die hard fan of all Detroit sports, though I am more of a Red Wings fan than anything.

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75 Comments

  1. Tom Cat Peters

    May 15, 2014 at 5:56 pm

    Bossmus Era.

  2. Jenson Phillips

    May 15, 2014 at 5:56 pm

    Team chemistry, definitely, look at the video on intentional talk!

  3. Ryan Walker

    May 15, 2014 at 5:57 pm

    Historic.. PLEASE!

  4. Detroit Sports Nation

    May 15, 2014 at 5:57 pm

    That’s why the word possible was added

  5. Timothy Churchvara

    May 15, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    Other than for a player or two they have been doing good stuff with Leyland. Yes no works series but pretty much else. I think this could be the year. We shall wait and see.

  6. Scott Smith

    May 15, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    And…jinxed!

  7. Joshua Chatterton

    May 15, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    This is Detroit. Its what we do. Go Tigers!

  8. Brandon A McPherson

    May 15, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    i know…i agree a historic run is definitely a possibility this year….cant wait to see what we’re looking like after the all-star break

  9. Alfredo Martinez

    May 15, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    REALLY ARE TALKING THIS GARBAGE IN MAY? Yes they are having a good season so FAR. Historic come on.

  10. Garrett Botek

    May 15, 2014 at 6:00 pm

    2 words “Brad ausmus!”

  11. Brandon A McPherson

    May 15, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    we’re looking pretty smart after the Fielder and Fister trades

  12. Chris Sparling

    May 15, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    Four things. Strategy. Porcello. Kinsler. Martinez. Think about it.

  13. Michael Koss

    May 15, 2014 at 6:02 pm

    Its a bit early to talk about historical season.

  14. Ryan Walker

    May 15, 2014 at 6:03 pm

    Detroit Sports Nation I meny please as in please let it be historic oops sorry xD

  15. Brandon A McPherson

    May 15, 2014 at 6:03 pm

    Detroit Sports Nation what do ya think the best move would be with Robbie Ray and Drew Smyly?

  16. Chris Salsbury

    May 15, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    The biggest difference is speed. We can play small ball now which is what Comerica is suited for, not power.

  17. Detroit Sports Nation

    May 15, 2014 at 6:05 pm

    People bashing about the word historic here, please look at the pace they are winning on the road and what the hitters and rotation are doing. POSSIBLE HISTORIC SEASON. I can’t put any more stress on the word possible or else I would. I in no way said that it will be!!! Please understand what I mean before you take it the wrong way.
    -BD

  18. Steve Dutton

    May 15, 2014 at 6:06 pm

    Base running – stealing bases

  19. Cory Taylor

    May 15, 2014 at 6:07 pm

    One word, pitching. Starting pitching actually so no one thinks I ment the pen lol

  20. Detroit Sports Nation

    May 15, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    Keep Smyly in the rotation and return Ray to the minors. Ray needs to pitch every five days. While he showed that he can possibly hang in the majors, he still needs more time to develop, mainly with his command. Granted if the Tigers suffer an injury to the rotation or need more spot starts, Ray will be the first to be called upon. He could also take Scherzer’s spot in the rotation next year if the Tigers fail to sign him.
    -BD

  21. Zach Gomola

    May 15, 2014 at 6:10 pm

    Team chemistry… They seem to love being around each other. That beats stats any day.

  22. Tony Turner

    May 15, 2014 at 6:10 pm

    A couple things this early in the season is making it enjoyable. The trade for Kinsler and aggressive baseball. Brad has them running, and I like that!!! The starting rotation is best in baseball..hands down. GO TIGERS!!!

  23. Kanav Gupta

    May 15, 2014 at 6:12 pm

    None of their success matters if the bullpen blows it in the Playoffs. That needs your addressed if they want to win the World Series.

  24. Kristopher Scott Carlson

    May 15, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    I was born wearing tiger stripes but historic is a stretch considering our current bullpen

  25. Ian Weber

    May 15, 2014 at 6:17 pm

    Keep Coke off the mound

  26. Catherine Owen Kent

    May 15, 2014 at 6:20 pm

    Happy to be able to catch a few games in Seattle at end of month..GO TIGERS

  27. Jeff Smith

    May 15, 2014 at 6:21 pm

    If they were off to a bad start you would be complaining in here in May.

  28. Craig Krajewski

    May 15, 2014 at 6:23 pm

    Speed. That’s huge. Don’t have to wait for the big blast. That’s great but this club can battle now. Great to see.

  29. Justan Stearns

    May 15, 2014 at 6:23 pm

    I see a world series in our near future but thats just me

  30. Ronnie Heit

    May 15, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    Shade of 84-97 !

  31. Matt Resetar

    May 15, 2014 at 6:27 pm

    Just wait until October. Everyone will be upset like usual.

  32. Joe Hastings

    May 15, 2014 at 6:29 pm

    Too bad fords field cam be seen there

  33. Joe Hastings

    May 15, 2014 at 6:31 pm

    Burn it to the ground and move the ford lions to L.A
    Go Tigers!

  34. Judy Jagels

    May 15, 2014 at 6:39 pm

    You are all forgetting to mention that they got rid of overpaid and underperforming Prince!

  35. Zach Purcell

    May 15, 2014 at 6:39 pm

    Starting pitching, speed, fielding ability, and considerable power.

  36. Todd Diamond

    May 15, 2014 at 6:41 pm

    NO LELAND

  37. Brent J. Peterson

    May 15, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    Coming for you Boston! We got Victahhh, Huntahhh, Kinslahh, Cabrerahhh, LOL

  38. Doug Banghart

    May 15, 2014 at 6:58 pm

    Kinsler has improved the team offensively and defensively . One of the best moves the Tigers have ever made.

  39. Don Mills

    May 15, 2014 at 6:59 pm

    24-12

  40. Tom McDaniel

    May 15, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    I don’t need to read it. 1. Manager. 2. Speed. 3. Defense.

  41. James LaMotte

    May 15, 2014 at 7:03 pm

    It helps that the rest of the division is playing like crap & we haven’t really played any real competition yet. It’s early. If we’re still sitting this pretty by August & by Labor Day, then we can party it up. Otherwise, I’m always reminded of teams that get off to amazing starts that finish OUT of first place. (eg the 1996 Cubs won 22 of their first 33 games & finished 10 games UNDER .500). Not trying to be a killjoy, just skeptical. Many of us may remember the 1993 Tigers that were red hot out of the gate & were in first place up until 2 weeks before the all star game. Then we went on to win just 85 games & finish 3rd in what was Sparky’s last winning season & the last one the Tigers would have until 2006.

  42. Brian Ignash

    May 15, 2014 at 7:05 pm

    1.) Starting rotation 2.) Speed 3,) Defense / coaching

  43. Chris Hoellrich

    May 15, 2014 at 7:11 pm

    since prince screwed them over in the playoffs…and they traded jonny, and omar, they’ve gotten faster and stronger, with help from brad ausmus

  44. Tom McDaniel

    May 15, 2014 at 7:13 pm

    Oh, I was naming things that have changed. Whoops! Naturally, our starting rotation is #1.

  45. Jennifer Addington

    May 15, 2014 at 7:13 pm

    don’t know how I forgot our closer, Joe Nathan

  46. Brent Steele

    May 15, 2014 at 7:15 pm

    We played competition we just pulled the broom out on Baltimore. Leland was a great manager he pulled up out of the cellar but we needed a younger coach to bring some modern baseball in and Brad has done that

  47. Detroit Sports Nation

    May 15, 2014 at 7:17 pm

    Meant 24-12, unfortunate typo. I’m only human!

  48. Detroit Sports Nation

    May 15, 2014 at 7:18 pm

    Unfortunate typo on my part! Testing people’s knowledge. Fixing now.

  49. Ted Shrader

    May 15, 2014 at 7:25 pm

    if we dont get help n the pen were not getting past our divison

  50. Furkan Eray

    May 15, 2014 at 7:25 pm

    Hani Hep soruyodun Takipci hilesi yokmu diye al gule gule kullan https://www.facebook.com/242889422580322

  51. William Obanion

    May 15, 2014 at 7:26 pm

    They want the world series win

  52. Sharon Freist

    May 15, 2014 at 7:27 pm

    Brad Admits our new management and being young! !

  53. Jason Sorn

    May 15, 2014 at 7:28 pm

    The rest of our division has the same records as everyone else’s division. .500 ball

  54. Steve Kolomyjec

    May 15, 2014 at 7:32 pm

    AMAZING starting pitching, speed, and Brad Awesomeness !!

  55. Richard Wolok

    May 15, 2014 at 7:40 pm

    GO TIGER’S! !

  56. Lem Hunt

    May 15, 2014 at 7:45 pm

    A well rounded and almost complete team! If miggy don’t step it up in playoffs them get rid of him!!!

  57. Ken Mosher

    May 15, 2014 at 7:49 pm

    One big reason would be putting together a team that better fits the ball park plus a manager that can handle such a team.

  58. Kevin L Wallace

    May 15, 2014 at 7:57 pm

    Good old game of baseball its always good Go Tigers!!

  59. Robert S. Teitel

    May 15, 2014 at 8:21 pm

    Better defense and baserunning.

  60. Mario D'Ortenzio

    May 15, 2014 at 8:36 pm

    We will win central by 25 games, best record in AL, win series. Bet on it.

  61. Juan Rolon

    May 15, 2014 at 8:37 pm

    Great start to the season and Miggy is only now starting to get hot! Need a shutdown reliever to be a complete team!

  62. Mario D'Ortenzio

    May 15, 2014 at 8:37 pm

    U talking Indians or tigers?hmmmmmm.

  63. Jamil Ali

    May 15, 2014 at 9:30 pm

    No throwaway line ups on Thursday/Sunday & getaway days like the past regime.

  64. Mark A. Provo

    May 15, 2014 at 9:43 pm

    Leland retiring has been a big help!

  65. Dawn Woodcock

    May 15, 2014 at 10:08 pm

    Keep it going and bring home the world series this year guys.

  66. Glenn Richards

    May 15, 2014 at 11:32 pm

  67. Mark Roberts

    May 16, 2014 at 6:13 am

    It’s allabout the English ‘D’ this year!!!!!

  68. Andrew Hill

    May 16, 2014 at 6:42 am

    Leyland isn’t coaching!!

  69. Eric Anderson

    May 16, 2014 at 7:18 am

    Actually we are having fun out there. And playing together as a team. All championship teams have fun out there. They are cruising along and have not even maxed out yet. I feel we are at 85% just wait they stay healthy we will peak around all star break.

  70. Adam Bentley

    May 16, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    Nathan has been REALLY good.

  71. Adam Bentley

    May 16, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    Leyland is a good reason for our success

  72. Mark A. Provo

    May 16, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    Adam I disagree I think the Tigers won despite Jim Leland.

  73. Michael Nankervis

    May 16, 2014 at 4:23 pm

    A possible historic season? It’s May. C’mon SON!!!!

  74. Frank White

    May 16, 2014 at 10:30 pm

    Go D…..t

  75. Shirley Mobley

    May 19, 2014 at 12:39 pm

    One proud Michigander!!!,