Detroit Sports

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

on

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

Profile photo of 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.

Recommended for you

  • Tom Cat Peters

    Bossmus Era.

  • Jenson Phillips

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

  • Ryan Walker

    Historic.. PLEASE!

  • Detroit Sports Nation

    That’s why the word possible was added

  • Timothy Churchvara

    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.

  • Scott Smith

    And…jinxed!

  • Joshua Chatterton

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

  • Brandon A McPherson

    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

  • Alfredo Martinez

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

  • Garrett Botek

    2 words “Brad ausmus!”

  • Brandon A McPherson

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

  • Chris Sparling

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

  • Michael Koss

    Its a bit early to talk about historical season.

  • Ryan Walker

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

  • Brandon A McPherson

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

  • Chris Salsbury

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

  • Detroit Sports Nation

    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

  • Steve Dutton

    Base running – stealing bases

  • Cory Taylor

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

  • Detroit Sports Nation

    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

  • Zach Gomola

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

  • Tony Turner

    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!!!

  • Kanav Gupta

    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.

  • Kristopher Scott Carlson

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

  • Ian Weber

    Keep Coke off the mound

  • Catherine Owen Kent

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

  • Jeff Smith

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

  • Craig Krajewski

    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.

  • Justan Stearns

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

  • Ronnie Heit

    Shade of 84-97 !

  • Matt Resetar

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

  • Joe Hastings

    Too bad fords field cam be seen there

  • Joe Hastings

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

  • Judy Jagels

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

  • Zach Purcell

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

  • Todd Diamond

    NO LELAND

  • Brent J. Peterson

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

  • Doug Banghart

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

  • Don Mills

    24-12

  • Tom McDaniel

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

  • James LaMotte

    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.

  • Brian Ignash

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

  • Chris Hoellrich

    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

  • Tom McDaniel

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

  • Jennifer Addington

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

  • Brent Steele

    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

  • Detroit Sports Nation

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

  • Detroit Sports Nation

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

  • Ted Shrader

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

  • Furkan Eray

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

  • William Obanion

    They want the world series win

  • Sharon Freist

    Brad Admits our new management and being young! !

  • Jason Sorn

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

  • Steve Kolomyjec

    AMAZING starting pitching, speed, and Brad Awesomeness !!

  • Richard Wolok

    GO TIGER’S! !

  • Lem Hunt

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

  • Ken Mosher

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

  • Kevin L Wallace

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

  • Robert S. Teitel

    Better defense and baserunning.

  • Mario D’Ortenzio

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

  • Juan Rolon

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

  • Mario D’Ortenzio

    U talking Indians or tigers?hmmmmmm.

  • Jamil Ali

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

  • Mark A. Provo

    Leland retiring has been a big help!

  • Dawn Woodcock

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

  • Glenn Richards
  • Mark Roberts

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

  • Andrew Hill

    Leyland isn’t coaching!!

  • Eric Anderson

    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.

  • Adam Bentley

    Nathan has been REALLY good.

  • Adam Bentley

    Leyland is a good reason for our success

  • Mark A. Provo

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

  • Michael Nankervis

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

  • Frank White

    Go D…..t

  • Shirley Mobley

    One proud Michigander!!!,