5 Biggest Takeaways from 2016 Detroit Tigers

OFFENSE IS NOT AS SCARY

Flickr Creative Commons -- Miguel

We hear it all the time, right? “The Tigers might have the most potent lineup in the game of baseball, 1 through 9.” That’s true. On paper their A-list lineup stacks up with just about everyone. But they definitely did not come through as much as they should have.

Sure, the team posted some powerful offensive numbers. Their team slash line of .267/.331/.438 was top-3 in the American League this year. Solid! But their secondary numbers would suggest there are some holes with that above-average slash line. Their 750 runs scored ranked 6th in the AL. For better perspective, the Red Sox, who ranked 1st in every major offensive category, scored the most runs in the league this year.

Detroit also fanned a lot, 6th-most in the AL this year by a team. Oddly enough, both the Orioles and Blue Jays, the two teams who beat out Detroit for the Wild Card game, struck out more times than the Tigers this year. And going back to Boston, they struck out the 3rd-fewest times in the AL. Instead they put the ball in play when they got out, which could mean an extra 90 feet and setting up scoring chances more frequently than the Tigers.

What's wrong with the Detroit Tiger... x
What's wrong with the Detroit Tigers?

Baltimore overcame a porous starting pitching staff for much of the season but out-slugging everyone. That’s their M.O. and they are comfortable. Toronto meanwhile did not hit as well as everyone expected, still pretty good, but backed it up with a top-3 pitching staff.

Where else did the Detroit offense fall flat? Well not surprisingly, they hit worse in games they lost than games they won (.217 BA in losses, .309 BA in wins). But how about a .221/.285/.338 slash line in at-bats with the bases loaded? Or perhaps the 3rd-most men left on base per game in the AL? Maybe a .133 BA in situations with a runner on third and no outs? And fittingly, their 1-0 shutout loss on Sunday was the 12th time they were held scoreless in a game this year, 2nd-most only to the Yankees.

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