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

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

75 thoughts on “Why Are The Tigers The Best MLB Team So Far In 2014?”

  1. 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.

  2. 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

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

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

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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!!!

  9. 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.

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

  11. 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.

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

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

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

  17. 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

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

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

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

  21. 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.

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