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Tips For Betting On Detroit Tigers – American League Preview: Detroit Tigers

Posted by Dale "Skip" Lalonde on 2/10/2013 6:14:12 PM

When people in the online sports betting legal realm contemplate the balance of power in the American League, they're going to start with the Detroit Tigers. Even football betting gurus who don't ordinarily follow baseball probably figure that Detroit will be a prime contender for the 2013 World Series. 

For the second time in seven seasons, the Detroit Tigers won the American League pennant. For the second time in seven seasons, the Detroit Tigers got mauled in the World Series. The 2012 version ran into a San Francisco Giants buzzsaw that again relied on timely clutch hitting and pitching to completely shut down a Tigers team that had been 7-2 in the postseason entering the Fall Classic. Where do the Tigers turn in 2013 to perhaps get over the hump and claim their first World Series in nearly 30 years? Here are a few keys for the 2013 Tigers.

Everyone figured coming into the year that between Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder, the Tigers would have no issue scoring runs. Yet while the Tigers’ figures ranked relatively favorably, the reality is that the team never lived up to the home run-hitting juggernaut it was expected to be. Cabrera and Fielder carried a lot of the weight on the team, more so than they were expected to in the spring. Alex Avila, Delmon Young, and Austin Jackson (in part due to injury) didn’t have the years many had hoped. Yet, 2013 welcomes Torii Hunter to the club as well as Victor Martinez, who is back from an injury that sidelined him for all of 2012.

The Tigers will have one of the toughest lineups in all of baseball in 2012, and in a division that isn’t full of powerful offenses, the Tigers should be able to win a lot of games again if the pieces around Cabrera and Fielder show up. Avila is one key. Omar Infante, acquired in a trade midway through last season, is a vital component that needs to bounce back from a subpar performance last year. He, like Avila, must step up. At its best this lineup can be one of the most formidable in baseball. Given the pitching staff the Tigers have, the lineup could be the difference between a return to the World Series and a wasted year.

If the Tigers played poker games instead of baseball, they'd have the right dealer to anchor their pitching rotation. The Tigers will rely on arguably the best pitcher in baseball, Justin Verlander, to anchor the rotation and be the horse he has been on the mound. His production is relatively meaningless to worry about. He’s good for about 16 wins at worst in any given year. The wild card in the rotation is Max Scherzer. The last two years suggest he’s turned the corner and is ready to be the No. 2 starter any championship contender needs. However, shoulder issues caught up to him last year at the worst time and Detroit suffered as a result. Behind those two are Doug Fister and Anibal Sanchez. Both have shown flashes in their career of being upper-echelon pitchers. Their production could be the difference between a good pitching staff and an elite one.

If there’s one area the Tigers must clean up, it is a bullpen that ranked 18th with a 3.79 ERA last season and had a closer, Jose Valverde, who imploded after a stellar 2011 season. If the Tigers get someone to close the door in the ninth and limit walks, the team should get by. Ultimately, this is a team coming off a pennant. The Tigers are talented enough to contend for a World Series again and simply need tweaking, not a massive overhaul, to contend for a championship again.

Expect the Tigers to be in the hunt come October and a tough playoff matchup for anyone if they make the postseason.

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