2016 Recap & 2017 Outlook
The Tigers are in a tough place, still rolling with most of their aging stars, in a division where Cleveland sit as the top dog. This offense is sitting with five or six seasoned veterans, and a pitching staff built around older arms as well. Michael Fulmer is the only exception, at just 24 years old. Detroit ranked ninth in runs per game, but had a bottom ten team ERA. Outside of Justin Verlander and Fulmer, there was not much to be desired. Jordan Zimmermann is coming off of an injury plagued season, but was also not good when healthy. Daniel Norris is an intriguing young arm, amongst names we know about already. The offense should be inside the top ten again, as long as everyone stays healthy. The staff is a question mark, as Verlander is no lock to continue at 34 years old. The Tigers might be a competitive team, or might sell off at the deadline.
Subtractions: Cameron Maybin
Comerica Park ranked eighth in home runs, and 11th in runs. Comerica isn't known as a hitter's park, and doesn't necessarily play as one, especially during the colder months. Right-handed bats have pretty average numbers in Comerica, while lefties had less than average numbers. Also know Detroit has a right-handed lineup, so numbers are a bit inflated. Comerica can give, but also take away. Remember that when heading into the daily world.
|Lineup Order||Player||Position||2016 wOBA vs. RHP||2016 ISO vs. RHP||2016 wOBA vs. LHP||2016 ISO vs. LHP|
2016 Statistics Used
Pitching Outlook & Notes
DFS Rotation Grade: B
DFS Studs: Justin Verlander, Michael Fulmer
Justin Verlander is coming off of an almost Cy Young season, thanks a lot Rick Porcello. Verlander had a monster strikeout season, owning a career high 28.1% strikeout rate. At 34 years old, we expect some sort of drop off, but the velocity looks solid for Verlander. The right-hander remains a stable option in all formats, especially his pin-point control. Verlander was dominant down the stretch, allowing a .241 wOBA in the second half.
Rookie Of The Year, Michael Fulmer was a friendly fantasy arm. His strikeout rate isn't anything special, unless he is playing the Rays. He has a solid 49% groundball rate, and limited walks and home runs. Fulmer did a solid job at missing bats, with a 10.4% swinging strike rate, but it didn't result in a ton of strikeouts. It certainly can improve this season, but time will tell. Norris has huge upside, and many predict him to make the jump this season. Coming back from injury last season, he had a 3.04 ERA in the second half, and allowed a .313 wOBA. If he can continue to trend upwards against right-handed bats, Norris will be a high upside tournament arm.
Jordan Zimmermann is coming off of a dreadful season, battling injuries, and struggling when healthy. His strikeout rate was never anything impressive, but it got down to new lows this year. He had a swinging strike rate 1% below his career norm, which is only 8.6%. Zimmermann's time in daily might be limited. His upside was never anything to write home about, but it might be completely gone. Anibal Sanchez is an aging right-hander, and might be in more trouble this year. He had a 4.62 xFIP, and no peripheral numbers to give much home for a rebound in 2017.
Lineup Outlook & Notes
DFS Stacking Grade: B
DFS Studs: Miguel Cabrera, J.D. Martinez, Ian Kinsler
The Tigers offense is filled with veteran right-handed bats, and Victor Martinez. The Tigers are flirting with father time, and while Martinez has been battling injuries, Miguel Cabrera is dealing with some back issues to start the season. J.D. Martinez is set to miss the opening weeks, but we will talk about this team as a whole when healthy. Cabrera is the best hitter in baseball, and I will treat him as such in the DFS world. Martinez gets the advantage of being a DH, but has been limited. When healthy, he adds to this Tigers offense, but also clouds up the first base position with Cabrera.
J.D. Martinez has emerged as a big time power outfielder in Detroit, and while numbers didn't align with 2015, he will be a 25+ home run candidate this season. Martinez adds a good mix of average and power, which makes him one of the safer outfield options in fantasy. Justin Upton had two completely different halves. In the first half, he had a .146 ISO and a .288 wOBA. In the second, he had a .383 wOBA and a .318 ISO. He also dropped his strikeout rate 6%. Upton is still a big time hitter in the power department, but caught a lot of flack for the low average last season. He makes for a great tournament bat.
Ian Kinsler and Nick Castellanos are the other worthy bats from this lineup. Kinsler hit 28 home runs, the most since 2011. He also had 14 SB, and 117 runs. Middle infield used to be a dwindled down position, but over the last few years, the amount of players have really given it a rise. Castellanos was headed for a 20-25 home run season before getting injured. The power is there with this kid, and he mashed right-handers.