The AL wild card race seems to keep getting better, and as the second half has wound down we have seen the teams that are really here to contend separate themselves from the pack, and those who were obviously playing better than they should have take a step back.
Remember when we were talking about the Toronto Blue Jays, New York Yankees, Cleveland Indians, and the Tampa Bay Rays as legit contenders for those wildcard spots just two weeks ago?
Well boy has a lot changed since then and the AL wild card race has turned into a four team race. It includes the Detroit Tigers, who I believe are the best team in the AL even though their record doesn't quite show it, but I believe they can make it to the playoffs as long as they stay away from the injury bug because they have such a wide variety of talent in the pitching and hitting.
What Detroit has going for them in a big way is their experience. We all know about their pitching now but just in case you didn't know, let me tell you right now that they are second to none when it comes to the top three guys in their rotation, as they have three former Cy young winners in Max Scherzer, David Price and Justin Verlander.
Though Justin Verlander hasn't been playing like an All-Star throughout the year he has shown down the stretch that he can turn in quality start after quality start for his team.
Max Scherzer has been pitching very much like the best pitcher of the team and showing why just last year he won the Cy Young, he does what he needs to do to get his team a win. The last of the three is Price, who was traded to Detroit mid-season from the Rays, and he hasn't missed a beat since being traded as he is still piling up the K’s, though he has had a few shaky outings, there is no doubt in my mind he is still a top 10 pitcher in this league.
With that kind of a three0headed monster, Detroit should be able to simply out win their opponents with quality of pitching alone.
Detroit's hitting seems to be better built than in the years past. The trade they made before the season started which was really Ian Kinsler for Prince fielder straight up, though looked like a loss when it first went down for the Tigers, seems now like a big win, as Kinsler is giving them the best production they have got from a second baseman in years, defensively and offensively.
They also have got big time production from young guys like J.D. Martinez and Nick Castellanos. who have both definitely been exceeding the expectation of everyone in the MLB.
When you put those two factors along with already having experienced guys liked Torii Hunter, Victor Martinez, and the best hitter in the world in Miguel Cabrera, you can understand why I think their hitting can also help carry the load on certain days.
The one setback I see is the bats for the team going cold at the wrong time, as they do still rely on extra base hits more than any other team in the wild card race. If that were to happen then all you Tigers fans better hope the pitching is as good as advertised.
Overall I believe the Detroit Tigers have the most well rounded team of any still in the wild card race.
It's actually a big surprise that they haven’t shook the other teams in their division as they are possibly the most dangerous team in the AL.
When you look at it they have the best pitching and arguably the best hitting, barring any injuries to their key players they should be a lock for the playoffs.
Once in, they should also probably be the scariest and most experienced team to have to deal with.