Predictions for the Detroit Tigers 2022 season:
This is the year I believe we see definite improvement from our beloved Motor City Kitties. An 83-79 record reflects what I believe to be a reasonable record given the questionable circumstances surrounding the pitching to start the season and the possible regression concerns. I would say the record falls within four games of that range, and a tougher stretch could make them more of a .500 squad.
Team Placement and Playoff Bid: 2nd in the AL Central, 4th in AL Wild Card (missed playoffs)
The AL Central continues to be a very weak division, with neither the Guardians nor Royals making any huge strides to being great teams and the White Sox continuing to hold their grip over first. The Twins will serve as the biggest competition for the two spot, but I can never tell what version of the Twins we will see (and frankly I doubt they can either).
In terms of the Wild Card, I think it will be a tough get. The AL East is a buzzsaw, with four teams competing for the three playoff spots. Reasonably, all three could have 85+ wins at the end of the year and hold both positions in the Wild Card. That isn’t even mentioning the Mariners and Angels in the West, who should both be boom-or-bust squads that are very likely to boom.
People in the Top-5 of Awards Voting: 4
The turnaround that the Tigers are putting together would put A.J. Hinch in the running for Manager of the Year, and Spencer Torkelson and Riley Greene will be starters (and most likely solid enough to place at least fourth and fifth, even in a stacked field). Who is the last one? Casey Mize. I think this is his full breakout season, and he gets enough down-ballot Cy Young votes to put him in the top five.