America's favorite pastime is back to start yet another season of Major League Baseball. The Detroit Tigers will be on the outside looking in more than likely this year, as they expect to have a lot of different players playing in the majors this season. With early wins total projections in before the start of meaningful games, the Tigers are projected with an over/under at about 68 1/2 wins according to Vegas Insider. Now, I think they could match this or be a tad better actually, but I don't see the win total being below anything more than about 65 wins. They still have some pretty solid talent on this team with the likes of Miguel Cabrera, Michael Fulmer and Nicholas Castellanos. A lot of what will dictate on how this season goes will be the health of the players, and which young guys make a big step up in the big leagues.
A couple of players to watch for this season:
Jeimer Candelario, 3B
He was acquired by the Tigers from the Cubs last July, and has made quite a bit of a good impression with the team in hopes to being the starter at third base for many seasons to come. His defensive game is really solid and he really impressed the Tigers late last season with his majurity at the plate. Jeimer hit .273 this spring training with an on base percentage at .394. Look for him to be more consistent once he gets more games under his belt.
Michael Fulmer, RHP
Now this is the type of starting pitcher you want as your ace of the pitching staff when healthy. His rookie season was one to remember as he won the American League Rookie of the Year award in 2016. However in 2017, his season was plagued with injuries and you could just see he was not himself throughout the whole season. This spring training he threw 17 innings and had a 2.12 ERA with 17 strikeouts. If he can be this productive during the regular season, look for him to have a huge bounce back year ahead.
Nicholas Castellanos, OF
With the emergence of Jeimer Candelario, Castellanos has made a position change to starting in right field for the Tigers this season. You can already expect a solid offensive year as he hit .263 with 5 homeruns and 14 RBI's in just 57 plate apperances. The real question for Nicholas will be how will his defense playout this year in the outfield instead of playing in the infield. If he can solidify that starting right field spot, which will help the Tigers a ton but if he struggles, they will be in a lot of trouble this season as if they won't be already.
There are a couple of other noteworthy players, but those are my big three to watch this season. This year will be very interesting to watch for which players take that next big step in their career, and how Ron Gardenhire can do in his very first year as the manger for the Detroit Tigers. Now, let's play ball!
Win total projections for all teams: http://www.vegasinsider.com/mlb/story.cfm/story/1909454
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