Theyre Grrrrrrreat Why the Tigers May be For Real

When you bet on baseball, the trick is to stay ahead of the curve. Since people are always going to bet on the Yankees and The Red Sox, it is difficult to get great value 스포츠중계 when you pick those teams. If you were fortunate enough to jump on the White Sox bandwagon early last year, you probably made some money. This year another team presents such an opportunity The Detroit Tigers.

Now, it is easy to be skeptical. Wasnt this team the worst in the league just a short time ago? Have they been close to competitive since that great team that got off to the 35-5 start in 1984? Well, they have had a few competitive years, but you get the point.

Here are some stats that you might have missed and may surprise you:

The Tigers have hit more homeruns than any team in the American League. Remember, their ballpark is not exactly considered a hitters park. Juan Gonzalez took a very bad gamble that someone else besides the Tigers would pay him $144 million because he had such a hard time hitting homeruns in Comerica Park. Rule V acquisition Chris Shelton has cooled off a bit, but others have picked it up. Magglio Ordonez, whose 5 year contract was described by many GMs as insane, has hit 10 homeruns, driven in 26 runs, and is hitting .304. This is a guy who only a year ago was mysteriously sneaking off to Europe to see specialists for his shattered knee.

The Tigers lead all of baseball in ERA. Kenny Rogers is not known for succeeding in October, but he has won at least 13 games in 5 of the last 6 seasons. Everyone knew Jeremy Bonderman was due for a breakout season. Justin Verlander was the number 2 pick in the draft in 2004, and he was thought to be a candidate for Rookie of the Year when the season started. Mike Maroth lost 21 games in 2003. The old saying is that youve got to be really good to lose 20 games. Maroth proved that, as he has improved steadily and is off to a great start with a 5-2 record and 2.18 ERA. Nate Robertson has rounded out the fine rotation. Fernando Rodney (6 saves, 1.59 ERA) and Joel Zumaya (2.76 ERA) have led a solid bullpen.

The Tigers also have the best defensive efficiency in baseball, turning nearly 74% of balls in play into outs. With that kind of defense, pitching, and power, whats not to like about these Tigers? Add in a resurgent Pudge Rodriguez, a steady Carlos Guillen, and an improving Curtis Granderson, and this is a team to be reckoned with.

Finally, there were many doubters when the Tigers hired Jim Leyland. This was the guy who quit on the Colorado Rockies and said he had lost his passion for baseball. However this is also a guy with a World Series championship, two Manager of The Year awards, and three division championships. It seems the fire is once again burning for Leyland.

I wrote earlier about the Big Red Mirage going on in Cincinnati. The surprise in the AL is a completely different situation. These Tigers might actually be Grrrrrreat.

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