Description: The Tigers are expected to exercise their $7 million option to keep Joakim Soria in 2015 according to MLB.com.
Insight: Soria did not at all live up to his hype when the Tigers traded for him in July. He posted a 4.91 ERA over 11 innings and pitched ever worse in the postseason. Detroit will have five days after the end of the World Series to make an official decision on Soria.
Description: Tigers right fielder Torii Hunter indicated Wednesday he is leaning towards playing again in 2015 according to MLive.com.
Insight: The 39-year-old seemed to be leaning towards retirement after the the Orioles swept the Tigers in the ALDS, but he is now leaning the other way. Hunter has not made his final decision. He is a free agent, but we expect him to stay in Detroit if he wants to play.
Description: Tigers catcher Alex Avila left Game 3 of the ALDS on Sunday with a potential concussion according to MLB.com.
Insight: Avila took a foul tip off his mask, which the catcher has gotten concussions from before. We wish Avila the best, but it does not look good. He may be done for the series if there is a Game 4 and 5.
Description: Tigers pitcher Max Scherzer will not start on short rest if there is a Game 4 in the ALDS against the Orioles according to MLive.com.
Insight: The ball will go to the struggling Rick Porcello in the possible Game 4. Manager Brad Ausmus, however, didn't rule out Scherzer making a relief appearance in Game 4. The Tigers could certainly use the help in the bullpen.
Description: Tigers center fielder Rajai Davis is not in the starting lineup for Game 3 of the ALDS against the Orioles on Sunday.
Insight: Davis and the Tigers were hoping that the travel day would be enough rest for Davis to be back in the lineup for Game 3, but his groin is apparently still not well enough to play. He may be available to come off the bench, but Don Kelly is starting in center field.
Description: Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera has three-hit afternoon.
Insight: Cabrera is now 4-for-7 in the series with a homer and two runs scored. The reigning two-time MVP may need to think about pitching out of the bullpen for Detroit, as the team's relievers are the biggest reason why the Tigers are on the brink of elimination.
Description: Tigers outfielder J.D. Martinez hits second homer in as many days.
Insight: He took Orioles' starter Wei-Yin Chen deep in the fourth inning, for a three-run shot. Martinez has two hits thus far, in the ALDS, both being homers. After producing 23 home runs and 76 RBI during the regular season, Martinez has picked up right where he left off.
Description: Tigers DH Victor Martinez continues to scorch the ball during postseason play.
Insight: After a two-RBI afternoon, Martinez is now 3-for-8 in the ALDS with a homer, three RBI, and two runs scored. He will need to keep it going if the Tigers do not want to be swept out of the series.
Description: Tigers starter Justin Verlander recieves no-decision Friday against the Orioles.
Insight: He pitched well enough to earn the win, going five innings, allowing three runs on six hits and one walk, while striking out four. Verlander left with a 5-3 lead, but Joba Chamberlain and Joakim Soria imploded in the eighth inning, resulting in a Baltimore comeback victory. Soria takes the loss for Detroit, putting the Tigers on the brink of elimination.
Description: Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera hits first homer of ALDS.
Insight: It was a big homerun at the time, as he cut Baltimore's lead to 4-3 during the top of the eighth inning. However, the Tigers imploded in the bottom half of the inning, making the homer moot. Cabrera is still one of the most feared hitters in baseball.
Description: Tigers DH Victor Martinez picks up where he left off.
Insight: After having arguably the best season of his career, Martinez wasted no time slugging his first homer of the postseason, in the second inning. It was his only hit of the evening. Martinez continues to be a recommended daily play.
Description: Tigers pitcher Max Scherzer has up-and-down performance in Game 1 of ALDS.
Insight: He needed only 98 pitches to get through 7 1/3 innings, but was inconistent against Baltimore. He allowed three runs over the first two innings, but then settled down, until the eighth. Scherzer finished the night allowing five runs on seven hits and one walk, while striking out six. Detroit's bullpen gave him no help, as they gave up a total of seven runs (six earned) over 2/3 of an inning.
Description: Tigers Game 1 pitcher Max Scherzer is a career 4-2 with a 3.42 ERA and 1.139 WHIP in the postseason.
Insight: Scherzer went 18-5 in the regular season with a 3.15 ERA and 1.175 WHIP. Not quite as good as in his 2013 Cy Young season (21-3, 2.90 ERA, 0.970 WHIP), but still good enough to lead the league in wins.
Description: Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera is a career 5-for-13 (.385) with a home run and four RBI against Baltimore right-hander Chris Tillman.
Insight: So what else is new? Isn't Cabrera a .300 hitter against most everyone? His 2014 numbers were "just" .313 with 25 HR, 109 RBI and an .895 OPS. He's been just a .273 career hitter in the postseason with an .870 OPS and 26 walks as he gets pitched around more frequently.
Description: Tigers starter David Price pitched seven 1/3 scoreless innings to lead Detroit to the American League Central title with a 3-0 victory over the Twins on Sunday.
Insight: The Tigers can all collectively exhale as Price delievered what he was brought to do when Detroit traded for him. Price allowed four hits and struck out eight to finish the season 15-12 with a 3.26 ERA. The Tigers have now won four straight AL Central championships.
Description: Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler went 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBI to lead the Tigers to a division title sealing victory.
Insight: Kinsler hit four homers in the final 14 regular season games, which is more than he had in the previous two and a half months. Kinsler has struggled getting on base lately, but he will remain Detroit's lead off man for the ALDS.
Description: Tigers closer Joe Nathan threw a perfect ninth inning to preserve a 3-0 lead and capture his 35th save of the season on Sunday.
Insight: The Tigers scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth to give Nathan a three-run cushion. Nathan ends the season with a 4.81 ERA, the 10th highest mark in the history of the league to have recorded 30 saves or more. Since July, his ERA has been under 3.50, but overall, there still isn't much confidence he will get the job done in the playoffs.
Description: Tigers center fielder Rajai Davis left Saturday's game against Minnesota with an apparent hamstring injury, according to James Schmehl.
Insight: Davis seemed to come up lame while running out a groundball during the second inning. Consider Davis day-to-day for now, but this could be a big blow for Detroit, with postseason play starting in a few days. Ezequiel Carrera replaced him in center field.
Description: Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera tried to single-handedly win the American League Central for Detriot on Friday.
Insight: Cabrera was animated on Friday as a victory and a Royals loss would have given the Tigers the division title. Cabrera went 3-for-4 with two RBI, which both came in the fifth inning as the Tigers cut into the Twins lead, 6-3. Just when it looked like the Tigers could come back, Minnesota scored four runs in the sixth and won, 11-4. If the Royals hold on to win on Friday, the Tigers will have just a game lead in the central with two to go.
Description: Tigers DH Victor Martinez has big night in win over Minnesota.
Insight: He was 3-for-4 with a homer, double, and run scored. He now has an impressive 32 homeruns and 102 RBI on the year. If it weren't for Mike Trout, Martinez would most likely be the front runner for AL MVP honors.
Description: Tigers pitcher Max Scherzer earns AL best 18th vwn against the Twins.
Insight: He went six innings, allowing two runs on five hits and four walks, striking out nine. Now at 18-5, Scherzer is tied with Jered Weaver in wins, and is firmly in the AL Cy Young discussion, yet again.
Description: Tigers starter Justin Verlander has returned to form.
Insight: He still has a 4.54 ERA on the year, but went eight innings on Wednesday against the White Sox, allowing only one run on seven hits, while striking out six. Verlander is now 15-12, and will be heading into postseason play on a high note.
Description: Tigers DH Victor Martinez is a career .536 hitter (15-for-28) with three homers and a 1.516 OPS against White Sox ace Chris Sale.
Insight: Martinez is simply putting together the best season of his 12-year career. He is hitting .335 with 31 home runs and 100 RBI and a league-leading .972 OPS. He's also been crushing the ball this month, batting .378 with a 1.104 OPS so make him a must start.
Description: Tigers starter David Price pitched eight shutout innings before allowing three runs in the ninth and losing his victory against the White Sox on Tuesday.
Insight: Manager Brad Ausmus likely left Price in the game too long as he threw 114 pitches, but with who the Tigers have in the bullpen, who can blame him. Price still pitched eight 2/3 innings and allowed three runs on eight hits, struck out eight and walked none. It was a major bounce back game for Price after allowing five runs in his last start. Luckily, Detroit was still able to win in the bottom of the inning.
Description: Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera hit a walkoff single to score Ian Kinsler as Detroit defeated the Chicago White Sox, 4-3, on Tuesday.
Insight: The two-time AL MVP was 2-for-5 with one RBI, the game-winner. He was not able to repeat his 2012 and 2013 season this year, but he still has monster numbers, .314/.375/.520 with 23 home runs and 105 RBI.
Description: Tigers catcher Alex Avila is back in the starting lineup on Monday.
Insight: Avila took batting practice and played in a simulated game on Sunday without any setbacks, so doctors cleared him to return. Avila missed over a week due to post-concussion issues. He is catching and batting seventh against the White Sox on Monday.
Description: Tigers right-hander Rick Porcello cannot get out of fourth inning versus Kansas City.
Insight: Porcello has not been the same pitcher of late, and Sunday was possibly the low-point. He went 3 1/3 innings, allowing nine hits and four earned runs. Porcello is now 15-12 with a 3.31 ERA on the year. Detroit will need him to get back on track, if they want to hold down the AL Central.
Description: Tigers right fielder Torii Hunter has big day vs. Kansas City.
Insight: He was 2-4, including a solo shot that opened up the scoring in the 4th. It was Hunter's 17th dinger of the year. He continues to produce year in and year out, as he is slashing .288 with 81 RBI.
Description: Tigers closer Joe Nathan walked another tight line, but was able to shut the door for his 33rd save against the Royals, on Saturday afternoon.
Insight: Kansas City was able to get guys guys on 2nd and 3rd with two outs, but Nathan got Raul Ibanez to ground out to first to end the game. While he has a nice number of saves, Nathan's 5.01 ERA continues to be extremely alarming.
Description: Tigers pitcher Max Scherzer pitched a gem to help Detroit stretch their division lead.
Insight: He baffled Royals' hitters through seven innings, allowing only one run on seven hits and one walk. Scherzer had six strikeouts throughout his dominant performance as well. There is a solid chance he will win his second consecutive CY Young Award.
Description: Tigers center fielder Rajai Davis is not a good play Saturday versus Royals right-hander James Shields.
Insight: Davis is just 2-for-18 (.111) against Shields and sat out the last time Shields pitched. Don Kelley should get the start in the outfield, but he's not much better at 2-for-11. Avoid both of them.
Description: Tigers catcher Alex Avila (head) is still not in the lineup for Detroit on Wednesday.
Insight: He took a foul ball off his mask Sunday, and with a history of concussion problems, Detroit is not taking any chances. Bryan Holaday will continue to handle the catching duties during Avila's absence.
Description: Tigers right-hander Rick Porcello threw eight innings, allowed two runs on seven hits, struck out five and walked two in a no-decision against the Twins on Tuesday.
Insight: The Tigers rallied in the top of the ninth to take the lead, and Porcello was in line for the victory until closer Joe Nathan blew the save. Kennys Vargas scored both the Twins runs, on a Kurt Suzuki single in the fourth and his own solo home run in the sixth. Porcello is 15-11 with a 3.19 ERA and 122 strikeouts this year.
Description: Tigers catcher Alex Avila is not in the starting lineup tonight.
Insight: It is just a routine day off for Detroit's everyday catcher. Avila has not produced much offensively in 2014 (.223 BA, 11 HR and 47 RBI), but is critical to the Tigers' success behind the plate. He should be back tomorrow. Bryan Holaday gets the start Monday night, for ace Max Scherzer.
Description: Tigers pitcher Max Scherzer has been a much different pitcher on the road this season.
Insight: Take away the fact he is 1-1 with a 3.72 ERA in his last three starts. The big thing here is Scherzer has somehwhat struggled on the road in 2014. His 6-4 record and 3.61 ERA away from Detroit is not terrible, but when you compare it to his home totals (10-1, 2.66 ERA), owners definitely expect more from the Tigers' ace. In no way should you bench him, but beware that Scherzer is not as effective away from Comerica Park.
Description: Tigers outfielder J.D. Martinez went 2-for-3 with a home run to give Detroit the lead in the top of the ninth on Tuesday against the Twins.
Insight: Martinez hit a three-run bomb in the ninth off Twins closer Glen Perkins as the Tigers took a 3-2 lead. Unfortunately for Detroit, Joe Nathan blew his seventh save of the season and Minnesota won, 4-3. The home run was Martinez's 23rd of the season, and he also has 75 RBI while batting .313.
Description: Tigers outfielder J.D. Martinez was 2-for-3 with a home run and an RBI-single to help the Tigers defeat the Indians, 6-4, on Sunday
Insight: Martinez hit a solo home run in the fourth, which is his 22nd homer of the year. Martinez then hit his RBI-single in the sixth. The outfielder is batting .305/.350/.557 with 71 RBI in 393 at-bats.
Description: Tigers catcher Alex Avila hit a two-run home run to lift the Tigers to a 5-4 victory over the Indians on Saturday.
Insight: Avila took Indians relief pitcher Bryan Shaw deep in the bottom of the eighth with the Tigers trailing 4-3. Avila went 1-for-3, and the homer kept the Tigers a half game ahead of the Royals in the AL Central. The catcher is batting .222/.329/.371 with 11 home runs and 47 RBI this season.
Description: Tigers pitcher Anibal Sanchez (pectoral) hopes to begin throwing off a mound early on Monday according to Jason Beck of MLB.com.
Insight: Even with the positive news, Sanchez will not make it back before the end of the regular season. He is not fantasy relavant unless owners are playing through the playoffs or are in dynasty leagues.
Description: Tigers outfielder J.D. Martinez was 2-for-4 with a triple, home run and four RBI against Cleveland on Friday.
Insight: Martinez's home run was his 21st of the season. He has been a pleasant surprise to both the Tigers and fantasy owners, hitting .305 with 69 RBI to go along with his 21 dingers. Martinez also supports a .900 OPS.
Description: Tigers DH Victor Martinez went 2-for-4 with a run and RBI on Friday against the Indians.
Insight: Martinez came into the game going 0-for-6 in his last two games, so the DH is back on track. He is second to only Jose Altuve in batting average at .335 and is ranked in the top 10 in the American League in both home runs (30) and RBI (97) this year.
Description: Tigers closer Joe Nathan has been unavailable the last few days due to right elbow tenderness.
Insight: The Tigers have not had a save opportunity since Sept. 2. Nathan is supposedly available on Monday against the Royals but this something to keep your eye on the last three weeks of the year. Nathan has struggled this year with a 5.04 ERA and 1.54 WHIP in 53 appearances.
Description: Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera went deep on Sunday, driving in three runs, to lead the Tigers over the Giants, 6-1.
Insight: The 2-for-4 night extended Cabrera's hitting streak to eight games. He has 22 home runs and 100 RBI on the season while batting .310. Cabrera has been battling bone spurs in his ankle, but that has not effected him at the plate in his last seven games. The first baseman was 15-for-30 with five home runs and nine RBI last week.
Description: Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera is a career .429 hitter against Giants right-hander Tim Hudson, but he's never taken him deep.
Insight: He's on a seven-game hitting streak. Cabrera has 21 homers and 97 RBI after blasting two long balls Saturday. That would be impressive for most hitters, but Miggy isn't most hitters. He's coming off a .348, 44 HR, 137 RBI season in 2013 and these new numbers pale compared to last season.
Description: Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera clubbed a pair of home runs Saturday afternoon, but it wasn't enough to get the Tigers the win.
Insight: Cabrera now has 21 homers and 97 RBI. That would be impressive for most hitters, but Miggy isn't most hitters. He's coming off a .348, 44 HR, 137 RBI season in 2013 and these new numbers pale compared to last season.
Description: Just-brought-up Tigers catcher James McCann will make his first major league start Saturday against the San Francisco Giants.
Insight: Alex Avila is hurting and Bryan Holaday isn't swinging a good bat, so McCann draws the tough assignment facing Madison Bumgarner. Welcome to the big leagues kid! Although he hit well at Triple-A fantasy owners should take a wait-and-see attitude.
Description: Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera went 3-for-5 with a double in Detroit's victory over Cleveland on Tuesday.
Insight: So much for being hurt. Cabrera has eight hits in his last 10 at-bats, including three home runs, a double, three RBI and four runs. He is carrying the Tigers just when they need him to and likely doing the same for your fantasy team.
Description: Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera went 4-for-5 with two home runs, three RBI and four runs Monday at Cleveland.
Insight: Cabrera went 5-for-35 (.143) in his last eight games of August and didn't hit a homer in his last 27 games of the month. He also sat out Sunday due to an ankle injury. By the standard Cabrera set the past two seasons, a .304 average, 19 homers, 94 RBI and .868 OPS are disappointing.
Description: Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera did not play Sunday, but fantasy owners hope he returns for Monday's favorable matchup with Corey Kluber.
Insight: The two-time MVP is a career .536 hitter (15-for-28) with three homers and seven RBI against the Cleveland right-hander. And the wind will be blowing out to right at 11 mph too. Update: Cabrera will be the DH, so make sure he's in your lineup.
Description: Tigers right-hander Rick Porcello pitched six and 2/3 innings on Sunday and allowed six runs, three earned on 11 hits in a loss to the White Sox.
Insight: Porcello did strike out seven and only walked one, but Detroit just cannot get any consistency from his starting rotation. In the four game series against Chicago, Justin Verlander pitched great on Friday but Max Scherzer and Porcello threw below average starts. The 25-year-old will try to bounce back against red hot San Francisco in his next start.
Description: Tigers right fielder Torii Hunter went 2-for-4 in a loss against the White Sox on Sunday.
Insight: Hunter went 5-for-12 in the weekend series against Chicago. He has 19 hits since August 16 and is batting .452 since August 23. With Miguel Cabera out, like it or not, he is probably the most dependable batter in the Tiger lineup along with Ian Kinsler.
Description: Tigers ace Max Scherzer hit a speed bump in his otherwise great season, giving up five earned runs in six and 2/3 innings in the first game of a doubleheader on Saturday against the White Sox. He did, however, strikeout 11 and walk none.
Insight: Scherzer allowed two home runs, one to Adam Dunn and another to Tyler Flowers. Scherzer is now 15-5 with a 3.26 ERA and 1.15 WHIP.
Description: Tigers reliever Joakim Soria (oblique) is scheduled to throw off flat ground once again on Saturday according to MLive.com.
Insight: It's a good sign, but in terms of fantasy value, he has very little for the remainder of the season. He still is a few weeks away from returning and even then, Soria still is the setup man to closer Joe Nathan.
Description: Tigers DH Victor Martinez is a lifetime .520 (13-for-25) hitter with two home runs, three doubles and four RBI against White Sox starter Chris Sale.
Insight: Martinez comes into the game with a seven-game winning streak. During that stretch, the designated hitter is batting .394 with three extra-base hits, six RBI and nine runs. He should be already but put Martinez in your lineup.
Description: Tigers starter Justin Verlander allowed one run on nine hits over seven innings in a victory on Friday over the White Sox.
Insight: This is quite promising as Verlander looked like his old self on Friday. The only run he yielded was on an Adam Dunn sacrifice fly in the first inning. Overall, Verlander has still been very disappointing this year (12-11, 4.68 ERA, 1.45 WHIP), but he proved Friday he still has the potential to be dominant in any start.
Description: Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera is 5-for-12 (.417) with a pair of home runs versus Yankees starter Hiroki Kuroda.
Insight: The two-time MVP has a seven-game hitting streak despite nursing a sore ankle. He's batting .307 with 17 home runs, 90 RBI and an .872 OPS this season. Good for most players, but a bit of a disappointment for Cabrera owners. He's got a nice matchup Thursday.
Description: Detroit right fielder Torii Hunter is not in Thursday's starting lineup.
Insight: No injury, just a matchup problem. Hunter is 0-for-10 against Yankees right-hander Hiroki Kuroda. Hunter has four consecutive multi-hit games to raise his average to .278 with 15 HR and 71 RBI.
Description: Tigers starter David Price didn't make it out of the third inning Wednesday against the Yankees.
Insight: Price allowed four men to reach base in the first two innings but escaped without giving up a run. Everything unraveled in the third, as Price allowed nine consecutive hits to start the inning before getting removed. He ended up allowing 12 hits and eight runs.
Description: Tigers outfielder J.D. Martinez has batted .380 (19-for-50) with five doubles, two homers and seven RBI in his last 12 games.
Insight: Martinez hit .193 with two homers and eight RBI in his first 83 at-bats after the All-Star break, but he's back on track. The former Houston Astros outfielder has come out of nowhere to hit .312 with 17 homers, 58 RBI and a .912 OPS in just 321 at-bats.
Description: According to MLB.com, an ultrasound exam revealed Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez has scar tissue breaking off from his original pectoral strain.
Insight: Sanchez suffered a setback on Monday as he felt pain in his chest when he raised the intensity on his throws. The starter has been out with the strained right pectoral muscle since August 8. The Tigers desperately need him and are hoping he returns some time in September.
Description: Tigers right-hander Rick Porcello beat the Yankees Tuesday to tie teammate Max Scherzer, Johnny Cueto, Adam Wainwright, Wily Peralta and Clayton Kershaw for the Major League lead with 15 wins.
Insight: Porcello gave up two homers to nemesis Jacoby Ellsbury but they were solo shots and he didn't give up any more runs. The right-hander is 15-8 with a 3.06 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP on the year.
Description: Tigers DH Victor Martinez is on fire and has a nice matchup against Yankees starter Brandon McCarthy.
Insight: Martinez is a career .375 hitter against the Yankees starter. He's batted .409 over the past two weeks and for the season is hitting .328 with a career-high 25 HR along with 84 RBI. Beware, the weather forecast calls for a 70-80 percent chance of rain.
Description: Tigers center fielder Rajai Davis has hit .236 in August, but he went 2-for-6 with a homer and two RBI Sunday at Minnesota.
Insight: Throughout his career, Davis has been a much better hitter against lefties than righties and this year has been no different. He's hitting .343 with 13 doubles, two triples and three homers against southpaws and .245 with 10 doubles, four homers and 25 RBI against righties. The Tigers had to make Davis the starting center fielder when they traded Austin Jackson in the David Price deal, and Davis may be getting exposed as an everyday player.
Description: Tigers DH Victor Martinez hit his 25th homer of the season Sunday against the Twins, tying his career high.
Insight: Martinez' outstanding season continues. He went 3-for-6 with four RBI Sunday and has 26 RBI in August. The AL batting title is going to be a four-man race between Jose Altuve (.334), Martinez (.328), Adrian Beltre (.327) and Robinson Cano (.326).
Description: Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera is not in Sunday's starting lineup
Insight: he's been dealing with a sore ankle and Saturday's doubleheader may have been too much. We'd call this an "off" year for the two-time MVP, batting .308 with 17 home runs, 88 RBI and an .876 OPS this season.
Description: Tigers starter Justin Verlander made his return to the hill on Saturday. He pitched five and 2/3 innings, allowing four runs on eight hits, struck out six and walked three.
Insight: It's another very average start in a very average season for Justin Verlander. He is obviously a shell of his old self as his ERA this year (4.76) is over a run higher than his career ERA (3.52).
Description: Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez (pectoral strain) has resumed throwing, according to Jason Bweck of mlb.com.
Insight: Sanchez left his start on Aug. 8 with a strained right pectoral muscle. He threw from flat ground Friday and will do so again Saturday before moving to bullpen sessions. He'll be out at least until early September.
Description: Detroit right fielder Torii Hunter is a career 4-for-10 hitter with a home run against Twins starter Tommy Milone.
Insight: Hunter has been struggling in August with just 14 hits in 67 at-bats (.209). Hunter is hitting .269 with 15 home runs and 65 RBI this year. Perhaps the 39-year-old can get on track against the Twins.
Description: Tigers starter David Price pitched to a rare complete game loss on Thursday, allowing one hit in eight innings. Price allowed one unearned run in the top of the first and lost to his former team, 1-0.
Insight: Price also struck out nine and walked none. In his last two starts, Price has pitched 16 innings, allowing one earned run on four hits, striking out 16 and walking three.
Description: Tigers right-hander Rick Porcello tossed a three-hit shutout Wednesday at Tampa Bay.
Insight: Porcello now leads the AL with three shutouts this season and he's tied with teammate Max Scherzer and Oakland's Scott Kazmir for first in the league with 14 wins. The right-hander has finally lived up to his first-round draft status, recording a 3.10 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP in 165 1/3 innings.
Description: Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera is a career .167 hitter (2-for-12) versus Seattle right-hander Chris Young.
Insight: We only know a few pitchers who can consistently get Cabrera out and Young is one of them. Its hard to imagine, but we'd call this an "off" year for the two-time MVP, batting .311 with 17 home runs, 86 RBI and an .887 OPS this season.
Description: Tigers starter David Price outdueled Felix Hernandez in Saturday's win over the Mariners.
Insight: Price threw eight innings and held the M's to one run on three hits to get his first win with Detroit. The left-hander has a 12-8 record, a 3.12 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP overall, and he leads the majors in strikeouts with 212.
Description: The 2013 Cy Young Award winner has backed up his great season with more good numbers in 2014.
Insight: Scherzer, who is 13-4 with a 3.13 ERA and 1.161 WHIP, has been even better in his last nine outings - 2.01 ERA, 1.021 WHIP. If not for the amazing Felix Hernandez, Scherzer might have a shot at two consecutive Cy Young awards.
Description: Tigers DH Victor Martinez continues to pound the baseball in what should end up being the best season of his career.
Insight: Martinez went 3-for-4 with three RBI Wednesday against the Pirates to raise his average to .323 with 23 HR, 71 RBI and a .937 OPS. Add in he's a career .481 hitter (13-for-27) against Pittsburgh's Thursday starter, Francisco Liriano, and it makes him a must start.
Description: Tigers center fielder Rajai Davis is not in the lineup Wednesday against the Pirates.
Insight: Davis has been in the starting lineup in 11 of 13 games this month after the team traded starting center fielder Austin Jackson on July 31. He's hitting .251 with a .629 OPS against righties, however, so he'll take a sit against Vance Worley.
Description: Tigers outfielder Rajai Davis went 3-for-5 with a double, two RBI, a run and a steal Monday at Pittsburgh.
Insight: Davis entered the game with a .356 average and a .935 OPS against left-handers this season and he had a couple of infield hits against Pirates southpaw Jeff Locke before doubling off right-hander Casey Sadler.
Description: Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander left Monday's game after one inning due to right shoulder soreness, according to Jason Beck of mlb.com.
Insight: Verlander gave up five runs (four earned) on four hits and walked two in his inning of work. He had been pitching better as of late, recording a 3.14 ERA in his last 28 2/3 innings, but still not striking out a lot of batters in that span (5.96 K/9). Ironically, he struck out the side Monday.
Description: Tigers reliever Joakim Soria has been placed on the disabled list with a left oblique strain.
Insight: The Tigers' acquisition of Soria hasn't gone well for fantasy owners. Prior to the trade, he was the Rangers closer and had a 2.70 ERA and 17 saves. Since the deal, he's pitched in a middle relief role and allowed five earned runs on 10 hits in 4 1/3 innings.
Description: Detroit starter Anibal Sanchez will miss 3-4 weeks with a right pectoral strain.
Insight: Sanchez left Friday's game with the injury. He's 8-5 with a 3.53 ERA, a 1.10 WHIP and 102 Ks in 125 innings this season. Robbie Ray, Detroit's top pitching prospect, will take Sanchez' spot in the rotation. He has a 3.72 ERA and a 71/40 K/BB in 96 2/3 innings with Triple-A Toledo this season, so he's not a fantasy option in most leagues.
Description: Tigers DH Victor Martinez has batted .355 in 76 at-bats against Toronto starter Mark Buehrle.
Insight: That includes two doubles and four homers. Martinez is having a great month of August so far, hitting .344 with two homers, 10 RBI and a .999 OPS, and Buehrle has posted a 5.15 ERA since June 12. Make sure he's in your lineup Sunday.
Description: Another fine outing by 2013 Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer as he attempted to win his 14th game of the season Saturday.
Insight: Scherzer allowed one run on just four hits and struck out 11 in eight innings, but Joe Nathan failed to hold the lead in the ninth inning. He has yielded two runs or less in eight of his last nine starts.
Description: Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera is not in Thursday's starting lineup against Shane Greene and the New York Yankees.
Insight: He can probably use a day off. Cabrera has played 110 of 111 games this season and has batted just .256 over the past 11 games. He's still hitting .310 with 17 home runs, 84 RBI and an .893 OPS this season, though after two straight MVP seasons, we were expecting more.
Description: Detroit right fielder Torii Hunter left Tuesday's game against the Yankees after being hit in the left hand by Dellin Betances in the ninth inning. UPDATE: Hunter's X-rays came back negative and he's been diagnosed with a left hand contusion, according to Tom Gage of the Detroit News.
Insight: Betances threw one up and in and Hunter was hit squarely on the back of the left hand as he turned away from the pitch.
Description: Detroit shortstop Eugenio Suarez (knee) is not in the lineup Tuesday. Andrew Romine is starting in his place.
Insight: Suarez left Monday's game with a left knee sprain. Suarez hit .300 with seven extra-base hits (3 HR), eight RBI, nine walks and 13 runs in his first 60 at-bats after getting called up, but he's hit just .217 with zero homers, five RBI and nine runs in 83 at-bats since then.
Description: Former closer Jim Johnson has signed a minor league deal with the Detroit Tigers.
Insight: Johnson was horrible in Oakland (4-2, 7.14 ERA, 2.058 WHIP), but hopes to find himself in the minors. Even if he remembers the form that saw him rack up 101 saves from 2012-13, he'll have to wait in line behind Joe Nathan and Joakim Soria.
Description: Detroit shortstop Eugenio Suarez left Monday's game with a left knee sprain, according to Chris Iott of mlive.com.
Insight: Andrew Romine took over at shortstop. Suarez hit .300 with seven extra-base hits (3 HR), eight RBI, nine walks and 13 runs in his first 60 at-bats after getting called up, but he's hit just .217 with zero homers, five RBI and nine runs in 83 at-bats since then.
Description: Tigers outfielder Rajai Davis is not in Monday's starting lineup against the New York Yankees.
Insight: Strange move considering the outfielder has three consecutive multi-hit games. Davis' hot streak brings his batting average up to .305 with six homers. 36 RBI, 42 runs and 26 steals in 295 at-bats. Ezequiel Carrera will get the start in center field.
Description: It's only Aug 3 and Tigers DH Victor Martinez hit his 23rd home run of the season to tie his second-best season total.
Insight: He's just two home runs behind his career high of 25 with 56 games still on the schedule. Martinez had a hard time shaking a back injury prior to the All-Star break and missed 11 of the past 13 games, but appeared to be healthy again. He's batting .321 with 63 RBI and a .948 OPS.
Description: Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander allowed two runs on eight hits, struck out five and walked none in eight innings Friday night against the Rockies.
Insight: It was Verlander's best start since April and just the second time all season he didn't walk anyone. The right-hander has thrown a quality start in six of his last eight turns and is 10-9 with a 4.66 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP. He's still not striking many batters out, however.
Description: Detroit right fielder Torii Hunter went 2-for-3 with a solo homer Thursday.
Insight: Hunter has gone 32-for-88 (.364) with five doubles, a triple, six home runs and 24 RBI in July and he has excellent numbers against White Sox starter John Danks, so he was a no-brainer option Thursday.
Description: Rajai Davis is likely to become the Tigers' starting center fielder after the team traded Austin Jackson Thursday.
Insight: Davis has been limited to playing against lefties lately, but he'll get a spot in the everyday lineup with Jackson gone and may even lead off. He's hitting .294 with six homers, 33 RBI, 38 runs and 25 steals on the year.
Description: The Rays have traded David Price to the Tigers in a three-team trade that also includes the Mariners. The Mariners will get Austin Jackson and the Rays will receive Drew Smyly, Nick Franklin and shortstop prospect Willy Adames.
Insight: Price comes to Detroit red hot, having gone 7-4 with a 2.03 ERA and a 105/15 K/BB over 93 1/3 innings his last 12 starts. He'll have a much better offense behind him in Detroit and will get to pitch in a bunch of favorable parks in the AL Central.
Description: Tigers center fielder Austin Jackson has batted .343 with 10 doubles, two triples, one homer and 18 runs in July and he has a good matchup Thursday.
Insight: Jackson is 16-for-42 (.381) with three homers in his career against White Sox starter John Danks. Detroit had Jackson hitting fifth and sixth in the order earlier this season, but he's clearly more comfortable leading off. He's hitting .327 in 107 at-bats as the leadoff hitter this season and should remain in that spot.
Description: Tigers right-hander Max Scherzer won his 13th game of the season Wednesday night against the White Sox.
Insight: Scherzer allowed one run on five hits and struck out six in seven innings. He has gone 5-0 with a 2.08 ERA, a 1.01 WHIP and 56 Ks in 47 2/3 innings since he gave up 10 runs on 10 hits in four innings on June 17 against the Royals.
Description: Detroit third baseman Nick Castellanos (finger) is back in the lineup Wednesday.
Insight: Castellanos had a ground ball hit his finger during batting practice Tuesday and was scratched from the lineup. He's had a disappointing season, hitting .264 with six homers, 37 RBI and a .709 OPS in 326 at-bats.
Description: Tigers left fielder Rajai Davis is a career .400 hitter with a 1.079 OPS versus White Sox left-hander Jose Quintana.
Insight: And if Davis gets on base he's been successful in 4-of-4 stolen base attempts against Quintana. Davis is putting together his best season since 2009 in Oakland. He's batting .297 with a .766 OPS over 81 games and is worth a flier Tuesday.
Description: Tigers right-hander Rick Porcello allowed one unearned run on five hits, struck out six and walked none over seven innings Sunday against the Angels.
Insight: After stranding less than 70 percent of his baserunners every year from 2010-13, Porcello has stranded a career-high 74.7 percent in 2014 and it has resulted in a career-low 3.24 ERA. He's gone 4-1 with a 2.18 ERA and a 0.97 WHIP over his last eight starts and is tied with Masahiro Tanaka, Sonny Gray and teammate Max Scherzer for first in the AL with 12 wins.
Description: The Tigers have agreed to trade closer Joakim Soria to the Detroit Tigers for pitching prospects Jake Thompson and Corey Knebel, according to Jon Morosi of FOX Sports.
Insight: Tigers closer Joe Nathan has a 5.89 ERA, a 1.53 WHIP and five blown saves this season. It's unclear if Soria will take the closer job from him, but that would make sense. Soria has a 2.70 ERA, a 0.87 WHIP and a 42/4 K/BB in 33 1/3 innings. Thompson and Knebel are both top-five prospects in Detroit's system, so this would be a steep price to give up if the Tigers plan to use Soria in the eighth inning.
Description: Detroit first baseman Miguel Cabrera went 2-for-4 with a homer, three RBI and two runs Wednesday at Arizona.
Insight: It was his first homer of July. Cabrera has batted .315 with 80 RBI and 61 runs this season, but he's on pace for 25 home runs, down from 44 in each of the past two years. It would be his lowest total since he hit 12 in 314 at-bats as a rookie.
Description: Tigers left-hander Drew Smyly returned to form Sunday against the Indians after giving up 13 runs on 23 hits in his last 14 1/3 innings.
Insight: Smyly held Cleveland to one run on four hits and fanned six batters in seven innings to win his sixth game of the season. With a 3.80 ERA, a 1.33 WHIP and 76 Ks in 94 2/3 innings, he's been a low-end fantasy option this year.
Description: Detroit first baseman Miguel Cabrera is 12-for-24 with three homers and a 1.455 OPS versus Cleveland right-hander Corey Kluber.
Insight: Cabrera is hitting .308 with 34 doubles, 14 homers, 75 RBI and an .899 OPS this season, but has struggled of late batting just .267 with an .817 OPS over the past four weeks. We expect more for him. We could get it on Saturday.
Description: For the third time since June 27, Miguel Cabrera has gone three straight games without getting a hit.
Insight: Prior to June 27, he hadn't gone more than two games all season without getting a hit all season. In fact, he only went more than two games without getting a hit one time all of last season, and one of those games he exited with an injury before getting an at-bat. Despite the cold streak to end the first half, Cabrera is hitting .306 with 34 doubles, 14 homers, 75 RBI and an .898 OPS this season.
Description: Tigers outfielder J.D. Martinez is a .333 hitter with a pair of home runs against Royals right-hander Jeremy Guthrie.
Insight: Martinez has become one of the Tigers best hitters, batting .329 with 12 HR, 38 RBI and a 1.005 OPS in 51 games. He's one of four likely starters who are hitting at least .300 against Guthrie.
Description: Tigers right-hander Max Scherzer has struck out 35 batters, walked six and allowed five runs on 19 hits in his last 28 innings.
Insight: Scherzer had a 6.86 ERA and a 1.58 WHIP in 39 1/3 innings over six starts from May 21 to June 17, and that included a three-hit shutout on June 12. He's settled down and turned in four straight dominant outings. Scherzer improved to 11-3 on the year with seven innings of one-run ball Wednesday against the Dodgers.
Description: Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said Wednesday that Victor Martinez (back) is unlikely to play again until after the All-Star break. SOURCE: Lynn Henning, Detroit News
Insight: Martinez left Friday's game after aggravating the back injury he's been dealing with since the end of June. If the Tigers place him on the DL retroactive to Saturday, he would have to sit out the first three games of the second half in addition to the rest of the first half. It sounds like the team plans to play with 24 players for the final four games before the break, however.
Description: Detroit first baseman Miguel Cabrera is getting the day off Wednesday against the Dodgers.
Insight: Cabrera has gone three games in a row without getting a hit twice since June 27 after not going more than two without one at any point this season, but he went 3-for-5 with a triple, two RBI and two runs Tuesday to snap a 0-for-9 stretch.
Description: Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said Tuesday that the team has discussed placing Victor Martinez (back) on the disabled list but that "it's not really being considered." SOURCE: mlive.com
Insight: Martinez left Friday's game after aggravating the back injury he's been dealing with since the end of June. If the Tigers placed him on the DL retroactive to Saturday, he would have to miss the final five games of the first half and the first three of the second while being eligible to return on July 20.
Description: Detroit first baseman Miguel Cabrera is a woeful 1-for-14 (.071) lifetime against Rays left-hander David Price.
Insight: Well, if you didn't believe there was a pitcher who could own Cabrera so thoroughly, here's the proof. Miggy has a measly single and has struck out six times against Price in 14 at-bats. But, it's not really too advisable to bench the game's premiere hitter, especially as he's coming off back-to-back hitless games.
Description: Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler has been phenomenal this year, but faces a tall task Sunday night against Rays energetic left-hander David Price.
Insight: Kinsler is 5-for-22 (.227) lifetime against the Vandy product with three doubles and a homer. It still might be worth having him in your lineup, though, as he's hit lefties just as well as righties, has a better average at home than away and is hitting a ridiculous .383/.442/.638 over the last 14 days.
Description: Detroit DH Victor Martinez was not in Saturday's starting lineup against Tampa Bay and is doubtful for Sunday's game.
Insight: Martinez left Friday's game with a sore back and is likely to miss Sunday's contest as well. This is a big blow to fantasy owners as he's been hitting better than ever (.328, 21 HR, 55 RBI, .991 OPS).
Description: Detroit DH Victor Martinez is not in Saturday's starting lineup against Tampa Bay.
Insight: Martinez left Friday's game with a sore back and could miss Sunday's contest as well. This is a big blow to fantasy owners as he's been hitting better than ever (.328, 21 HR, 55 RBI, .991 OPS).
Description: Detroit first baseman Miguel Cabrera reached base four times (2 2B, 1 1B, 1 BB) Thursday against the Rays and scored all four times.
Insight: Cabrera's home-run total is down but he's hitting .316 with 67 RBI, 53 runs and a .925 OPS. He also has 32 doubles to go with his 14 home runs and some of those doubles may start turning into home runs in the second half.
Description: Detroit DH Victor Martinez (ribs) returned to the lineup Thursday and went 2-for-3 with a homer, two RBI and a walk.
Insight: Martinez (.327) was scratched from Monday's lineup with soreness in his ribcage and also sat out the last two days, but he didn't miss a beat. He's just four home runs away from tying his career high of 25 and we aren't even at the All-Star break yet.
Description: Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander has thrown three straight quality starts and recorded a 20/2 K/BB over 19 innings in that span.
Insight: Verlander won his first game since May 30 on Wednesday against Oakland. He allowed nine hits (2 HR) but just two runs and zero walks in six innings. He's still trying to recover after posting a 7.83 ERA and a 1.85 WHIP in 43 2/3 innings from May 14 to June 16.
Description: Tigers outfielder J.D. Martinez went 2-for-4 with a double, a homer and two RBI Tuesday against Oakland.
Insight: Martinez isn't slowing down. Including 17 games for Triple-A Toledo, Martinez has batted .314 with 20 home runs and 56 RBI in 61 games this season. With the Tigers, he's hit .317 with 10 homers, 34 RBI and a .982 OPS.
Description: Tigers right-hander Rick Porcello threw his second consecutive shutout Tuesday against the Athletics.
Insight: Porcello (11-4) has thrown 24 straight scoreless innings over his last three starts to lower his ERA from 4.03 to 3.12. The right-hander became the third pitcher since 1998 to throw a nine-inning shutout while striking out zero batters on Tuesday.
Description: Detroit DH Victor Martinez was scratched from the lineup Monday due to soreness in his ribcage and is out for Tuesday's game against Oakland as well.
Insight: This is the type of injury that frequently prevents a player from swinging hard even after he returns to the lineup. Be wary of Martinez until he proves it isn't forcing him to change his swing. Too bad, because Martinez was on pace for a career-high 42 homers as well as 108 RBI and he's batting .323 with a .974 OPS.
Description: Detroit DH Victor Martinez was scratched from the lineup Monday due to soreness in his ribcage and is questionable for Tuesday's game against Oakland
Insight: This is the type of injury that frequently prevents a player from swinging hard even after he returns to the lineup. Be wary of Martinez until he proves it isn't forcing him to change his swing. Too bad, because Martinez was on pace for a career-high 42 homers as well as 108 RBI and he's batting .323 with a .974 OPS.
Description: Detroit first baseman Miguel Cabrera went 2-for-4 with a double and a solo homer Monday against the Athletics.
Insight: Cabrera was 0-for-13 over his previous three games. Prior to that stretch, Cabrera hadn't gone more than two games without a hit all season. The two-time AL MVP has a higher career OPS in July than any other month (1.010), so a big month could be in store after he barely cracked .800 in June.
Description: Detroit first baseman Miguel Cabrera is a sick 9-for-13 (.692) with a pair of home runs and a 2.022 OPS versus Houston starter Scott Feldman.
Insight: A smart Feldman should probably just walk him to hold him to one base. Cabrera isn't hitting like he did last season, but he's still batting .315 with 13 HR and 64 RBI ... totals most mortals would love to have.
Description: Tigers right-hander Max Scherzer struck out a season-high 13 batters over seven innings Saturday at Houston.
Insight: Scherzer took a no decision and remains 9-3 with a 3.64 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP this season. The right-hander has a 2.95 FIP but he's been hurt by a .336 BABIP. Use his higher-than-expected ERA as a buy-low opportunity.
Description: Tigers center fielder Austin Jackson is not in the lineup Satday against Houston.
Insight: Torii Hunter is back from a hamstring injury and the team wants to keep hot-hitting J.D. Martinez (.313, 9 HR, 32 RBI) in the lineup and get Rajai Davis some work. jackson is the odd-man out today.
Description: Tigers center fielder Austin Jackson is not in the lineup Wednesday against the Rangers.
Insight: Torii Hunter is back from a hamstring injury and the team wants to keep both J.D. Martinez (.404, 5 HR, 15 RBI during 13-game hitting streak) and Rajai Davis (career .786 OPS vs. LHP) in the lineup against Texas left-hander Joe Saunders. If Jackson (.253, 3 HR, 20 RBI) doesn't start hitting, he could find himself on the bench more often.
Description: Detroit right fielder Torii Hunter (hamstring) is back in the lineup Wednesday, according to Chris Iott of mlive.com.
Insight: Hunter (.266, 9 HR, 35 RBI) hasn't played since last Monday. J.D. Martinez has been on fire lately and the Tigers are going to make an effort to get him in the lineup at one of the corner outfield spots every day. Austin Jackson is sitting out Wednesday and Rajai Davis is in center field.
Description: Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler has gone 12-for-36 (.333) with three doubles and four homers against Rangers starter Joe Saunders.
Insight: Kinsler actually has a better average and OPS against righties (.299, .835) than lefties (.286, .685), but he's smashed Saunders in the past. He's also hitting .395 with four doubles, three homers, 10 RBI and two steals in his last 10 games.
Description: Tigers outfielder J.D. Martinez' outstanding month continued Tuesday at Texas. He went 2-for-5 with a double, a homer and two RBI.
Insight: Martinez has hit .438 with four doubles, five home runs and 13 RBI in his last eight games. He's been starting due to Torii Hunter's hamstring injury but could replace Rajai Davis as the team's starting left fielder against right-handers when Hunter returns. Martinez has been especially potent against right-handers, hitting .395 with six homers against them compared to 3-for-32 (.094) against southpaws, while Davis is better against lefties.
Description: Tigers right-hander Max Scherzer bounced back from his worst start of the year Tuesday against the Royals with six innings of one-run ball Sunday at Cleveland.
Insight: Scherzer gave up 10 runs on 10 hits in four innings against the Indians, but he was back to form Sunday, striking out eight and giving up six hits to get his ninth win. Scherzer has been hit harder this season (436 batters faced and 40 XBH allowed in 2014, 836 batters faced and 59 XBH allowed in 2013) but he's still a fantasy ace.
Description: Detroit right fielder Torii Hunter will miss his sixth consecutive game Sunday against the Indians. SOURCE: Matthew Mowery, Oakland Press
Insight: He's been battling hamstring issues since Monday. If Hunter's condition doesn't improve quickly, a stint on the disabled list could be in order for the five-time All-Star. J.D Martinez (.312, 7 HR, 25 RBI) is getting another start in right field.
Description: Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander was much better Saturday against Cleveland. He had lost five of his previous six starts.
Insight: Verlander (6-7, 4.73 ERA) didn't factor in the decision but he pitched well, allowing just two runs (one earned) in seven innings. He tied a season-high by delivering eight strikeouts. Verlander's next outing is scheduled for Friday against Houston.
Description: Tigers right fielder Torii Hunter is not in Saturday's starting lineup.
Insight: Hunter left Monday night's game with hamstring cramps. It hasn't been tough on manager Brad Ausmus, however, as Hunter's replacement, J.D. Martinez is batting .500 over the past six games with four homers, 10 RBI and a 1.615 OPS. Torii do you know the story of Wally Pipp?
Description: Tigers outfielder J.D. Martinez homered for the third straight game and the fourth time in his last five Friday at Cleveland.
Insight: Martinez has gone 17-for-34 (.500) with nine extra-base hits and 11 RBI during a 10-game hitting streak. He is likely to take over the starting left field job from Rajai Davis when Torii Hunter returns.
Description: Detroit starter Anibal Sanchez allowed five hits and one run over seven innings Thursday against the Royals but didn't strike out anyone.
Insight: Sanchez came in with an 8.47 K/9, but the Royals have 47 fewer strikeouts than any other team in baseball this season. Sanchez, who led the AL in ERA last season, has a 2.33 ERA and a 0.93 WHIP in 69 2/3 innings in 2014.
Description: Tigers right fielder Torii Hunter probably won't be ready to play again until this weekend. SOURCE: Jacon Beck, MLB.com
Insight: Hunter left Monday night's game with hamstring cramps and is still feeling sore. J.D. Martinez (.299, 5 HR, 21 RBI) is on an eight-game hitting streak and will handle the right field duties during his absence.
Description: Tigers outfielder J.D. Martinez has gone 13-for-31 (.419) with four doubles, two homers and seven RBI in his last eight games.
Insight: When Torii Hunter returns, we may see Martinez become Detroit's starting left fielder against right-handers over Rajai Davis, who hits better against southpaws. Martinez is 27-for-68 (.397) with nine doubles, four homers and 17 RBI against righties this season.
Description: Tigers outfielder J.D. Martinez went 3-for-4 Tuesday in a loss to Kansas City.
Insight: The loss dropped Detroit out of first place. Martinez, who is filling in at right field for the injured Torii Hunter (hamstring cramps), is currently on a seven-game hitting streak. If you're looking for help in the outfield this week (Hunter is hoping to return this weekend), Martinez (.290, 4 HR, 20 RBI) could be a decent option.
Description: Detroit starter Justin Verlander labored through another tough outing Monday against the Royals, allowing 12 hits and seven earned runs in six innings.
Insight: He's now 2-5 with a 7.83 ERA over his last seven starts. The former MVP had trouble with his mechanics last season and it looks like he's fallen into a similar trap this season. We'll see if Verlander (6-7, 4.98 ERA) can turn things around next time out against Cleveland.
Description: Tigers left fielder J.D Martinez hit his second career grand slam Monday against the Royals.
Insight: It came as part of a six-run ninth inning. Martinez (.270, 4 HR, 20 RBI) entered the game in the fourth inning after Torii Hunter went down with a hamstring injury. He's been platooning with Rajai Davis in left field for the past couple of weeks.
Description: Detroit shortstop Eugenio Suarez will get another start at shortstop Monday night and its time fantasy owners take notice.
Insight: The 22-year-old is swing a hot bat, hitting .375 with a double, a triple, three homers, six RBI, eight runs and four walks in just 24 at-bats since he was called up. He has a chance to run with Detroit's starting shortstop job.
Description: Detroit shortstop Eugenio Suarez went 3-for-4 with a homer, two RBI and three runs Saturday against the Twins.
Insight: The 22-year-old is off to a torrid start, hitting .400 with a double, a triple, three homers, six RBI, eight runs and four walks in just 20 at-bats since he was called up. He has a chance to run with Detroit's starting shortstop job.
Description: Tigers center fielder Austin Jackson won't start Thursday against Chicago.
Insight: With just two hits in 30 lifetime at bats against tonight's starting pitcher, Chris Sale, Jackson wouldn't have helped much anyway. Rajai Davis (.277, 4 HR, 19 RBI) will move over to center field with J.D. Martinez (.257, 3 HR, 14 RBI) getting the start in left.
Description: Detroit center fielder Austin Jackson is 2-for-30 (.067) against Chicago left-hander Chris Sale.
Insight: Jackson is hitting just .258 with a .710 OPS this season. He shouldn't be in any lineups on Thursday. The Tigers moving him down from the leadoff spot this season has really hurt his fantasy value.
Description: Detroit right fielder Torii Hunter's average has dropped 26 points since May 22.
Insight: He's batted .200 in his last 16 games. However, he's a must-start with John Danks on the mound for Chicago against Detroit Wednesday. Hunter is 15-for-46 (.326) with three homers in his career against Danks.
Description: Detroit center fielder Austin Jackson is 15-for-39 (.385) lifetime with two doubles and three home runs against White Sox starter John Danks.
Insight: Jackson has hit safely in five straight games while going 8-for-16 (.500) in that span, but he's still hitting just .254 with a .705 OPS this season. He could be useful Wednesday but the Tigers moving him down from the leadoff spot this season really hurt his fantasy value.
Description: The Tigers will skip Drew Smyly in the rotation following Tuesday's rainout.
Insight: Justin Verlander will be pushed back from Tuesday to Wednesday. Smyly (3-4, 3.81 ERA, 1.34 WHIP) has frequently been skipped this season and made just nine starts so far. Verlander and Max Scherzer will both make their 14th start of the season in the next two games.
Description: Tigers 2B Ian Kinsler is a career .382 with four homers against White Sox left-hander John Danks.
Insight: Kinsler has been exactly what Detroit and fantasy owners have expected, batting .287 with six homers, 28 RBI, 43 runs and six steals, though he's been struggling over the past two weeks (.154). tuesday could be the breakout day.
Description: Tigers manager Brad Ausmus gave closer Joe Nathan a vote of confidence Monday, according to mlb.com. "Right now, Joe is and has been the closer the whole year," Ausmus said. "The only times he hasn't closed have been games that I've felt it was best to give him a rest. If there's a bridge that needs to be crossed sometime down the road, I'll cross it. Right now, I'm not even considering it."
Insight: Nathan has allowed 10 runs on 12 hits in his last 3 1/3 innings and has a 7.04 ERA this season. Ausmus gave him a day off Sunday and Joba Chamberlain allowed three runs in the ninth to blow a 3-2 lead against the Red Sox.
Description: Detroit first baseman Miguel Cabrera exited Sunday night's game against the Red Sox after tweaking his hamstring in the sixth inning. SOURCE: Detroit Free Press
Insight: Cabrera (.326, 11 HR, 51 RBI) looked hobbled on his way to first base after lacing a single to left field. Don Kelly (.265, 0 HR, 3 RBI) pinch-ran for Cabrera and is now filling in for him at first.
Description: Detroit catcher Alex Avila is back in the lineup after missing Saturday's game with a mild concussion. SOURCE: Jason Beck, MLB.com
Insight: He's starting at catcher rather than DHing so the Tigers must be pretty confident he's at full strength. With that said, Avila should be avoided in fantasy as he's just 1-for-9 against tonight's starting pitcher, John Lackey.
Description: Former AL West opponents Ian Kinsler, now a member of the Tigers, and John Lackey, now a starter for the Red Sox, have faced each other 38 times and Kinsler has won a good portion of those battles.
Insight: Kinsler has batted .421 with two doubles, a triple and four home runs against Lackey.
Description: Tigers closer Joe Nathan allowed four hits and two runs in a non-save situation Saturday night against the Red Sox.
Insight: Nathan has been awful lately and the Tigers brought him into a low-leverage situation -- Detroit led Boston 8-4 in the ninth -- to try to get him back on track. However, he allowed Boston to get the tying runs on base before getting Stephen Drew to fly out to end the game. Nathan has allowed 10 runs on 12 hits in his last 3 1/3 innings and now has a 7.04 ERA this season. Joba Chamberlain is likely next in line for saves if Nathan cannot turn it around.
Description: Detroit third baseman Nick Castellanos had his third straight three-hit game as well as a home run Saturday against the Red Sox.
Insight: Castellanos (.271) has the second-highest line-drive rate in the majors after Freddie Freeman, but he has a 44/12 K/BB and just 15 extra-base hits (5 HR) in 197 plate appearances. For now, he's only a fantasy option in AL-only leagues.
Description: Detroit catcher Alex Avila has a mild concussion, according to mlive.com.
Insight: David Ortiz hit Avila in the head with his backswing Friday night. Manager Brad Ausmus said after Friday's game that the team thought Avila would be fine by Saturday, though he added that Avila won't play tonight regardless.
Description: Detroit right fielder Torii Hunter bashed three hits including his ninth home run of the season Friday versus Boston.
Insight: He had been hitless in his previous 11 at bats prior to tonight's game. Hunter got off to a good start this season (.316 AVG in April) but has slumped since then, hitting just .250 over his last 31 games.
Description: Forrmer Pirates and Red Sox closer Joel Hanrahan continues to throw bullpen sessions and long toss in Flordia, but doesn't appear close to returning. Source: Jason Beck, MLB.com.
Insight: Hanrahan, who has been slowly recovering from Tommy John surgery, has followed a strength-building program for the last few weeks, but still was experiencing arm weakness at times. The Tigers won't rush Hanrahan back, but when he does return he could become a helpful piece in Detroit's bullpen.
Description: Tigers starter Justin Verlander was "outdueled" by J.A. Happ Thursday afternoon.
Insight: Happ didn't throw great, just well enough to beat the slumping Verlander. The Tigers' right-hander hasn't cracked the seven strikeout mark since April 12 and we have seen his ERA jump from 2.08 on April 17 to 4.19 after today's fiasco.
Description: The Tigers brought closer Joe Nathan into a scoreless game Tuesday against the Blue Jays and he allowed two hits, two walks and four runs in 1/3 of an inning.
Insight: Nathan has given up seven hits, three walks and eight earned runs in 1 1/3 innings over his last three appearances and now has an ugly 6.86 ERA. If Nathan continues to struggle, the Tigers will probably turn to Joba Chamberlain (2.59 ERA, 1.19 WHIP) to close. Chamberlain closed a game on May 30 when Nathan was unavailable.
Description: Detroit starter Anibal Sanchez gave up just two hits and struck out five in seven shutout innings Tuesday against the Blue Jays.
Insight: Toronto's Drew Hutchison didn't allow a run either so Sanchez didn't get a decision. The 2013 AL ERA leader has allowed just four earned runs on 17 hits with a 22/4 K/BB in 27 1/3 innings since he came off the disabled list. He's 2-2 with a 2.15 ERA and a 0.89 WHIP this season.
Description: Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera homered for the second straight game Saturday night.
Insight: Cabrera's slow start is a distant memory. He's up to .332 with 10 home runs, 49 RBI and a .946 OPS. AL home-run leader Nelson Cruz has a big lead over Cabrera with 20 bombs, but the Tigers first baseman ranks second in the AL in average and RBI.
Description: Detroit right fielder Torii Hunter is not in Thursday's starting lineup.
Insight: Hunter is putting up solid numbers again this season even as re approached 39 years of age. He's batting .282 with eight homers, 29 RBI and 25 runs scored. Don Kelly will get the start in right, but has little fantasy value.
Description: Detroit 2B Ian Kinsler is still batting .316 this season even after going hitless in his last two games and the cold spell could continue into a third day as he's 0-for-8 versus Athletics starter Jesse Chavez.
Insight: Kinsler has been one of the top second basemen in fantasy this season, but he shouldn't be in daily lineups Thursday.
Description: Detroit center fielder Austin Jackson is hitting .217 with a .575 OPS in May and hasn't had success against Oakland left-hander Scott Kazmir.
Insight: Jackson has hit .214 (3-for-14) with eight Ks against Kazmir. The move from leadoff to fifth in the order actually hurt his fantasy value because he's not a good run producer (.245 career batting average with RISP) and he's been hitting sixth or seventh over the past month. Jackson used to be one of the top run-scoring threats in the majors, but he has just 23 runs in 45 games.
Description: Detroit right fielder Torii Hunter had his first multi-hit game since May 18 Tuesday against the Athletics.
Insight: Hunter went 2-for-5 with a double and a solo homer. He was 3-for-28 (.107) in his previous seven games and has batted .188 in his last 18 games. Hunter's fly-ball rate is up this year and it has resulted in more home runs but a much lower batting average on balls in play and, as a result, a lower batting average than he had in 2013.
Description: Tigers starter Justin Verlander was rocked again Sunday against the Rangers.
Insight: Fantasy owners who were concerned with Verlander's declining strikeout totals and sold high may have gotten out just in time. The right-hander has allowed 28 hits and 19 runs (16 earned) while posting a 7/9 K/BB over 17 1/3 innings his last three starts. He now has a 1.51 WHIP and a 4.04 ERA this season.
Description: Detroit right fielder Torii Hunter has managed just two hits in 19 previous at bats against Texas starter Colby Lewis.
Insight: That computes to a .105 batting average which is obviously not what fantasy owners are looking for. Hunter has been in a bit of a tailspin lately, going 2-for-20 over his last five games. Don't expect him to snap out of it on Sunday.
Description: Tigers left-hander Robbie Ray has been sent back to Triple-A Toledo.
Insight: He was called up a few weeks ago when Anibal Sanchez was placed on the DL. Now that Sanchez is back, Ray's assistance will no longer be necessary. He went 1-1 with a 4.70 ERA during his brief stint in the major leagues.
Description: Tigers DH Victor Martinez went yard for the 12th time this season Wednesday at Cleveland.
Insight: He also had three hits and is batting .329 with a .998 OPS and more homers than strikeouts. Martinez had just 14 homers in 605 at-bats a year ago but is on pace to shatter his career high of 25.
Description: Tigers right-hander Rick Porcello expects to pitch Saturday against Texas. SOURCE: Chris Iott, MLive.com
Insight: His start was pushed back a few days because of soreness in his right side. Porcello has gotten off to a great start, winning seven of his first eight starts with an ERA under three. Detroit's 27-14 record this season is easily the best in the major leagues.
Description: Tigers starter Justin Verlander has a 1.42 WHIP following Tuesday's poor start at Cleveland.
Insight: It might be time for fantasy owners to worry about Verlander. The right-hander's ERA is still a solid 3.55 even after he gave up five runs on 11 hits in six innings Tuesday, but he has a 6.68 K/9 and a 3.68 BB/9 in 66 innings this season.
Description: Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera is a career .471 hitter (8-for-17) with three homers and seven RBI versus Cleveland right-hander Corey Kluber.
Insight: Cabrera was hitting .206 with one home run and a .609 OPS on April 21, but he's now batting .316 with seven homers, 39 RBI and an .888 OPS. Monday should continue his climb to the top of the leaderboard.
Description: Tigers rookie Nick Castellanos is getting a rest Sunday against the Red Sox.
Insight: Castellanos (.233, 4 HR, 19 RBI) has done a lot of swinging and missing lately with seven strikeouts in his last 14 at bats. Don Kelly (.316, 0 HR, 2 RBI) is making his sixth start of the season at third base.
Description: Tigers right fielder Torii Hunter has cooled off after a torrid start to this month, but he has a good matchup Sunday.
Insight: After starting off May 10-for-22 (.455) with seven RBI, Hunter has gone 6-for-31 (.194) in his last nine games. However, he has a .438 average with a double, a triple and a homer in 16 at-bats against Red Sox starter Jake Peavy.
Description: Tigers starter Rick Porcello held the Red Sox to one run on six hits in eight innings Saturday and is now 7-1 with a 2.91 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP.
Insight: Porcello entered the game with a 10.42 ERA in five career starts against Boston and a 10.03 ERA in three starts at Fenway Park, but he put those struggles behind him Saturday. The right-hander pitched very well last year but struggled with men on base and finished with a 4.32 ERA. This year, he's stranded 76 percent of his baserunners.
Description: Detroit 2B Ian Kinsler is a career .429 hitter (15-for-35) with four homers and nine RBI against Boston starter John Lackey.
Insight: Kinsler is batting around the .300 mark, a place he hasn't been since 2008. Batting mostly first or second in the Tigers lineup, he's in for a big year scoring runs. He already scored 26 times in 37 games which puts him on pace for 113 runs scored.
Description: Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera has a career .526 batting average versus Boston left-hander Jon Lester (10-for-19).
Insight: After a slow start Cabrera is starting to heat up, batting .389 this week with a pair of homers. Though still not at the level of production we have gotten used to over the past few seasons he's warming up so hop on the bandwagon in this favorable matchup.
Description: Tigers closer Joe Nathan has thrown nine scoreless innings in a row.
Insight: Nathan started off slow, allowing six runs in his first 6 2/3 innings and blowing two of his first four save chances, but he locked down his 10th save of the season Wednesday and now has a 3.45 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP.
Description: Tigers starter Justin Verlander gave up five earned runs on six hits with three walks in six innings Wednesday at Baltimore, but he still picked up his fifth win.
Insight: Detroit gave Verlander a 6-0 lead and the right-hander shut out the O's in the first four innings, but he gave up five runs in the fifth. The right-hander has a 3.15 ERA this season but it's clear he isn't the same pitcher he was in 2011-12. For the second straight season, his BB/9 is above 3.00, his WHIP is above 1.30 and his velocity is down. His K/9 is also just 7.05 this year, his lowest since he was a rookie in 2006.
Description: Tigers starter Drew Smyly gave up one earned run on five hits with seven strikeouts and two walks over six innings Tuesday at Baltimore.
Insight: Smyly was skipped in the rotation a couple times in April and has made just five starts this season, but he's allowed six earned runs on 18 hits with 22 Ks in 24 1/3 innings over his last four turns and has a 2.70 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP this season.
Description: Detroit designated hitter Victor Martinez went 2-for-4 with a solo homer Tuesday at Baltimore.
Insight: Martinez has been a productive hitter for a long time but has never hit more than 25 homers in a season and had 14 in 605 at-bats last year. However, he already has nine jacks to go with a .336 average, a .987 OPS and just eight strikeouts in 131 at-bats this year.
Description: Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera has homered in four of his last eight games.
Insight: He hit a go-ahead three-run homer off Orioles closer Tommy Hunter in the top of the ninth inning Tuesday for his sixth home run of the season. Cabrera is up to 33 RBI on the year and is now hitting .298 with an .846 OPS.
Description: Detroit designated hitter Victor Martinez 7-for-21 with three homers and a 1.143 OPS against Baltimore starter Ubaldo Jimenez.
Insight: Martinez is hitting .331 and has eight home runs and 22 RBI. Martinez has been a fantasy stud over the second half of last year and into the start of this season. The only concern is a chance of rain in Baltimore this evening.
Description: Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera went 2-for-3 on Sunday to raise his average to .291.
Insight: It was inevitable that Cabrera would get it going. He's simply too good a hitter. Cabrera has hit .366 since April 22 to push his average up 85 points. It's probably not a coincidence that his protection in the lineup, Victor Martinez, is batting .405 over the same span.
Description: Detroit designated hitter Victor Martinez is hitless in six at-bats versus Minnesota right-hander Damuel Deduno.
Insight: Martinez is hitting .328 and has eight home runs against just five strikeouts. Martinez may not have a good matchup on Sunday, but over his last 365 days he's batting .323 with 21 HR and 90 RBI. That's too good to leave on the bench.
Description: Detroit designated hitter Victor Martinez went deep for the fourth time in six games and drove in three runs Saturday against the Twins.
Insight: Martinez has been off-the-charts good this season. He's hitting .328 and has eight home runs with just five strikeouts. Martinez hit just .226 with five homers in his first 71 games last year after missing all of 2012 with a torn ACL, but he has batted .351 with 17 longballs and 34 strikeouts in his last 459 at-bats going back to last June.
Description: Detroit catcher Alex Avila is just 1-for-11 in his career against Twins starter Phil Hughes.
Insight: Avila hasn't given fantasy owners much this season, driving in just six runs while hitting 26 points below his career average. Friday's matchup with Hughes won't make life any easier for Avila or his fantasy owners.
Description: Ian Kinsler probably won't be of much use to fantasy owners Friday when the Tigers face Twins right-hander Phil Hughes.
Insight: Kinsler is 2-for-16 against him with just one RBI. The former Texas second baseman has fared well lately (.394 AVG over his last eight games) but that doesn't mean you should start him Friday versus Hughes (3-1, 4.72 ERA).
Description: Detroit designated hitter Victor Martinez homered for the third time in four games and extended his hitting streak to 11 games with three hits Thursday against Houston.
Insight: Martinez is now batting .333 with seven home runs and just five strikeouts all season. The only thing that would make his season better is if Detroit sticks him behind the plate for three more starts so he regains eligibility there.
Description: Max Scherzer was lights out Monday in a win over the Astros.
Insight: The Tigers ace limited Houston to just three hits over eight shutout innings. He struck out nine and walked only one. Scherzer, who is now 4-1 with a 1.72 ERA, will make his next start Saturday against Minnesota.
Description: Detroit designated hitter Victor Martinez has struggled mightily against Royals left-hander Danny Duffy throughout his career.
Insight: He's hitting .182 in 11 at bats against him. Martinez (.315, 4 HR, 15 RBI) has been on a roll lately so fantasy owners have a tough choice to make. Do you go with history or the hot hand? Use your best judgment.
Description: The Tigers have agreed to a one-year deal with former Pirates and Red Sox closer Joel Hanrahan. SOURCE: Jerry Crasnick, ESPN
Insight: Hanrahan has already been moved to the 15-day disabled list. The right-hander is about 12 months removed from Tommy John surgery. When healthy, he'll serve as Detroit's bridge to closer Joe Nathan.
Description: Detroit first baseman Miguel Cabrera is a career 18-for-43 (.419) with two homers and a 1.189 OPS versus Royals veteran James Shields.
Insight: Cabrera has yet to play like the guy we have come to expect. He's batting just .277 with two homers, 15 RBI and a .735 OPS. Fantasy owners and Tigers fans just beginning to realize jhow important having Prince Fielder batting behind him was.
Description: Robbie Ray will make his major league debut Tuesday against Houston. SOURCE: Chris Iott, MLive
Insight: He's filling in for Anibal Sanchez who is out with a lacerated finger. Sanchez should be back shortly so Ray will probably only make one or two starts before returning to Triple-A Toledo, where he has gone 3-2 this season with a 1.59 ERA in 28 1/3 innings pitched.
Description: Tigers outfielder Rajai Davis is a career .471 hitter (8-for-17) against White Sox left-hander Jose Quintana.
Insight: Davis is hitting .476 over his last five games with a homer, four RBI and a couple of stolen bases. If he gets on, he could certainly add to his stolen base total as he's been successful all four times he's tried agains Quintana.
Description: According to MLive's Chris Iott, the Tigers are likely to use Robbie Ray in the starting rotation while Anibal Sanchez recovers from a finger injury.
Insight: The next time the team needs a starter is May 6th versus Houston. Ray has pitched well for Detroit's Triple-A affiliate, the Toledo Mud Hens, logging a 1.93 ERA over 23 1/3 innings this season.
Description: Detroit starter Anibal Sanchez is headed to the 15-day DL. SOURCE: Chris Iott, MLive
Insight: Sanchez (0-2, 3.13 ERA) suffered a blister during Saturday's outing and will now need at least two weeks to recover. Triple-A reliever Justin Miller will take over Sanchez's place on the active roster.
Description: Tigers outfielder Rajai Davis is a career .500 hitter (7-for-14) against White Sox left-hander Jose Quintana.
Insight: Davis is hitting .304 with one homer, 11 runs and seven steals in 15 games this season. He's also 4-for-4 in stolen base attempts against Quintana. Just called up J.D. Martinez has played the last two games, but Davis is in the starting lineup and leading off.
Description: Tigers outfielder Rajai Davis is a career .500 hitter (7-for-14) against White Sox left-hander Jose Quintana.
Insight: Davis is hitting .304 with one homer, 11 runs and seven steals in 15 games this season. He's also 4-for-4 in stolen base attempts against Quintana. Just called up J.D. Martinez has played the last two games.
Description: Tigers center fielder Austin Jackson went deep Wednesday against the White Sox.
Insight: Jackson had his first day off of the season Tuesday and went 1-for-3 with two RBI and a walk Wednesday. He's batting .310 with two home runs, nine RBI, eight runs, one steal and a 13/9 K/BB in 58 at-bats.
Description: Tigers starter Drew Smyly tossed six innings, struck out seven with one walk and allowed two runs on six hits Wednesday against the White Sox.
Insight: Smyly didn't make his first start of the season until April 18 due to a rainout and lasted just three innings in that game. The 24-year-old should get back into a regular rhythm now and has good upside.
Description: Tigers left fielder Rajai Davis is not in the starting lineup Wednesday against the White Sox.
Insight: Davis is hitting .304 with one homer, 11 runs and seven steals in 15 games this season, but he'll take a seat to give J.D. Martinez a second straight start. He has been leading off for the Tigers and should be added in deep leagues.
Description: Tigers center fielder Austin Jackson is not in Tuesday's starting lineup. It's his first off day of the season.
Insight: Rajai Davis will get the start in center allowing just-called-up J.D Martinez a spot in left field. Martinez was smoking hot at Triple-A with 10 HR and 22 RBI in 17 games and hopes to help the struggling Detroit offense.
Description: Former Houston outfielder J.D. Martinez was called up by the Tigers this week and could get a few starts based on his minor league play.
Insight: Martinez batted .308 with 10 homers, 22 RBI and a 1.212 OPS in 17 games for the Toledo Mud Hens. With the Tigers averaging less than four runs per game, they could use a hot bat in the lineup.
Description: Detroit second baseman Ian Kinsler bopped his second home run of the season Thursday in a win over Cleveland.
Insight: Kinsler, who finished with four RBI, has gone 7-for-17 over his last four games. The former Ranger recorded his third stolen base of the season on Thursday, though he was also caught stealing.
Description: With no DH available, the Tigers will give Victor Martinez the night off Saturday against San Diego. SOURCE: Chris Iott, MLive.com
Insight: He got the start at first base last night and went 0-for-2 with a walk. Miguel Cabrera will move back to first with Nick Castellanos getting the nod at third base. Don't be surprised if V-Mart makes an apperance as a pinch-hitter later on in tonight's game.
Description: Torii Hunter is back after missing two games with a bruised knee. SOURCE: Tom Gage, Detroit News
Insight: He'll bat third and play right field. Hunter had been on a home run hitting tear before his injury, blasting three jacks in a span of four games. He's 2-for-2 in his career against tonight's starting pitcher, Ian Kennedy.
Description: Tigers starter Drew Smyly will make his first start of the season Wednesday against the Indians.
Insight: Smyly's first start was skipped due to a rainout. He has recorded a 3.18 ERA, a 1.15 WHIP and 181 Ks in 181 1/3 innings in his career, with 70 of his 88 appearances coming in relief. He's worth owning in most leagues.
Description: Torii Hunter's power surge continued Sunday in a loss to Baltimore.
Insight: Hunter's solo shot in the fourth was Detroit's only run of the afternoon. The veteran has left the yard three times in his last three appearances. In 2013, Hunter didn't hit his third homer until June 16th. That was his 59th game of the season.
Description: Tigers starter Justin Verlander has gone 8-1 with a 3.27 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP in his career against the Orioles, and he has shut down most of the hitters in the O's 2014 lineup.
Insight: Adam Jones (3-for-27), Nelson Cruz (2-for-20), Chris Davis (3-for-17), Nick Markakis (10-for-41) and Matt Wieters (3-for-19) all have struggled against Verlander. J.J. Hardy is the only Orioles regular who has had success against the Tigers right-hander, and he has gone 8-for-31 (.258) with three homers and six Ks. There are plenty of aces starting Sunday, but Verlander is as good of a choice as any of them.
Description: Tigers left fielder Rajai Davis is 3-for-9 with one homer, four RBI, three runs and one steal in three games this season.
Insight: Davis took over the everyday left field job when Andy Dirks had to undergo back surgery. Davis' average season over the past five years has included a .271 average, five home runs, 58 runs, 39 RBI and 43 steals.
Description: Tigers starter Rick Porcello allowed just three hits and one earned runs in 6 2/3 innings Saturday against the Orioles.
Insight: Porcello left with a 7-1 lead and picked up the win even though Detroit's bullpen made it interesting by allowing five runs in the ninth. Porcello had a career-best 7.22 K/9, a 55.3% ground-ball rate and a 3.53 FIP last season, but his ERA was a mediocre 4.32 due to a .315 BABIP. Even though Jose Iglesias is out, the Tigers' infield defense should be improved this season and will help Porcello have his best season.
Description: Detroit right fielder Torii Hunter drove home five runs Saturday against the Orioles.
Insight: Hunter had a double and a homer in the game. The 38-year-old has batted above .300 in each of the last two seasons and has one of the best lineup spots in the game as the No. 2 hitter in front of Miguel Cabrera.
Description: Tigers shortstop Alex Gonzalez was to get Thursday afternoon off (rained out) and will still get a day off on Friday with Andrew Romine starting at shortstop for Detroit.
Insight: Gonzalez went 3-for-8 over the first two games with a pair of RBI. He's no Jose Iglesias and fantasy owners should probably look elsewhere for shortstop help as his last fantasy-worthy season was 2010.
Description: Tigers shortstop Alex Gonzalez will get Thursday afternoon off and Andrew Romine will start at shortstop for Detroit.
Insight: Gonzalez went 3-for-8 over the first two games with a pair of RBI. He's no Jose Iglesias and fantasy owners should probably look elsewhere for shortstop help as his last fantasy-worthy season was 2010.
Description: Reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer picked up where he left off Wednesday in his first start of the season.
Insight: The Tigers hurler held the Royals scoreless on four hits, struck out seven and walked one over eight innings. He was in line for the win but Joe Nathan blew the save. Scherzer went 21-3 with a 2.90 ERA, a 0.97 WHIP and 240 Ks in 214 1/3 innings last season.
Description: Second baseman Ian Kinsler's first hit with the Tigers was a solo homer in the fourth inning Wednesday afternoon versus Kansas City.
Insight: Kinsler also had a walk-off single in the bottom of the 10th and went 3-for-5 in the game. As Detroit's new leadoff hitter, he should easily score 100 runs if he stays healthy, but his homers and steals have declined in each of the last two years after he put up a 30-30 season in 2011.
Description: Tigers center fielder Austin Jackson will begin the season as Detroit's No. 5 hitter, according to Jason Beck of mlb.com. Jackson hit .429 with five doubles, two triples, two home runs and three steals this spring.
Insight: Jackson averaged 142 games, 99 runs, 10 home runs, 50 RBI and 17 steals the last four years. Hitting fifth will lead to more RBI chances, but he'll score fewer runs out of that spot.
Description: The Tigers have signed Miguel Cabrera to a 10-year, $292 million contract, according to Jon Heyman of cbssports.com. The contract will give Cabrera the highest average annual salary in MLB history.
Insight: The new deal replaces the last two years on Cabrera's old contract, so it's essentially an eight-year extension that will run until 2023. The 30-year-old Cabrera has won the last two AL MVPs and also the Triple Crown in 2012.
Description: Tigers third baseman Nick Castellanos is hitting .389 with nine doubles, two homers and 16 RBI in 54 at-bats this spring.
Insight: MLB.com ranked Castellanos as the No. 15 prospect in baseball this preseason after he hit .276 with 37 doubles, 18 home runs, 76 RBI and a .793 OPS at Triple-A last year. The Tigers opened up a spot at third base for him by trading Prince Fielder for Ian Kinsler and moving Miguel Cabrera across the diamond.
Description: Detroit right-hander Max Scherzer is looking for an eight-year extension. SOURCE: Jim Bowden, ESPN
Insight: He recently turned down a six-year offer worth $144 million. The two sides aren't likely to re-open talks until after the season. Scherzer could be dealt at the trade deadline if the Tigers aren't confident they'll be able to re-sign him.
Description: The Tigers traded for infielder Alex Gonzalez on Tuesday. SOURCE: Dan Connolly, Baltimore Sun
Insight: Baltimore received Steve Lombardozzi in exchange. Gonzalez (.246 AVG in 5,746 big league at bats) won't completely make up for the loss of Jose Iglesias (stress fracture) but at least it's a start.
Description: The Tigers and right-hander Max Scherzer were not able to reach an agreement on a contract extension and talks have been shelved until further notice. SOURCE: ESPN.com
Insight: Scherzer, like most Scott Boras clients, will hit the open market. While it was reported earlier that Scherzer rejected Detroit's offer, Boras is now saying that it was the other way around. Scherzer, the reigning American League Cy Young award winner, is likely to receive at least $20 million a year when he negotiates his next contract.
Description: Tigers center fielder Austin Jackson is batting .442 with eight extra-base hits (four doubles, two triples, two homers), 15 runs, 12 RBI and just four strikeouts in 43 at-bats.
Insight: Injuries have limited Jackson to fewer than 140 games in two straight seasons but he still scored at least 99 runs in both. With Jim Leyland gone, he should have the green light to run more often after stealing just 20 bases on 33 attempts the last two years. The Tigers ranked last in baseball in 2013 with 55 steal attempts.
Description: The Tigers have acquired infielder Andrew Romine from Anaheim.
Insight: All they had to give up was left-hander Jose Alvarez. The hope is that Romine can fill in at shortstop while Jose Iglesias recovers from shin splints. He's an excellent base stealer (24 thefts last season) but has never homered in 152 major league at bats.
Description: Jose Iglesias is unlikely to play this season. The Tigers shortstop was recently diagnosed with stress fractures in both of his shins. SOURCE: James Scheml, MLive
Insight: Four to six months was his original timetable for recovery but now it's looking like it could be even longer before Iglesias is back to full strength. His terrific defense at shortstop will be difficult to replace. The 24-year-old finished second in American League Rookie of the Year voting last season.
Description: Detroit starter Anibal Sanchez (shoulder) said he will make two more starts in spring training, according to John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press. He had a cortisone shot after being scratched from his scheduled start Monday due to inflammation in his shoulder.
Insight: Sanchez dealt with a similar issue last season and missed a few weeks. He finished 14-8 with an AL-leading 2.57 ERA, 1.153 WHIP and 202 Ks in 182 IP. If he can avoid a setback the rest of the spring, he'll start the third game of the season for Detroit.
Description: Detroit starter Anibal Sanchez (shoulder) received a cortisone shot and will rest for three days, according to Jason Beck of mlb.com.
Insight: Sanchez was scratched from Monday's start due to shoulder inflammation. He dealt with a similar issue last season and missed a few weeks. He finished 14-8 with an AL-leading 2.57 ERA, 1.153 WHIP and 202 Ks in 182 IP. If he can avoid a setback the rest of the spring, he'll start the third game of the season for Detroit.
Description: Detroit starter Anibal Sanchez was scratched from Monday's start due to right shoulder inflammation, according to Tyler Kepner of the New York Times.
Insight: Anibal Sanchez is expected to make his next start, but shoulder injuries are always worrisome. Sanchez was a fantasy stud last season going 14-8 with a 2.57 ERA, 1.153 WHIP and 202 Ks in 182 IP.
Description: Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias is expected to miss most of the 2014 season because of a shin issue. SOURCE: Jim Bowden, ESPN
Insight: Iglesias was diagnosed with shin splints a few days ago but now the injury appears to be more serious. Though not a must-have fantasy player, Iglesias hit a respectable .303 last season while playing Gold Glove defense at shortstop. Free agent Stephen Drew should be getting a call from the Tigers at any moment.
Description: Two-time American League MVP Miguel Cabrera is batting .417 in 24 at-bats this spring.
Insight: Ho-hum, what else is new. He's the first back-to-back winner in the AL since Frank Thomas in 1993-94. Cabrera belted 44 HR and 137 RBI last year while hitting a career-best .348, but will be without his long-time protector in the lineup - Prince Fielder. We don't expect that to effect Cabrera's production much.
Description: Detroit shortstop Jose Iglesias is visiting another doctor Friday and is likely to start the season on the disabled list.
Insight: The former Red Sox and current Tigers infielder batted .303 last season with a .735 OPS in 350 at-bats and was looked on as a nice low-cost shortstop option for fantasy owners. You will have to be hesitant about choosing him at this point, or at least until we hear from today's doctor.
Description: Tigers outfielder Andy Dirks needs back surgery and will likely miss 12 weeks, according to Chris Iott of mlive.com.
Insight: Dirks hit .256 with nine homers, 37 RBI and a .686 OPS in 131 games last season, down from .322 (boosted by a .365 BABIP), eight home runs, 35 RBI and an .857 OPS in 2012. His absence will lead to more at-bats for expected platoon partner Rajai Davis.
Description: Tigers righthander Justin Verlander (core muscle surgery) threw a live batting practice session of around 50 pitches, according to Detroit beat writer Chris Iott.
Insight: He should throw another session Thursday and then be ready for Grapefruit league action. He should be ready for the start of the season and hopefully will rebound from last year's "mediocre-for-him" season.
Description: According to Tom Gage of the Detroit News, Tigers DH Victor Martinez will catch more this season.
Insight: Martinez caught just three games last season which isn't enough to be eligible in many leagues. Manager Brad Ausmus called Martinez and apparently both are excited about the change. With 10 games in NL parks, it could be a way to get Martinez into the lineup and the result would be great for fantasy owners with another big bat available to start at catcher.
Description: Tigers righthander Justin Verlander (core muscle surgery) threw 20 pitches off a mound on Monday according to MLive's Chris Iott. Verlander expects to make five starts in spring training and if all goes well, be ready for Opening Day.
Insight: "My goal now is the start of the season," Verlander said. "Whether that's Game 1, I don't know. But I intend on being ready." That's great news for fantasy owners. The righthander did not pitch up to the standard he set in 2011-12 for most of 2013 but he finished the year strong by allowing just one earned run in his last five starts (postseason included).
Description: Detroit starter Justin Verlander had surgery to repair a core muscle on Thursday. SOURCE: Tigers on Twitter
Insight: He'll need about six weeks to recover. Verlander (13-12, 3.46 ERA) could miss the start of spring training but he should be back to 100 percent by Opening Day. Fantasy owners have nothing to worry about.
Description: The Tigers added a bullpen arm on Thursday by signing righthander Joba Chamberlain to a one-year, $2.5 million contract. SOURCE: Buster Olney, ESPN
Insight: Once considered a top prospect, Chamberlain has never lived up to the hype, generating just 23 wins across seven seasons in the Bronx. Leaving New York might clear his head a bit but it won't help his fantasy value.
Description: Rajai Davis' new deal with the Tigers will pay him $10 million over the next two seasons. SOURCE: Ben Nicholson-Smith, Sportnet
Insight: Davis has 50-steal potential but he probably won't get close to that while playing in Detroit. He's going to platoon with Andy Dirks in left field. In 331 at-bats for Toronto in 2013, Davis produced six homers, 24 RBI and 49 runs scored.
Description: Free agent shortstop Jhonny Peralta is close to signing a multi-year deal with St. Louis. SOURCE: Jerry Crasnick, ESPN
Insight: The shortstop duo of Daniel Descalso and Pete Kozma struggled mightily in the World Series (combined 1-for-20) so Peralta represents an obvious upgrade. We'll have contract details when the deal becomes official.
Description: According to cbssports.com's Jon Heyman, the Rangers have agreed to trade second baseman Ian Kinsler to the Detroit Tigers for Prince Fielder.
Insight: The Rangers wanted to open up second base for top prospect Jurickson Profar, and getting rid of Fielder's contract may allow Detroit to re-sign Max Scherzer. Kinsler has produced two 30-30 seasons but he has averaged just 16 homers, 18 steals and 72 RBI the last two seasons. His fantasy value doesn't change much from the trade.
Description: Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera is the American League MVP for the second year in a row.
Insight: He's the first back-to-back winner in the AL since Frank Thomas in 1993-94. Angels outfielder Mike Trout finished second just like he did in 2012. Cabrera belted 44 HR and 137 RBI this year while hitting a career-best .348.
Description: Detroit ace Max Scherzer is your 2013 American League Cy Young Award winner.
Insight: Scherzer (21-3, 2.90 ERA) was the obvious choice. He led the majors in victories and was second in the AL in strikeouts with 240. It's possible that Scherzer has pitched his last game for the Tigers. Detroit is apparently shopping the righthander in anticipation of him signing elsewhere after the 2014 season.
Description: According to Jon Morosi of foxsports.com, Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski said the team intends for Drew Smyly to be in its 2014 rotation, which supports the belief that the team will shop Max Scherzer or Rick Porcello.
Insight: Smyly made 63 relief appearances and threw 76 innings this past season. He went 6-0 with 21 holds, two saves, 81 strikeouts, a 2.37 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP. The lefty made 18 starts for Detroit in 2012.
Description: If the Tigers are serious about trading Max Scherzer, the Nationals could be one of the teams interested. SOURCE: Ken Rosenthal, Fox Sports
Insight: Scherzer is in the last year of his contract and it's going to be tough to retain him given all the money Detroit already owes Justin Verlander, Prince Fielder, Anibal Sanchez and Miguel Cabrera. Scherzer's agent, Scott Boras, is well-known for steering his clients toward Washington and Nationals GM Mike Rizzo was actually the one who drafted Scherzer out of college (Rizzo was working with the Diamondbacks at the time). Scherzer would fit nicely in a rotation that already includes power arms like Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann and Gio Gonzalez.
Description: The Tigers won't pick up Jose Veras' team option for next season. SOURCE: Jason Beck, MLB.com
Insight: Veras came over from Houston at the trade deadline. He saw mixed results as Detroit's setup man, finishing with a 3.20 ERA in 25 appearances. Veras ended his season and quite possibly his career with the Tigers by giving up a series-clinching grand slam to Shane Victorino in Game 6 of the ALCS.