There was a lot of talk this year about the inconsistency of the Detroit Tigers. All year long, media and fans alike moaned that “they are the streakiest team in baseball”. They would get on a roll for a few games but just when it seemed they had things figured out, they would fall back down again. All teams go through streaks but were the Tigers streakier than other teams?
Using raw data on winning and losing streaks from Baseball Prospectus, I determined that the Tigers had 25 streaks of three games or longer. This included:
- 6 three game winning streaks and 5 three game losing streaks
- 3 four game winning streaks and 4 four game losing streaks
- 2 five game winning streaks and 3 five game losing streaks
- 1 eight game losing streak
- 1 nine game losing streak
Only the Houston Astros and Tampa Bay Devil Rays, each with 27 streaks of three games or longer, had more streaks of three games or longer than the Tigers. Furthermore, the 14 Tiger streaks of four games or longer were more than any other team in the majors.
While the Tigers had 23 or more streaks of three to five games (most in the majors), they had only two streaks of six games or longer, both of those coming in their horrible September stretch drive. Only the Toronto Blue Jays (0), St. Louis Cardinals (1) and Pittsburgh Pirates (1) had fewer streaks of six games or longer.
So, I can conclude that the Tigers were indeed streakier than most teams. They didn’t have a lot of really long streaks. However, they specialized in modest streaks of three to five games and they did that better (and worse) than any other team.