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In a recent post, I gave 10 predictions for Tigers batters. Now, I'll do the same for the pitchers:
- Justin Verlander will re-establish himself as the dominant ace of the staff with a 2.75 ERA and 240 strikeouts in 230 innings. Since I know people will ask about wins, I'll say he'll win 19 games. He'll earn another Cy Young Award for his efforts.
- Max Scherzer will be almost as good as last year posting a 3.25 ERA and 215 strikeouts in 205 innings. Some fans will view his season negatively though because he wouldn't sign a long-term deal and because his win total will drop to 16 with less run support.
- Anibal Sanchez will miss a few weeks with a minor arm injury, but will still finish with a 3.50 ERA and 170 punch outs in 165 innings.
- Rick Porcello will pitch 180 innings, post a 4.10 ERA and reach 150 K's for the first time. This will make him a solid and durable back end starter, but fans will continue to be impatient with his performance.
- Drew Smyly will start strong, but fade a little in the second half as he pitches more innings than he ever has. For the season, he'll post a 4.00 ERA in 160 innings.
- Joe Nathan will be stabilizing force in the bullpen with a 2.75 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and 38 saves in 40 opportunities.
- Al Alburquerque will keep himself healthy enough to pitch 55 innings with an amazing 75 whiffs.
- Joba Chamberlain and Phil Coke will be awful and won't be on the roster at the end of the season. The good news is that this will force the Tigers to make a significant addition before the trade deadline.
- Every bullpen has some booms and busts. We've covered the disappointments. The surprises will be Blaine Hardy and Evan Reed who will be impressive in middle relief.
- The entire staff will allow 665 runs. That coupled with 750 runs scored will give the Tigers 89 wins and another Central Division title.