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Can the Detroit Tigers make the Postseason in 2020?

In 2019, the Detroit Tigers finished at 47-114, the worst in Major League Baseball. They haven’t made the postseason since 2014 when they got swept by the Orioles in the ALDS. They haven’t won a playoff series since 2013 when they beat the Athletics in a five-game series. Although they haven’t been succeeding much as of late, that doesn’t mean they aren’t an established franchise. The Tigers organization has been competing for over a century. Throughout that time, the team has won over 9,300 games as well as four World Series championships.

Although they may not have the most talented team in the league in 2020, that doesn’t mean they can’t make the playoffs. Here are some things that can help the Detroit Tigers make the Postseason in 2020, assuming there is a 2020 MLB season.

Season Structure

There have been multiple different potential schedule types for the 2020 MLB season. There have even been thoughts of having the teams play with the divisions used in spring training. Should that be the case, the Tigers would be in the Grapefruit League’s North division. The other teams would be the New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, Toronto Blue Jays and Pittsburgh Pirates. This would not be a piece of cake for the Tigers, but a new division for the season could work out for them.

Facing teams outside of the AL Central more often than normal could help the Tigers’ pitching staff. Since teams like the Indians and Twins face the Tigers multiple times a season, they might get comfortable facing some of Detroit’s pitching. However, with some National League teams playing in the same division, some hitters may not have faced some of the Tigers’ pitchers yet.

Offseason Additions

The Tigers added some guys to the roster for the upcoming season. Some of them include guys with multiple years spent in the MLB, including:

Cameron MaybinCameron Maybin is joining the Detroit Tigers for a third time. He debuted with them in 2007, playing in just 24 games during that year. Maybin also played with Detroit in 2016, where he had one of his best offensive years in terms of his slash line. That season, he slashed .315/.383/.418. Maybin should be a starter in the outfield this season.

C.J. Cron, who has 114 career homers in his MLB career, signed a one-year deal with the Tigers this offseason. (Image from MLB.com)

C.J. CronC.J. Cron is coming from Minnesota, where he spent just one season. Last year, he played in 125 contests, slashing .253/.311/.469. He notched 25 homers, 24 doubles and 78 RBIs. At 30-years-old, Cron can play first base and give Miguel Cabrera some rest from the field.

Ivan NovaStarting Pitcher Ivan Nova spent 2019 in the same division as the Tigers with the Chicago White Sox. He pitched 187 innings, tallying 114 strikeouts with a 4.72 ERA. The Tigers will be Nova’s fourth MLB club, as he spent time with the Yankees, Pirates and White Sox.

Jonathan SchoopJonathan Schoop signed a one-year contract with Detroit in December. The 28-year-old is also coming from the Twins, where he slashed .256/.304/.473 in 2019. He had 47 extra-base hits, 59 RBIs and he scored 61 times. Schoop played 113 games at second base for the Twins last season, and he should play some in the same position with the Tigers.

Team Veterans

The team has guys like Miguel Cabrera and Matt Boyd who have not only been in the MLB for multiple seasons, but with the Tigers for years as well.

Miggy joined the team back in 2008. In his time on the Tigers, he has won two AL MVP awards and made seven All-Star games. Through his first 12 seasons with the club, Cabrera has an impressive slash line of .315/.394/.543. He has playoff experience as well. He won the World Series with the Florida Marlins in 2003, and made it to the Fall Classic with the Tigers in 2012, losing to the San Francisco Giants.

Matt Boyd only pitched in two games with the Blue Jays before joining the Tigers in 2015. There were multiple trade talks about Matt Boyd last season. The southpaw stayed with the Tigers and finished the season with a 4.56 ERA in 185 1/3 innings pitched.

Feature Image Courtesy of Sporting News.

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