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Predictions, Prediction, Predictions

The Tigers made their final cuts and at least for opening day, the team is set.  The Tigers kick things off Thursday afternoon against the Yankees and while I made some predictions in my Hardball Times preview, here I’m going to make some more specific predictions.

1)  This isn’t going out on a limb, but the Tigers will compete in the AL Central.  I still think on paper, they’re the third best team in the division.  I also think that’s it’s close enough though that if a couple of things go right, the Tigers can take the division.  Either way, it should be a fun three team race.  The Tigers have two series against the White Sox and one against the Twins in September so it could be a nailbiter.

2)  Brandon Inge is going to have a career year.  This is just one of those hunches.  Inge is further removed from his injuries and he had a quietly decent season last year.  I like his chances of hitting 30 home runs and topping .800 in OPS for the first time in his career.

3)  Ryan Perry will have a breakout season.  With Joel Zumaya once again on the shelf, I think this is the year Ryan Perry puts it together and shows Tigers fans why he was taken in the first round.  He didn’t have a great spring, but hopefully that just means he’ll work harder to put it all together.

4)  Austin Jackson will struggle but he’ll also make some strides to becoming a lead off hitter.  I wouldn’t be surprised if Jackson hits closer to .250 this year but I’m hoping he makes up for it with walks.  A lot of people will write his season off as a sophomore slump but I think it’s more just one year in his evolution as a lead off hitter.

5)  Whoever wins 85 games first will win the division.  I think the division winner will end up in the high 80s but this is going to be another typical season in the Central.

6)  Jacob Turner will pitch in a Tigers uniform at some point this season, most likely as a September call up.

7)  The Tigers will win 86 games and they’ll finish second place in the division.

So there you go.  Only time will tell….

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