After seven straight seasons of Detroit Tigers baseball ending without so much as a sniff of the playoffs, Michigan betting enthusiasts finally began to see the light at the end of the tunnel coming into the 2022 MLB season.
For one, the American League Central looked like a weak division heading into the season and Michigan sportsbooks took note. The Chicago White Sox were heavily favored and the Tigers were expected to fight for second with the Minnesota Twins, Cleveland Guardians and Kansas City Royals.
Not quite back up to the standards of their heyday when the Tigers won four straight division titles from 2011-14 before their postseason drought, but after years of shedding payroll and building up a system of prospects, Detroit finally seemed to be headed in the right direction.
Michigan sports gambling reflected this improvement heading into the season, as the Tigers were +700 to win the division and +4000 to win the World Series.
Longshots to be sure, but no longer in the position where a solid season seemed like an impossibility.
Disappointing Start by Tigers
Now almost 70 games into the 2022 season, the Tigers' 26-41 record has to be considered a disappointment across MLB betting.
Their current winning percentage is actually down from last season's .475, not acceptable in a season that was supposed to be the start of a turnaround.
With the start the Tigers have had, books have adjusted their numbers on the team in a big way. Detroit now sits at +20000 to win the division on BetMGM and +75000 to win the World Series, a real longshot.
Detroit finds itself 11.5 games back of the division leading Twins, with the Guardians only one game behind Minnesota and the White Sox five games back. That is three teams the Tigers would have to pass if bettors want a hope of cashing the division bet.
Latest AL Central World Series Odds
Pitching, Offense Have Struggled
The pitching staff has struggled but it is a young group with no real ace to speak of on the roster. The rotation is led by young Tarik Skubal, who has a 3.13 ERA and a 5-4 record in 2022.
The rest of the starters are also quite young with Alex Faedo, Rony Garcia and Beau Brieske all between 24 and 26 years old.
All three have had below average years with only Brieske having an ERA under 4.00 at the moment. The team as a whole ranks 19th in the MLB with an ERA just over 4.00.
The star of the staff is closer Gregory Soto, who has converted 13 of 15 save opportunities this year with the only complaint being the lack of opportunities to close out games on a struggling team.
Making matters worse for Tigers fans on Michigan sports betting apps has been the team's offense. The Tigers sit dead last in the league with 190 runs, a staggering 27 fewer than the second-worst team.
Their batting average, hits and home runs all also rank in the bottom five of the league.
Baez Not Living Up to His Contract
Stud offseason acquisition Javier Baez has been a disappointment thus far. Signed to a six-year, $140 million contract before the season, Baez was expected to lead the offense, but only has a .194 average with four home runs and 18 RBI.
Former franchise player Miguel Cabrera has managed to get on base at a decent rate but no longer has the power that made him a feared hitter for Detroit for years. Jeimer Candelario and Jonathan Schoop lead the team in home runs, but with only five each on the year that isn’t much to write home about.
The offense is putrid, and that is putting it nicely.
There are still some nice pieces on this Detroit roster to give fans hope for future seasons, especially on the young pitching staff. But for 2022 there is not much promise to bet on with the Tigers. A horrible offense puts them in a tough position nightly and the pitching isn’t yet good enough to make up for it.
Another year without a playoff spot is in store for Detroit fans.