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Are the Detroit Tigers overrated?

The Detroit Tigers began the season on fire. Along with the Kansas City Royals, Detroit appeared throughout the month of April and early May to be the best team in what is a highly mediocre American League. The Tigers, with Youenis Cespedes, Victor Martinez and Miguel Cabrera in the middle of the order, looked like a potential runaway train.

Now, on the morning of June 4, Detroit is on a six-game losing streak and with a 28-26 mark, is four games behind Kansas City and the shocking Minnesota Twins. The Tigers have been average offensively but brutal on the mound, struggling to find any consistency.

The starting rotation has been led by veteran Alfredo Simon, who was picked up in the offseason via free agency. Simon has been solid with a 5-3 record and a 2.97 ERA, although 21 walks compared to only 44 strikeouts tells us that regress could be on its way. Beyond Simon, it has been nothing short of a full-blown dumpster fire. David Price has been good but not his usual dominant self, posting a 4-2 mark with a 3.15 ERA.

The main problem has been Anibal Sanchez and Shane Greene, two pitchers who are teetering on the brink of flat-out terrible. Sanchez has been bombed throughout the 2015 campaign with a 3-7 record and a grizzly 5.69 ERA. The only Tiger with a higher ERA is Buck Farmer, who has a hilarious name and only pitched in one game. Greene started the campaign looking like a Cy Young candidate before absolutely falling off a cliff. Greene has a 5.19 ERA and has generally been consistently ineffective.

With Justin Verlander still recovering from a spring injury, Detroit needs much, much better performances from Sanchez and Greene.

Offensively, Cabrera remains an incredible hitter who is arguably the best in the game. Cabrera is leading the Tigers in almost all categories with a .335 average, 11 home runs, 35 RBI, a .439 on-base percentage and 64 hits. Cespedes has also provided some pop after being traded to Detroit from the Boston Red Sox this offseason, hitting .286 with seven dingers and 28 RBI.

However, the rest of the lineup is failing to produce. Ian Kinsler is normally good for a high average and a ton of doubles. To this point, Kinsler is hitting a middling .256 with 12 doubles and only one homer. J.D. Martinez, who burst onto the scene in 2014, has nine blasts and 22 RBI but is also hitting a pedestrian .256. Victor Martinez has been hurt and when healthy, woefully disappointing with a .216 average and one home run.

The good new for the Tigers is that there is plenty of time to get the ship righted. Detroit simply needs some players with good track records to show up and produce. But will it happen for this aging group? Only time will tell.

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