Look: I am eager to learn stuff I don't know--which requires actively courting and posting smart disagreement.

But as you will understand, I don't like to post things that mischaracterize and are aimed to mislead.

-- Brad Delong

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Saturday, July 5, 2014

Tigers Mid-Season Wrap Up

June for the Tigers was a mirror image of May.  In May, they started the month going 13-3, then went 4-9 to finish at 17-12, or .586, which is still quite good and would project to 95 wins over a season.  But the doldrums continued well into June, which started off at 5-11.  But things suddenly turned around and they went 9-2 for the rest of the month, finishing at 14-13.  This is a barely respectable .519, and would project to only  84 wins over a season.  That might not even be good enough for a wild card.

This put the Tigers at 45-34 at the end of June, or .570, projecting to 92 wins.  This might be enough to win the division, or a least a wild card spot.  They went on to win the next two, completing a sweep of the A's, and landing at 47-34, or .580, at the midpoint of the season, projecting to 94 wins.  Two games later they now stand at 48-35, with 94 wins still a reasonable projection.

The graph shows win percentage and projection after each game of the season.

 Here are batting averages after the July 4th loss to Tampa Bay.

Cabrera, at .313, doesn't look bad, but a closer look is troubling.  After game 52 his B.A. was .332.  For the 31 games since, it's .282.  For the last 21 games, it's .278, and for the last 13, it's .288.  He seems to be settling in at a pretty ordinary pace - certainly far from MVP performance.  This is dragged down quite a bit by what happens late in games.  In the first 6 innings he's hitting .330 for the season, but later in games only .267.

Here it all is in one busy picture.

Run production is way off as well.  Cabrera had 41 hits with 34 RBI's  in May, but only 29 hits with 16 RBI's in June.

After game 83, the Tigers still sit atop the A.L. Central, 4 games up on the Royals and 8 ahead of Cleveland, with 2 games in hand relative to each of them.  This season can end well, but lots of things will have to go right, and hitting with run production from Cabrera will have to be a big part of it.