Description: Tigers right-hander Max Scherzer won his 13th game of the season Wednesday night against the White Sox.
Insight: Scherzer allowed one run on five hits and struck out six in seven innings. He has gone 5-0 with a 2.08 ERA, a 1.01 WHIP and 56 Ks in 47 2/3 innings since he gave up 10 runs on 10 hits in four innings on June 17 against the Royals.
Description: Detroit third baseman Nick Castellanos (finger) is back in the lineup Wednesday.
Insight: Castellanos had a ground ball hit his finger during batting practice Tuesday and was scratched from the lineup. He's had a disappointing season, hitting .264 with six homers, 37 RBI and a .709 OPS in 326 at-bats.
Description: Tigers left fielder Rajai Davis is a career .400 hitter with a 1.079 OPS versus White Sox left-hander Jose Quintana.
Insight: And if Davis gets on base he's been successful in 4-of-4 stolen base attempts against Quintana. Davis is putting together his best season since 2009 in Oakland. He's batting .297 with a .766 OPS over 81 games and is worth a flier Tuesday.
Description: Tigers right-hander Rick Porcello allowed one unearned run on five hits, struck out six and walked none over seven innings Sunday against the Angels.
Insight: After stranding less than 70 percent of his baserunners every year from 2010-13, Porcello has stranded a career-high 74.7 percent in 2014 and it has resulted in a career-low 3.24 ERA. He's gone 4-1 with a 2.18 ERA and a 0.97 WHIP over his last eight starts and is tied with Masahiro Tanaka, Sonny Gray and teammate Max Scherzer for first in the AL with 12 wins.
Description: The Tigers have agreed to trade closer Joakim Soria to the Detroit Tigers for pitching prospects Jake Thompson and Corey Knebel, according to Jon Morosi of FOX Sports.
Insight: Tigers closer Joe Nathan has a 5.89 ERA, a 1.53 WHIP and five blown saves this season. It's unclear if Soria will take the closer job from him, but that would make sense. Soria has a 2.70 ERA, a 0.87 WHIP and a 42/4 K/BB in 33 1/3 innings. Thompson and Knebel are both top-five prospects in Detroit's system, so this would be a steep price to give up if the Tigers plan to use Soria in the eighth inning.
Description: Detroit first baseman Miguel Cabrera went 2-for-4 with a homer, three RBI and two runs Wednesday at Arizona.
Insight: It was his first homer of July. Cabrera has batted .315 with 80 RBI and 61 runs this season, but he's on pace for 25 home runs, down from 44 in each of the past two years. It would be his lowest total since he hit 12 in 314 at-bats as a rookie.
Description: Tigers left-hander Drew Smyly returned to form Sunday against the Indians after giving up 13 runs on 23 hits in his last 14 1/3 innings.
Insight: Smyly held Cleveland to one run on four hits and fanned six batters in seven innings to win his sixth game of the season. With a 3.80 ERA, a 1.33 WHIP and 76 Ks in 94 2/3 innings, he's been a low-end fantasy option this year.
Description: Detroit first baseman Miguel Cabrera is 12-for-24 with three homers and a 1.455 OPS versus Cleveland right-hander Corey Kluber.
Insight: Cabrera is hitting .308 with 34 doubles, 14 homers, 75 RBI and an .899 OPS this season, but has struggled of late batting just .267 with an .817 OPS over the past four weeks. We expect more for him. We could get it on Saturday.
Description: For the third time since June 27, Miguel Cabrera has gone three straight games without getting a hit.
Insight: Prior to June 27, he hadn't gone more than two games all season without getting a hit all season. In fact, he only went more than two games without getting a hit one time all of last season, and one of those games he exited with an injury before getting an at-bat. Despite the cold streak to end the first half, Cabrera is hitting .306 with 34 doubles, 14 homers, 75 RBI and an .898 OPS this season.
Description: Tigers outfielder J.D. Martinez is a .333 hitter with a pair of home runs against Royals right-hander Jeremy Guthrie.
Insight: Martinez has become one of the Tigers best hitters, batting .329 with 12 HR, 38 RBI and a 1.005 OPS in 51 games. He's one of four likely starters who are hitting at least .300 against Guthrie.
Description: Tigers right-hander Max Scherzer has struck out 35 batters, walked six and allowed five runs on 19 hits in his last 28 innings.
Insight: Scherzer had a 6.86 ERA and a 1.58 WHIP in 39 1/3 innings over six starts from May 21 to June 17, and that included a three-hit shutout on June 12. He's settled down and turned in four straight dominant outings. Scherzer improved to 11-3 on the year with seven innings of one-run ball Wednesday against the Dodgers.
Description: Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said Wednesday that Victor Martinez (back) is unlikely to play again until after the All-Star break. SOURCE: Lynn Henning, Detroit News
Insight: Martinez left Friday's game after aggravating the back injury he's been dealing with since the end of June. If the Tigers place him on the DL retroactive to Saturday, he would have to sit out the first three games of the second half in addition to the rest of the first half. It sounds like the team plans to play with 24 players for the final four games before the break, however.
Description: Detroit first baseman Miguel Cabrera is getting the day off Wednesday against the Dodgers.
Insight: Cabrera has gone three games in a row without getting a hit twice since June 27 after not going more than two without one at any point this season, but he went 3-for-5 with a triple, two RBI and two runs Tuesday to snap a 0-for-9 stretch.
Description: Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said Tuesday that the team has discussed placing Victor Martinez (back) on the disabled list but that "it's not really being considered." SOURCE: mlive.com
Insight: Martinez left Friday's game after aggravating the back injury he's been dealing with since the end of June. If the Tigers placed him on the DL retroactive to Saturday, he would have to miss the final five games of the first half and the first three of the second while being eligible to return on July 20.
Description: Detroit first baseman Miguel Cabrera is a woeful 1-for-14 (.071) lifetime against Rays left-hander David Price.
Insight: Well, if you didn't believe there was a pitcher who could own Cabrera so thoroughly, here's the proof. Miggy has a measly single and has struck out six times against Price in 14 at-bats. But, it's not really too advisable to bench the game's premiere hitter, especially as he's coming off back-to-back hitless games.
Description: Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler has been phenomenal this year, but faces a tall task Sunday night against Rays energetic left-hander David Price.
Insight: Kinsler is 5-for-22 (.227) lifetime against the Vandy product with three doubles and a homer. It still might be worth having him in your lineup, though, as he's hit lefties just as well as righties, has a better average at home than away and is hitting a ridiculous .383/.442/.638 over the last 14 days.
Description: Detroit DH Victor Martinez was not in Saturday's starting lineup against Tampa Bay and is doubtful for Sunday's game.
Insight: Martinez left Friday's game with a sore back and is likely to miss Sunday's contest as well. This is a big blow to fantasy owners as he's been hitting better than ever (.328, 21 HR, 55 RBI, .991 OPS).
Description: Detroit DH Victor Martinez is not in Saturday's starting lineup against Tampa Bay.
Insight: Martinez left Friday's game with a sore back and could miss Sunday's contest as well. This is a big blow to fantasy owners as he's been hitting better than ever (.328, 21 HR, 55 RBI, .991 OPS).
Description: Detroit first baseman Miguel Cabrera reached base four times (2 2B, 1 1B, 1 BB) Thursday against the Rays and scored all four times.
Insight: Cabrera's home-run total is down but he's hitting .316 with 67 RBI, 53 runs and a .925 OPS. He also has 32 doubles to go with his 14 home runs and some of those doubles may start turning into home runs in the second half.
Description: Detroit DH Victor Martinez (ribs) returned to the lineup Thursday and went 2-for-3 with a homer, two RBI and a walk.
Insight: Martinez (.327) was scratched from Monday's lineup with soreness in his ribcage and also sat out the last two days, but he didn't miss a beat. He's just four home runs away from tying his career high of 25 and we aren't even at the All-Star break yet.
Description: Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander has thrown three straight quality starts and recorded a 20/2 K/BB over 19 innings in that span.
Insight: Verlander won his first game since May 30 on Wednesday against Oakland. He allowed nine hits (2 HR) but just two runs and zero walks in six innings. He's still trying to recover after posting a 7.83 ERA and a 1.85 WHIP in 43 2/3 innings from May 14 to June 16.
Description: Tigers outfielder J.D. Martinez went 2-for-4 with a double, a homer and two RBI Tuesday against Oakland.
Insight: Martinez isn't slowing down. Including 17 games for Triple-A Toledo, Martinez has batted .314 with 20 home runs and 56 RBI in 61 games this season. With the Tigers, he's hit .317 with 10 homers, 34 RBI and a .982 OPS.
Description: Tigers right-hander Rick Porcello threw his second consecutive shutout Tuesday against the Athletics.
Insight: Porcello (11-4) has thrown 24 straight scoreless innings over his last three starts to lower his ERA from 4.03 to 3.12. The right-hander became the third pitcher since 1998 to throw a nine-inning shutout while striking out zero batters on Tuesday.
Description: Detroit DH Victor Martinez was scratched from the lineup Monday due to soreness in his ribcage and is out for Tuesday's game against Oakland as well.
Insight: This is the type of injury that frequently prevents a player from swinging hard even after he returns to the lineup. Be wary of Martinez until he proves it isn't forcing him to change his swing. Too bad, because Martinez was on pace for a career-high 42 homers as well as 108 RBI and he's batting .323 with a .974 OPS.
Description: Detroit DH Victor Martinez was scratched from the lineup Monday due to soreness in his ribcage and is questionable for Tuesday's game against Oakland
Insight: This is the type of injury that frequently prevents a player from swinging hard even after he returns to the lineup. Be wary of Martinez until he proves it isn't forcing him to change his swing. Too bad, because Martinez was on pace for a career-high 42 homers as well as 108 RBI and he's batting .323 with a .974 OPS.
Description: Detroit first baseman Miguel Cabrera went 2-for-4 with a double and a solo homer Monday against the Athletics.
Insight: Cabrera was 0-for-13 over his previous three games. Prior to that stretch, Cabrera hadn't gone more than two games without a hit all season. The two-time AL MVP has a higher career OPS in July than any other month (1.010), so a big month could be in store after he barely cracked .800 in June.
Description: Detroit first baseman Miguel Cabrera is a sick 9-for-13 (.692) with a pair of home runs and a 2.022 OPS versus Houston starter Scott Feldman.
Insight: A smart Feldman should probably just walk him to hold him to one base. Cabrera isn't hitting like he did last season, but he's still batting .315 with 13 HR and 64 RBI ... totals most mortals would love to have.
Description: Tigers right-hander Max Scherzer struck out a season-high 13 batters over seven innings Saturday at Houston.
Insight: Scherzer took a no decision and remains 9-3 with a 3.64 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP this season. The right-hander has a 2.95 FIP but he's been hurt by a .336 BABIP. Use his higher-than-expected ERA as a buy-low opportunity.
Description: Tigers center fielder Austin Jackson is not in the lineup Satday against Houston.
Insight: Torii Hunter is back from a hamstring injury and the team wants to keep hot-hitting J.D. Martinez (.313, 9 HR, 32 RBI) in the lineup and get Rajai Davis some work. jackson is the odd-man out today.
Description: Tigers center fielder Austin Jackson is not in the lineup Wednesday against the Rangers.
Insight: Torii Hunter is back from a hamstring injury and the team wants to keep both J.D. Martinez (.404, 5 HR, 15 RBI during 13-game hitting streak) and Rajai Davis (career .786 OPS vs. LHP) in the lineup against Texas left-hander Joe Saunders. If Jackson (.253, 3 HR, 20 RBI) doesn't start hitting, he could find himself on the bench more often.
Description: Detroit right fielder Torii Hunter (hamstring) is back in the lineup Wednesday, according to Chris Iott of mlive.com.
Insight: Hunter (.266, 9 HR, 35 RBI) hasn't played since last Monday. J.D. Martinez has been on fire lately and the Tigers are going to make an effort to get him in the lineup at one of the corner outfield spots every day. Austin Jackson is sitting out Wednesday and Rajai Davis is in center field.
Description: Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler has gone 12-for-36 (.333) with three doubles and four homers against Rangers starter Joe Saunders.
Insight: Kinsler actually has a better average and OPS against righties (.299, .835) than lefties (.286, .685), but he's smashed Saunders in the past. He's also hitting .395 with four doubles, three homers, 10 RBI and two steals in his last 10 games.
Description: Tigers outfielder J.D. Martinez' outstanding month continued Tuesday at Texas. He went 2-for-5 with a double, a homer and two RBI.
Insight: Martinez has hit .438 with four doubles, five home runs and 13 RBI in his last eight games. He's been starting due to Torii Hunter's hamstring injury but could replace Rajai Davis as the team's starting left fielder against right-handers when Hunter returns. Martinez has been especially potent against right-handers, hitting .395 with six homers against them compared to 3-for-32 (.094) against southpaws, while Davis is better against lefties.
Description: Tigers right-hander Max Scherzer bounced back from his worst start of the year Tuesday against the Royals with six innings of one-run ball Sunday at Cleveland.
Insight: Scherzer gave up 10 runs on 10 hits in four innings against the Indians, but he was back to form Sunday, striking out eight and giving up six hits to get his ninth win. Scherzer has been hit harder this season (436 batters faced and 40 XBH allowed in 2014, 836 batters faced and 59 XBH allowed in 2013) but he's still a fantasy ace.
Description: Detroit right fielder Torii Hunter will miss his sixth consecutive game Sunday against the Indians. SOURCE: Matthew Mowery, Oakland Press
Insight: He's been battling hamstring issues since Monday. If Hunter's condition doesn't improve quickly, a stint on the disabled list could be in order for the five-time All-Star. J.D Martinez (.312, 7 HR, 25 RBI) is getting another start in right field.
Description: Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander was much better Saturday against Cleveland. He had lost five of his previous six starts.
Insight: Verlander (6-7, 4.73 ERA) didn't factor in the decision but he pitched well, allowing just two runs (one earned) in seven innings. He tied a season-high by delivering eight strikeouts. Verlander's next outing is scheduled for Friday against Houston.
Description: Tigers right fielder Torii Hunter is not in Saturday's starting lineup.
Insight: Hunter left Monday night's game with hamstring cramps. It hasn't been tough on manager Brad Ausmus, however, as Hunter's replacement, J.D. Martinez is batting .500 over the past six games with four homers, 10 RBI and a 1.615 OPS. Torii do you know the story of Wally Pipp?
Description: Tigers outfielder J.D. Martinez homered for the third straight game and the fourth time in his last five Friday at Cleveland.
Insight: Martinez has gone 17-for-34 (.500) with nine extra-base hits and 11 RBI during a 10-game hitting streak. He is likely to take over the starting left field job from Rajai Davis when Torii Hunter returns.
Description: Detroit starter Anibal Sanchez allowed five hits and one run over seven innings Thursday against the Royals but didn't strike out anyone.
Insight: Sanchez came in with an 8.47 K/9, but the Royals have 47 fewer strikeouts than any other team in baseball this season. Sanchez, who led the AL in ERA last season, has a 2.33 ERA and a 0.93 WHIP in 69 2/3 innings in 2014.
Description: Tigers right fielder Torii Hunter probably won't be ready to play again until this weekend. SOURCE: Jacon Beck, MLB.com
Insight: Hunter left Monday night's game with hamstring cramps and is still feeling sore. J.D. Martinez (.299, 5 HR, 21 RBI) is on an eight-game hitting streak and will handle the right field duties during his absence.
Description: Tigers outfielder J.D. Martinez has gone 13-for-31 (.419) with four doubles, two homers and seven RBI in his last eight games.
Insight: When Torii Hunter returns, we may see Martinez become Detroit's starting left fielder against right-handers over Rajai Davis, who hits better against southpaws. Martinez is 27-for-68 (.397) with nine doubles, four homers and 17 RBI against righties this season.
Description: Tigers outfielder J.D. Martinez went 3-for-4 Tuesday in a loss to Kansas City.
Insight: The loss dropped Detroit out of first place. Martinez, who is filling in at right field for the injured Torii Hunter (hamstring cramps), is currently on a seven-game hitting streak. If you're looking for help in the outfield this week (Hunter is hoping to return this weekend), Martinez (.290, 4 HR, 20 RBI) could be a decent option.
Description: Detroit starter Justin Verlander labored through another tough outing Monday against the Royals, allowing 12 hits and seven earned runs in six innings.
Insight: He's now 2-5 with a 7.83 ERA over his last seven starts. The former MVP had trouble with his mechanics last season and it looks like he's fallen into a similar trap this season. We'll see if Verlander (6-7, 4.98 ERA) can turn things around next time out against Cleveland.
Description: Tigers left fielder J.D Martinez hit his second career grand slam Monday against the Royals.
Insight: It came as part of a six-run ninth inning. Martinez (.270, 4 HR, 20 RBI) entered the game in the fourth inning after Torii Hunter went down with a hamstring injury. He's been platooning with Rajai Davis in left field for the past couple of weeks.
Description: Detroit shortstop Eugenio Suarez will get another start at shortstop Monday night and its time fantasy owners take notice.
Insight: The 22-year-old is swing a hot bat, hitting .375 with a double, a triple, three homers, six RBI, eight runs and four walks in just 24 at-bats since he was called up. He has a chance to run with Detroit's starting shortstop job.
Description: Detroit shortstop Eugenio Suarez went 3-for-4 with a homer, two RBI and three runs Saturday against the Twins.
Insight: The 22-year-old is off to a torrid start, hitting .400 with a double, a triple, three homers, six RBI, eight runs and four walks in just 20 at-bats since he was called up. He has a chance to run with Detroit's starting shortstop job.
Description: Tigers center fielder Austin Jackson won't start Thursday against Chicago.
Insight: With just two hits in 30 lifetime at bats against tonight's starting pitcher, Chris Sale, Jackson wouldn't have helped much anyway. Rajai Davis (.277, 4 HR, 19 RBI) will move over to center field with J.D. Martinez (.257, 3 HR, 14 RBI) getting the start in left.
Description: Detroit center fielder Austin Jackson is 2-for-30 (.067) against Chicago left-hander Chris Sale.
Insight: Jackson is hitting just .258 with a .710 OPS this season. He shouldn't be in any lineups on Thursday. The Tigers moving him down from the leadoff spot this season has really hurt his fantasy value.
Description: Detroit right fielder Torii Hunter's average has dropped 26 points since May 22.
Insight: He's batted .200 in his last 16 games. However, he's a must-start with John Danks on the mound for Chicago against Detroit Wednesday. Hunter is 15-for-46 (.326) with three homers in his career against Danks.
Description: Detroit center fielder Austin Jackson is 15-for-39 (.385) lifetime with two doubles and three home runs against White Sox starter John Danks.
Insight: Jackson has hit safely in five straight games while going 8-for-16 (.500) in that span, but he's still hitting just .254 with a .705 OPS this season. He could be useful Wednesday but the Tigers moving him down from the leadoff spot this season really hurt his fantasy value.
Description: The Tigers will skip Drew Smyly in the rotation following Tuesday's rainout.
Insight: Justin Verlander will be pushed back from Tuesday to Wednesday. Smyly (3-4, 3.81 ERA, 1.34 WHIP) has frequently been skipped this season and made just nine starts so far. Verlander and Max Scherzer will both make their 14th start of the season in the next two games.
Description: Tigers 2B Ian Kinsler is a career .382 with four homers against White Sox left-hander John Danks.
Insight: Kinsler has been exactly what Detroit and fantasy owners have expected, batting .287 with six homers, 28 RBI, 43 runs and six steals, though he's been struggling over the past two weeks (.154). tuesday could be the breakout day.
Description: Tigers manager Brad Ausmus gave closer Joe Nathan a vote of confidence Monday, according to mlb.com. "Right now, Joe is and has been the closer the whole year," Ausmus said. "The only times he hasn't closed have been games that I've felt it was best to give him a rest. If there's a bridge that needs to be crossed sometime down the road, I'll cross it. Right now, I'm not even considering it."
Insight: Nathan has allowed 10 runs on 12 hits in his last 3 1/3 innings and has a 7.04 ERA this season. Ausmus gave him a day off Sunday and Joba Chamberlain allowed three runs in the ninth to blow a 3-2 lead against the Red Sox.
Description: Detroit first baseman Miguel Cabrera exited Sunday night's game against the Red Sox after tweaking his hamstring in the sixth inning. SOURCE: Detroit Free Press
Insight: Cabrera (.326, 11 HR, 51 RBI) looked hobbled on his way to first base after lacing a single to left field. Don Kelly (.265, 0 HR, 3 RBI) pinch-ran for Cabrera and is now filling in for him at first.
Description: Detroit catcher Alex Avila is back in the lineup after missing Saturday's game with a mild concussion. SOURCE: Jason Beck, MLB.com
Insight: He's starting at catcher rather than DHing so the Tigers must be pretty confident he's at full strength. With that said, Avila should be avoided in fantasy as he's just 1-for-9 against tonight's starting pitcher, John Lackey.
Description: Former AL West opponents Ian Kinsler, now a member of the Tigers, and John Lackey, now a starter for the Red Sox, have faced each other 38 times and Kinsler has won a good portion of those battles.
Insight: Kinsler has batted .421 with two doubles, a triple and four home runs against Lackey.
Description: Tigers closer Joe Nathan allowed four hits and two runs in a non-save situation Saturday night against the Red Sox.
Insight: Nathan has been awful lately and the Tigers brought him into a low-leverage situation -- Detroit led Boston 8-4 in the ninth -- to try to get him back on track. However, he allowed Boston to get the tying runs on base before getting Stephen Drew to fly out to end the game. Nathan has allowed 10 runs on 12 hits in his last 3 1/3 innings and now has a 7.04 ERA this season. Joba Chamberlain is likely next in line for saves if Nathan cannot turn it around.
Description: Detroit third baseman Nick Castellanos had his third straight three-hit game as well as a home run Saturday against the Red Sox.
Insight: Castellanos (.271) has the second-highest line-drive rate in the majors after Freddie Freeman, but he has a 44/12 K/BB and just 15 extra-base hits (5 HR) in 197 plate appearances. For now, he's only a fantasy option in AL-only leagues.
Description: Detroit catcher Alex Avila has a mild concussion, according to mlive.com.
Insight: David Ortiz hit Avila in the head with his backswing Friday night. Manager Brad Ausmus said after Friday's game that the team thought Avila would be fine by Saturday, though he added that Avila won't play tonight regardless.
Description: Detroit right fielder Torii Hunter bashed three hits including his ninth home run of the season Friday versus Boston.
Insight: He had been hitless in his previous 11 at bats prior to tonight's game. Hunter got off to a good start this season (.316 AVG in April) but has slumped since then, hitting just .250 over his last 31 games.
Description: Forrmer Pirates and Red Sox closer Joel Hanrahan continues to throw bullpen sessions and long toss in Flordia, but doesn't appear close to returning. Source: Jason Beck, MLB.com.
Insight: Hanrahan, who has been slowly recovering from Tommy John surgery, has followed a strength-building program for the last few weeks, but still was experiencing arm weakness at times. The Tigers won't rush Hanrahan back, but when he does return he could become a helpful piece in Detroit's bullpen.
Description: Tigers starter Justin Verlander was "outdueled" by J.A. Happ Thursday afternoon.
Insight: Happ didn't throw great, just well enough to beat the slumping Verlander. The Tigers' right-hander hasn't cracked the seven strikeout mark since April 12 and we have seen his ERA jump from 2.08 on April 17 to 4.19 after today's fiasco.
Description: The Tigers brought closer Joe Nathan into a scoreless game Tuesday against the Blue Jays and he allowed two hits, two walks and four runs in 1/3 of an inning.
Insight: Nathan has given up seven hits, three walks and eight earned runs in 1 1/3 innings over his last three appearances and now has an ugly 6.86 ERA. If Nathan continues to struggle, the Tigers will probably turn to Joba Chamberlain (2.59 ERA, 1.19 WHIP) to close. Chamberlain closed a game on May 30 when Nathan was unavailable.
Description: Detroit starter Anibal Sanchez gave up just two hits and struck out five in seven shutout innings Tuesday against the Blue Jays.
Insight: Toronto's Drew Hutchison didn't allow a run either so Sanchez didn't get a decision. The 2013 AL ERA leader has allowed just four earned runs on 17 hits with a 22/4 K/BB in 27 1/3 innings since he came off the disabled list. He's 2-2 with a 2.15 ERA and a 0.89 WHIP this season.
Description: Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera homered for the second straight game Saturday night.
Insight: Cabrera's slow start is a distant memory. He's up to .332 with 10 home runs, 49 RBI and a .946 OPS. AL home-run leader Nelson Cruz has a big lead over Cabrera with 20 bombs, but the Tigers first baseman ranks second in the AL in average and RBI.
Description: Detroit right fielder Torii Hunter is not in Thursday's starting lineup.
Insight: Hunter is putting up solid numbers again this season even as re approached 39 years of age. He's batting .282 with eight homers, 29 RBI and 25 runs scored. Don Kelly will get the start in right, but has little fantasy value.
Description: Detroit 2B Ian Kinsler is still batting .316 this season even after going hitless in his last two games and the cold spell could continue into a third day as he's 0-for-8 versus Athletics starter Jesse Chavez.
Insight: Kinsler has been one of the top second basemen in fantasy this season, but he shouldn't be in daily lineups Thursday.
Description: Detroit center fielder Austin Jackson is hitting .217 with a .575 OPS in May and hasn't had success against Oakland left-hander Scott Kazmir.
Insight: Jackson has hit .214 (3-for-14) with eight Ks against Kazmir. The move from leadoff to fifth in the order actually hurt his fantasy value because he's not a good run producer (.245 career batting average with RISP) and he's been hitting sixth or seventh over the past month. Jackson used to be one of the top run-scoring threats in the majors, but he has just 23 runs in 45 games.
Description: Detroit right fielder Torii Hunter had his first multi-hit game since May 18 Tuesday against the Athletics.
Insight: Hunter went 2-for-5 with a double and a solo homer. He was 3-for-28 (.107) in his previous seven games and has batted .188 in his last 18 games. Hunter's fly-ball rate is up this year and it has resulted in more home runs but a much lower batting average on balls in play and, as a result, a lower batting average than he had in 2013.
Description: Tigers starter Justin Verlander was rocked again Sunday against the Rangers.
Insight: Fantasy owners who were concerned with Verlander's declining strikeout totals and sold high may have gotten out just in time. The right-hander has allowed 28 hits and 19 runs (16 earned) while posting a 7/9 K/BB over 17 1/3 innings his last three starts. He now has a 1.51 WHIP and a 4.04 ERA this season.
Description: Detroit right fielder Torii Hunter has managed just two hits in 19 previous at bats against Texas starter Colby Lewis.
Insight: That computes to a .105 batting average which is obviously not what fantasy owners are looking for. Hunter has been in a bit of a tailspin lately, going 2-for-20 over his last five games. Don't expect him to snap out of it on Sunday.
Description: Tigers left-hander Robbie Ray has been sent back to Triple-A Toledo.
Insight: He was called up a few weeks ago when Anibal Sanchez was placed on the DL. Now that Sanchez is back, Ray's assistance will no longer be necessary. He went 1-1 with a 4.70 ERA during his brief stint in the major leagues.
Description: Tigers DH Victor Martinez went yard for the 12th time this season Wednesday at Cleveland.
Insight: He also had three hits and is batting .329 with a .998 OPS and more homers than strikeouts. Martinez had just 14 homers in 605 at-bats a year ago but is on pace to shatter his career high of 25.
Description: Tigers right-hander Rick Porcello expects to pitch Saturday against Texas. SOURCE: Chris Iott, MLive.com
Insight: His start was pushed back a few days because of soreness in his right side. Porcello has gotten off to a great start, winning seven of his first eight starts with an ERA under three. Detroit's 27-14 record this season is easily the best in the major leagues.
Description: Tigers starter Justin Verlander has a 1.42 WHIP following Tuesday's poor start at Cleveland.
Insight: It might be time for fantasy owners to worry about Verlander. The right-hander's ERA is still a solid 3.55 even after he gave up five runs on 11 hits in six innings Tuesday, but he has a 6.68 K/9 and a 3.68 BB/9 in 66 innings this season.
Description: Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera is a career .471 hitter (8-for-17) with three homers and seven RBI versus Cleveland right-hander Corey Kluber.
Insight: Cabrera was hitting .206 with one home run and a .609 OPS on April 21, but he's now batting .316 with seven homers, 39 RBI and an .888 OPS. Monday should continue his climb to the top of the leaderboard.
Description: Tigers rookie Nick Castellanos is getting a rest Sunday against the Red Sox.
Insight: Castellanos (.233, 4 HR, 19 RBI) has done a lot of swinging and missing lately with seven strikeouts in his last 14 at bats. Don Kelly (.316, 0 HR, 2 RBI) is making his sixth start of the season at third base.
Description: Tigers right fielder Torii Hunter has cooled off after a torrid start to this month, but he has a good matchup Sunday.
Insight: After starting off May 10-for-22 (.455) with seven RBI, Hunter has gone 6-for-31 (.194) in his last nine games. However, he has a .438 average with a double, a triple and a homer in 16 at-bats against Red Sox starter Jake Peavy.
Description: Tigers starter Rick Porcello held the Red Sox to one run on six hits in eight innings Saturday and is now 7-1 with a 2.91 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP.
Insight: Porcello entered the game with a 10.42 ERA in five career starts against Boston and a 10.03 ERA in three starts at Fenway Park, but he put those struggles behind him Saturday. The right-hander pitched very well last year but struggled with men on base and finished with a 4.32 ERA. This year, he's stranded 76 percent of his baserunners.
Description: Detroit 2B Ian Kinsler is a career .429 hitter (15-for-35) with four homers and nine RBI against Boston starter John Lackey.
Insight: Kinsler is batting around the .300 mark, a place he hasn't been since 2008. Batting mostly first or second in the Tigers lineup, he's in for a big year scoring runs. He already scored 26 times in 37 games which puts him on pace for 113 runs scored.
Description: Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera has a career .526 batting average versus Boston left-hander Jon Lester (10-for-19).
Insight: After a slow start Cabrera is starting to heat up, batting .389 this week with a pair of homers. Though still not at the level of production we have gotten used to over the past few seasons he's warming up so hop on the bandwagon in this favorable matchup.
Description: Tigers closer Joe Nathan has thrown nine scoreless innings in a row.
Insight: Nathan started off slow, allowing six runs in his first 6 2/3 innings and blowing two of his first four save chances, but he locked down his 10th save of the season Wednesday and now has a 3.45 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP.
Description: Tigers starter Justin Verlander gave up five earned runs on six hits with three walks in six innings Wednesday at Baltimore, but he still picked up his fifth win.
Insight: Detroit gave Verlander a 6-0 lead and the right-hander shut out the O's in the first four innings, but he gave up five runs in the fifth. The right-hander has a 3.15 ERA this season but it's clear he isn't the same pitcher he was in 2011-12. For the second straight season, his BB/9 is above 3.00, his WHIP is above 1.30 and his velocity is down. His K/9 is also just 7.05 this year, his lowest since he was a rookie in 2006.
Description: Tigers starter Drew Smyly gave up one earned run on five hits with seven strikeouts and two walks over six innings Tuesday at Baltimore.
Insight: Smyly was skipped in the rotation a couple times in April and has made just five starts this season, but he's allowed six earned runs on 18 hits with 22 Ks in 24 1/3 innings over his last four turns and has a 2.70 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP this season.
Description: Detroit designated hitter Victor Martinez went 2-for-4 with a solo homer Tuesday at Baltimore.
Insight: Martinez has been a productive hitter for a long time but has never hit more than 25 homers in a season and had 14 in 605 at-bats last year. However, he already has nine jacks to go with a .336 average, a .987 OPS and just eight strikeouts in 131 at-bats this year.
Description: Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera has homered in four of his last eight games.
Insight: He hit a go-ahead three-run homer off Orioles closer Tommy Hunter in the top of the ninth inning Tuesday for his sixth home run of the season. Cabrera is up to 33 RBI on the year and is now hitting .298 with an .846 OPS.
Description: Detroit designated hitter Victor Martinez 7-for-21 with three homers and a 1.143 OPS against Baltimore starter Ubaldo Jimenez.
Insight: Martinez is hitting .331 and has eight home runs and 22 RBI. Martinez has been a fantasy stud over the second half of last year and into the start of this season. The only concern is a chance of rain in Baltimore this evening.
Description: Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera went 2-for-3 on Sunday to raise his average to .291.
Insight: It was inevitable that Cabrera would get it going. He's simply too good a hitter. Cabrera has hit .366 since April 22 to push his average up 85 points. It's probably not a coincidence that his protection in the lineup, Victor Martinez, is batting .405 over the same span.
Description: Detroit designated hitter Victor Martinez is hitless in six at-bats versus Minnesota right-hander Damuel Deduno.
Insight: Martinez is hitting .328 and has eight home runs against just five strikeouts. Martinez may not have a good matchup on Sunday, but over his last 365 days he's batting .323 with 21 HR and 90 RBI. That's too good to leave on the bench.
Description: Detroit designated hitter Victor Martinez went deep for the fourth time in six games and drove in three runs Saturday against the Twins.
Insight: Martinez has been off-the-charts good this season. He's hitting .328 and has eight home runs with just five strikeouts. Martinez hit just .226 with five homers in his first 71 games last year after missing all of 2012 with a torn ACL, but he has batted .351 with 17 longballs and 34 strikeouts in his last 459 at-bats going back to last June.
Description: Detroit catcher Alex Avila is just 1-for-11 in his career against Twins starter Phil Hughes.
Insight: Avila hasn't given fantasy owners much this season, driving in just six runs while hitting 26 points below his career average. Friday's matchup with Hughes won't make life any easier for Avila or his fantasy owners.
Description: Ian Kinsler probably won't be of much use to fantasy owners Friday when the Tigers face Twins right-hander Phil Hughes.
Insight: Kinsler is 2-for-16 against him with just one RBI. The former Texas second baseman has fared well lately (.394 AVG over his last eight games) but that doesn't mean you should start him Friday versus Hughes (3-1, 4.72 ERA).
Description: Detroit designated hitter Victor Martinez homered for the third time in four games and extended his hitting streak to 11 games with three hits Thursday against Houston.
Insight: Martinez is now batting .333 with seven home runs and just five strikeouts all season. The only thing that would make his season better is if Detroit sticks him behind the plate for three more starts so he regains eligibility there.
Description: Max Scherzer was lights out Monday in a win over the Astros.
Insight: The Tigers ace limited Houston to just three hits over eight shutout innings. He struck out nine and walked only one. Scherzer, who is now 4-1 with a 1.72 ERA, will make his next start Saturday against Minnesota.
Description: Detroit designated hitter Victor Martinez has struggled mightily against Royals left-hander Danny Duffy throughout his career.
Insight: He's hitting .182 in 11 at bats against him. Martinez (.315, 4 HR, 15 RBI) has been on a roll lately so fantasy owners have a tough choice to make. Do you go with history or the hot hand? Use your best judgment.
Description: The Tigers have agreed to a one-year deal with former Pirates and Red Sox closer Joel Hanrahan. SOURCE: Jerry Crasnick, ESPN
Insight: Hanrahan has already been moved to the 15-day disabled list. The right-hander is about 12 months removed from Tommy John surgery. When healthy, he'll serve as Detroit's bridge to closer Joe Nathan.
Description: Detroit first baseman Miguel Cabrera is a career 18-for-43 (.419) with two homers and a 1.189 OPS versus Royals veteran James Shields.
Insight: Cabrera has yet to play like the guy we have come to expect. He's batting just .277 with two homers, 15 RBI and a .735 OPS. Fantasy owners and Tigers fans just beginning to realize jhow important having Prince Fielder batting behind him was.
Description: Robbie Ray will make his major league debut Tuesday against Houston. SOURCE: Chris Iott, MLive
Insight: He's filling in for Anibal Sanchez who is out with a lacerated finger. Sanchez should be back shortly so Ray will probably only make one or two starts before returning to Triple-A Toledo, where he has gone 3-2 this season with a 1.59 ERA in 28 1/3 innings pitched.
Description: Tigers outfielder Rajai Davis is a career .471 hitter (8-for-17) against White Sox left-hander Jose Quintana.
Insight: Davis is hitting .476 over his last five games with a homer, four RBI and a couple of stolen bases. If he gets on, he could certainly add to his stolen base total as he's been successful all four times he's tried agains Quintana.
Description: According to MLive's Chris Iott, the Tigers are likely to use Robbie Ray in the starting rotation while Anibal Sanchez recovers from a finger injury.
Insight: The next time the team needs a starter is May 6th versus Houston. Ray has pitched well for Detroit's Triple-A affiliate, the Toledo Mud Hens, logging a 1.93 ERA over 23 1/3 innings this season.
Description: Detroit starter Anibal Sanchez is headed to the 15-day DL. SOURCE: Chris Iott, MLive
Insight: Sanchez (0-2, 3.13 ERA) suffered a blister during Saturday's outing and will now need at least two weeks to recover. Triple-A reliever Justin Miller will take over Sanchez's place on the active roster.
Description: Tigers outfielder Rajai Davis is a career .500 hitter (7-for-14) against White Sox left-hander Jose Quintana.
Insight: Davis is hitting .304 with one homer, 11 runs and seven steals in 15 games this season. He's also 4-for-4 in stolen base attempts against Quintana. Just called up J.D. Martinez has played the last two games, but Davis is in the starting lineup and leading off.
Description: Tigers outfielder Rajai Davis is a career .500 hitter (7-for-14) against White Sox left-hander Jose Quintana.
Insight: Davis is hitting .304 with one homer, 11 runs and seven steals in 15 games this season. He's also 4-for-4 in stolen base attempts against Quintana. Just called up J.D. Martinez has played the last two games.
Description: Tigers center fielder Austin Jackson went deep Wednesday against the White Sox.
Insight: Jackson had his first day off of the season Tuesday and went 1-for-3 with two RBI and a walk Wednesday. He's batting .310 with two home runs, nine RBI, eight runs, one steal and a 13/9 K/BB in 58 at-bats.
Description: Tigers starter Drew Smyly tossed six innings, struck out seven with one walk and allowed two runs on six hits Wednesday against the White Sox.
Insight: Smyly didn't make his first start of the season until April 18 due to a rainout and lasted just three innings in that game. The 24-year-old should get back into a regular rhythm now and has good upside.
Description: Tigers left fielder Rajai Davis is not in the starting lineup Wednesday against the White Sox.
Insight: Davis is hitting .304 with one homer, 11 runs and seven steals in 15 games this season, but he'll take a seat to give J.D. Martinez a second straight start. He has been leading off for the Tigers and should be added in deep leagues.
Description: Tigers center fielder Austin Jackson is not in Tuesday's starting lineup. It's his first off day of the season.
Insight: Rajai Davis will get the start in center allowing just-called-up J.D Martinez a spot in left field. Martinez was smoking hot at Triple-A with 10 HR and 22 RBI in 17 games and hopes to help the struggling Detroit offense.
Description: Former Houston outfielder J.D. Martinez was called up by the Tigers this week and could get a few starts based on his minor league play.
Insight: Martinez batted .308 with 10 homers, 22 RBI and a 1.212 OPS in 17 games for the Toledo Mud Hens. With the Tigers averaging less than four runs per game, they could use a hot bat in the lineup.
Description: Detroit second baseman Ian Kinsler bopped his second home run of the season Thursday in a win over Cleveland.
Insight: Kinsler, who finished with four RBI, has gone 7-for-17 over his last four games. The former Ranger recorded his third stolen base of the season on Thursday, though he was also caught stealing.
Description: With no DH available, the Tigers will give Victor Martinez the night off Saturday against San Diego. SOURCE: Chris Iott, MLive.com
Insight: He got the start at first base last night and went 0-for-2 with a walk. Miguel Cabrera will move back to first with Nick Castellanos getting the nod at third base. Don't be surprised if V-Mart makes an apperance as a pinch-hitter later on in tonight's game.
Description: Torii Hunter is back after missing two games with a bruised knee. SOURCE: Tom Gage, Detroit News
Insight: He'll bat third and play right field. Hunter had been on a home run hitting tear before his injury, blasting three jacks in a span of four games. He's 2-for-2 in his career against tonight's starting pitcher, Ian Kennedy.
Description: Tigers starter Drew Smyly will make his first start of the season Wednesday against the Indians.
Insight: Smyly's first start was skipped due to a rainout. He has recorded a 3.18 ERA, a 1.15 WHIP and 181 Ks in 181 1/3 innings in his career, with 70 of his 88 appearances coming in relief. He's worth owning in most leagues.
Description: Torii Hunter's power surge continued Sunday in a loss to Baltimore.
Insight: Hunter's solo shot in the fourth was Detroit's only run of the afternoon. The veteran has left the yard three times in his last three appearances. In 2013, Hunter didn't hit his third homer until June 16th. That was his 59th game of the season.
Description: Tigers starter Justin Verlander has gone 8-1 with a 3.27 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP in his career against the Orioles, and he has shut down most of the hitters in the O's 2014 lineup.
Insight: Adam Jones (3-for-27), Nelson Cruz (2-for-20), Chris Davis (3-for-17), Nick Markakis (10-for-41) and Matt Wieters (3-for-19) all have struggled against Verlander. J.J. Hardy is the only Orioles regular who has had success against the Tigers right-hander, and he has gone 8-for-31 (.258) with three homers and six Ks. There are plenty of aces starting Sunday, but Verlander is as good of a choice as any of them.
Description: Tigers left fielder Rajai Davis is 3-for-9 with one homer, four RBI, three runs and one steal in three games this season.
Insight: Davis took over the everyday left field job when Andy Dirks had to undergo back surgery. Davis' average season over the past five years has included a .271 average, five home runs, 58 runs, 39 RBI and 43 steals.
Description: Tigers starter Rick Porcello allowed just three hits and one earned runs in 6 2/3 innings Saturday against the Orioles.
Insight: Porcello left with a 7-1 lead and picked up the win even though Detroit's bullpen made it interesting by allowing five runs in the ninth. Porcello had a career-best 7.22 K/9, a 55.3% ground-ball rate and a 3.53 FIP last season, but his ERA was a mediocre 4.32 due to a .315 BABIP. Even though Jose Iglesias is out, the Tigers' infield defense should be improved this season and will help Porcello have his best season.
Description: Detroit right fielder Torii Hunter drove home five runs Saturday against the Orioles.
Insight: Hunter had a double and a homer in the game. The 38-year-old has batted above .300 in each of the last two seasons and has one of the best lineup spots in the game as the No. 2 hitter in front of Miguel Cabrera.
Description: Tigers shortstop Alex Gonzalez was to get Thursday afternoon off (rained out) and will still get a day off on Friday with Andrew Romine starting at shortstop for Detroit.
Insight: Gonzalez went 3-for-8 over the first two games with a pair of RBI. He's no Jose Iglesias and fantasy owners should probably look elsewhere for shortstop help as his last fantasy-worthy season was 2010.
Description: Tigers shortstop Alex Gonzalez will get Thursday afternoon off and Andrew Romine will start at shortstop for Detroit.
Insight: Gonzalez went 3-for-8 over the first two games with a pair of RBI. He's no Jose Iglesias and fantasy owners should probably look elsewhere for shortstop help as his last fantasy-worthy season was 2010.
Description: Reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer picked up where he left off Wednesday in his first start of the season.
Insight: The Tigers hurler held the Royals scoreless on four hits, struck out seven and walked one over eight innings. He was in line for the win but Joe Nathan blew the save. Scherzer went 21-3 with a 2.90 ERA, a 0.97 WHIP and 240 Ks in 214 1/3 innings last season.
Description: Second baseman Ian Kinsler's first hit with the Tigers was a solo homer in the fourth inning Wednesday afternoon versus Kansas City.
Insight: Kinsler also had a walk-off single in the bottom of the 10th and went 3-for-5 in the game. As Detroit's new leadoff hitter, he should easily score 100 runs if he stays healthy, but his homers and steals have declined in each of the last two years after he put up a 30-30 season in 2011.
Description: Tigers center fielder Austin Jackson will begin the season as Detroit's No. 5 hitter, according to Jason Beck of mlb.com. Jackson hit .429 with five doubles, two triples, two home runs and three steals this spring.
Insight: Jackson averaged 142 games, 99 runs, 10 home runs, 50 RBI and 17 steals the last four years. Hitting fifth will lead to more RBI chances, but he'll score fewer runs out of that spot.
Description: The Tigers have signed Miguel Cabrera to a 10-year, $292 million contract, according to Jon Heyman of cbssports.com. The contract will give Cabrera the highest average annual salary in MLB history.
Insight: The new deal replaces the last two years on Cabrera's old contract, so it's essentially an eight-year extension that will run until 2023. The 30-year-old Cabrera has won the last two AL MVPs and also the Triple Crown in 2012.
Description: Tigers third baseman Nick Castellanos is hitting .389 with nine doubles, two homers and 16 RBI in 54 at-bats this spring.
Insight: MLB.com ranked Castellanos as the No. 15 prospect in baseball this preseason after he hit .276 with 37 doubles, 18 home runs, 76 RBI and a .793 OPS at Triple-A last year. The Tigers opened up a spot at third base for him by trading Prince Fielder for Ian Kinsler and moving Miguel Cabrera across the diamond.
Description: Detroit right-hander Max Scherzer is looking for an eight-year extension. SOURCE: Jim Bowden, ESPN
Insight: He recently turned down a six-year offer worth $144 million. The two sides aren't likely to re-open talks until after the season. Scherzer could be dealt at the trade deadline if the Tigers aren't confident they'll be able to re-sign him.
Description: The Tigers traded for infielder Alex Gonzalez on Tuesday. SOURCE: Dan Connolly, Baltimore Sun
Insight: Baltimore received Steve Lombardozzi in exchange. Gonzalez (.246 AVG in 5,746 big league at bats) won't completely make up for the loss of Jose Iglesias (stress fracture) but at least it's a start.
Description: The Tigers and right-hander Max Scherzer were not able to reach an agreement on a contract extension and talks have been shelved until further notice. SOURCE: ESPN.com
Insight: Scherzer, like most Scott Boras clients, will hit the open market. While it was reported earlier that Scherzer rejected Detroit's offer, Boras is now saying that it was the other way around. Scherzer, the reigning American League Cy Young award winner, is likely to receive at least $20 million a year when he negotiates his next contract.
Description: Tigers center fielder Austin Jackson is batting .442 with eight extra-base hits (four doubles, two triples, two homers), 15 runs, 12 RBI and just four strikeouts in 43 at-bats.
Insight: Injuries have limited Jackson to fewer than 140 games in two straight seasons but he still scored at least 99 runs in both. With Jim Leyland gone, he should have the green light to run more often after stealing just 20 bases on 33 attempts the last two years. The Tigers ranked last in baseball in 2013 with 55 steal attempts.
Description: The Tigers have acquired infielder Andrew Romine from Anaheim.
Insight: All they had to give up was left-hander Jose Alvarez. The hope is that Romine can fill in at shortstop while Jose Iglesias recovers from shin splints. He's an excellent base stealer (24 thefts last season) but has never homered in 152 major league at bats.
Description: Jose Iglesias is unlikely to play this season. The Tigers shortstop was recently diagnosed with stress fractures in both of his shins. SOURCE: James Scheml, MLive
Insight: Four to six months was his original timetable for recovery but now it's looking like it could be even longer before Iglesias is back to full strength. His terrific defense at shortstop will be difficult to replace. The 24-year-old finished second in American League Rookie of the Year voting last season.
Description: Detroit starter Anibal Sanchez (shoulder) said he will make two more starts in spring training, according to John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press. He had a cortisone shot after being scratched from his scheduled start Monday due to inflammation in his shoulder.
Insight: Sanchez dealt with a similar issue last season and missed a few weeks. He finished 14-8 with an AL-leading 2.57 ERA, 1.153 WHIP and 202 Ks in 182 IP. If he can avoid a setback the rest of the spring, he'll start the third game of the season for Detroit.
Description: Detroit starter Anibal Sanchez (shoulder) received a cortisone shot and will rest for three days, according to Jason Beck of mlb.com.
Insight: Sanchez was scratched from Monday's start due to shoulder inflammation. He dealt with a similar issue last season and missed a few weeks. He finished 14-8 with an AL-leading 2.57 ERA, 1.153 WHIP and 202 Ks in 182 IP. If he can avoid a setback the rest of the spring, he'll start the third game of the season for Detroit.
Description: Detroit starter Anibal Sanchez was scratched from Monday's start due to right shoulder inflammation, according to Tyler Kepner of the New York Times.
Insight: Anibal Sanchez is expected to make his next start, but shoulder injuries are always worrisome. Sanchez was a fantasy stud last season going 14-8 with a 2.57 ERA, 1.153 WHIP and 202 Ks in 182 IP.
Description: Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias is expected to miss most of the 2014 season because of a shin issue. SOURCE: Jim Bowden, ESPN
Insight: Iglesias was diagnosed with shin splints a few days ago but now the injury appears to be more serious. Though not a must-have fantasy player, Iglesias hit a respectable .303 last season while playing Gold Glove defense at shortstop. Free agent Stephen Drew should be getting a call from the Tigers at any moment.
Description: Two-time American League MVP Miguel Cabrera is batting .417 in 24 at-bats this spring.
Insight: Ho-hum, what else is new. He's the first back-to-back winner in the AL since Frank Thomas in 1993-94. Cabrera belted 44 HR and 137 RBI last year while hitting a career-best .348, but will be without his long-time protector in the lineup - Prince Fielder. We don't expect that to effect Cabrera's production much.
Description: Detroit shortstop Jose Iglesias is visiting another doctor Friday and is likely to start the season on the disabled list.
Insight: The former Red Sox and current Tigers infielder batted .303 last season with a .735 OPS in 350 at-bats and was looked on as a nice low-cost shortstop option for fantasy owners. You will have to be hesitant about choosing him at this point, or at least until we hear from today's doctor.
Description: Tigers outfielder Andy Dirks needs back surgery and will likely miss 12 weeks, according to Chris Iott of mlive.com.
Insight: Dirks hit .256 with nine homers, 37 RBI and a .686 OPS in 131 games last season, down from .322 (boosted by a .365 BABIP), eight home runs, 35 RBI and an .857 OPS in 2012. His absence will lead to more at-bats for expected platoon partner Rajai Davis.
Description: Tigers righthander Justin Verlander (core muscle surgery) threw a live batting practice session of around 50 pitches, according to Detroit beat writer Chris Iott.
Insight: He should throw another session Thursday and then be ready for Grapefruit league action. He should be ready for the start of the season and hopefully will rebound from last year's "mediocre-for-him" season.
Description: According to Tom Gage of the Detroit News, Tigers DH Victor Martinez will catch more this season.
Insight: Martinez caught just three games last season which isn't enough to be eligible in many leagues. Manager Brad Ausmus called Martinez and apparently both are excited about the change. With 10 games in NL parks, it could be a way to get Martinez into the lineup and the result would be great for fantasy owners with another big bat available to start at catcher.
Description: Tigers righthander Justin Verlander (core muscle surgery) threw 20 pitches off a mound on Monday according to MLive's Chris Iott. Verlander expects to make five starts in spring training and if all goes well, be ready for Opening Day.
Insight: "My goal now is the start of the season," Verlander said. "Whether that's Game 1, I don't know. But I intend on being ready." That's great news for fantasy owners. The righthander did not pitch up to the standard he set in 2011-12 for most of 2013 but he finished the year strong by allowing just one earned run in his last five starts (postseason included).
Description: Detroit starter Justin Verlander had surgery to repair a core muscle on Thursday. SOURCE: Tigers on Twitter
Insight: He'll need about six weeks to recover. Verlander (13-12, 3.46 ERA) could miss the start of spring training but he should be back to 100 percent by Opening Day. Fantasy owners have nothing to worry about.
Description: The Tigers added a bullpen arm on Thursday by signing righthander Joba Chamberlain to a one-year, $2.5 million contract. SOURCE: Buster Olney, ESPN
Insight: Once considered a top prospect, Chamberlain has never lived up to the hype, generating just 23 wins across seven seasons in the Bronx. Leaving New York might clear his head a bit but it won't help his fantasy value.
Description: Rajai Davis' new deal with the Tigers will pay him $10 million over the next two seasons. SOURCE: Ben Nicholson-Smith, Sportnet
Insight: Davis has 50-steal potential but he probably won't get close to that while playing in Detroit. He's going to platoon with Andy Dirks in left field. In 331 at-bats for Toronto in 2013, Davis produced six homers, 24 RBI and 49 runs scored.
Description: Free agent shortstop Jhonny Peralta is close to signing a multi-year deal with St. Louis. SOURCE: Jerry Crasnick, ESPN
Insight: The shortstop duo of Daniel Descalso and Pete Kozma struggled mightily in the World Series (combined 1-for-20) so Peralta represents an obvious upgrade. We'll have contract details when the deal becomes official.
Description: According to cbssports.com's Jon Heyman, the Rangers have agreed to trade second baseman Ian Kinsler to the Detroit Tigers for Prince Fielder.
Insight: The Rangers wanted to open up second base for top prospect Jurickson Profar, and getting rid of Fielder's contract may allow Detroit to re-sign Max Scherzer. Kinsler has produced two 30-30 seasons but he has averaged just 16 homers, 18 steals and 72 RBI the last two seasons. His fantasy value doesn't change much from the trade.
Description: Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera is the American League MVP for the second year in a row.
Insight: He's the first back-to-back winner in the AL since Frank Thomas in 1993-94. Angels outfielder Mike Trout finished second just like he did in 2012. Cabrera belted 44 HR and 137 RBI this year while hitting a career-best .348.
Description: Detroit ace Max Scherzer is your 2013 American League Cy Young Award winner.
Insight: Scherzer (21-3, 2.90 ERA) was the obvious choice. He led the majors in victories and was second in the AL in strikeouts with 240. It's possible that Scherzer has pitched his last game for the Tigers. Detroit is apparently shopping the righthander in anticipation of him signing elsewhere after the 2014 season.
Description: According to Jon Morosi of foxsports.com, Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski said the team intends for Drew Smyly to be in its 2014 rotation, which supports the belief that the team will shop Max Scherzer or Rick Porcello.
Insight: Smyly made 63 relief appearances and threw 76 innings this past season. He went 6-0 with 21 holds, two saves, 81 strikeouts, a 2.37 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP. The lefty made 18 starts for Detroit in 2012.
Description: If the Tigers are serious about trading Max Scherzer, the Nationals could be one of the teams interested. SOURCE: Ken Rosenthal, Fox Sports
Insight: Scherzer is in the last year of his contract and it's going to be tough to retain him given all the money Detroit already owes Justin Verlander, Prince Fielder, Anibal Sanchez and Miguel Cabrera. Scherzer's agent, Scott Boras, is well-known for steering his clients toward Washington and Nationals GM Mike Rizzo was actually the one who drafted Scherzer out of college (Rizzo was working with the Diamondbacks at the time). Scherzer would fit nicely in a rotation that already includes power arms like Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann and Gio Gonzalez.
Description: The Tigers won't pick up Jose Veras' team option for next season. SOURCE: Jason Beck, MLB.com
Insight: Veras came over from Houston at the trade deadline. He saw mixed results as Detroit's setup man, finishing with a 3.20 ERA in 25 appearances. Veras ended his season and quite possibly his career with the Tigers by giving up a series-clinching grand slam to Shane Victorino in Game 6 of the ALCS.
Description: Impending free agent Jhonny Peralta is hoping to return to the Tigers in 2014. SOURCE: Detroit Free Press
Insight: Though it probably wouldn't be as a shortstop. Peralta's 50-game PED suspension this past summer allowed Jose Iglesias to settle in as one of the best defensive shortstops in baseball. Peralta did play a little bit of left field during the playoffs but the Tigers may opt to promote from within rather than overpaying for Peralta in free agency. The 31-year-old hit .303 in 409 regular season at bats.
Description: Miguel Cabrera's groin injury might require surgery in the offseason. SOURCE: Chris Iott, MLive.com
Insight: Cabrera was noticeably hobbled during the playoffs, though he still managed a respectable seven RBI in 11 games. We expect him to return to his normal spot in the batting order next season after hitting second during the team's ALCS loss to Boston.
Description: Tigers catcher Alex Avila is expected to play Saturday in Game 6 after leaving Thursday's game early with a left knee injury. SOURCE: Fox Sports
Insight: Avila was shaken up after getting steamrolled by David Ross at home plate. With Detroit's season on the line, Avila will tough it out and make his 11th start of the postseason. He's had an up and down series offensively with three hits in 12 at bats (1 HR, 3 RBI).
Description: Detroit catcher Alex Avila has been diagnosed with a strained patellar tendon in his left knee. SOURCE: Buster Olney, ESPN
Insight: Avila injured it when David Ross ran into him at home plate. Brayan Pena has come on to play catcher. Fox broadcaster Joe Buck noted that Don Kelly is the team's emergency catcher though the Tigers also have the option of giving up the DH and putting Victor Martinez behind the plate.
Description: Tigers catcher Alex Avila was replaced by backup Brayan Pena in the fourth inning of Thursday's Game 5 against the Red Sox.
Insight: Boston catcher David Ross absolutely clobbered Avila on a play at the plate in the second inning and clearly Avila is still feeling the effects. Avila flied out to left field in his only at bat of the night.
Description: Tigers DH Victor Martinez is a career .462 hitter against Boston left-hander Jon Lester.
Insight: He's one of three Tigers starters with at least a .450 regular season batting average against Lester (minimum 10 AB). Martinez had a big second half of the season and has continue to rake into the playoffs. He's 15-for-35 (.428) in nine postseason games this year.
Description: Detroit third baseman Miguel Cabrera is a career 10-for-19 (.526) against Boston starter Jon Lester during the regular season.
Insight: Cabrera was 1-for-3 against Lester in the series opener. Manager Jim Leyland mixed up the order Wednesday night and Cabrera hit second. After scoring seven runs last night with Torii Hunter leading off and Cabrera in the No. 2 hole, expect the same lineup for Game 5.
Description: Tigers leadoff man Austin Jackson has been dropped to eighth in the order.
Insight: Jackson has been miserable in the postseason with just three hits in 33 at bats. He's struck out 18 times over that span including twice yesterday in a 1-0 loss to the Red Sox. Detroit needs to win Wednesday's Game 4 to avoid falling into a 3-1 hole.
Description: Detroit's lineup for Game 4 is much different than the one we saw Tuesday night in Game 3. Miguel Cabrera, usually the Tigers' three-hitter, will bat second Wednesday versus Red Sox starter Jake Peavy.
Insight: It's the first time Cabrera has hit second in the order since 2004 when he still played for the Marlins. Meanwhile, Torii Hunter is hitting leadoff for the first time since 1999. The Tigers as a team are hitting .225 for the series. The Red Sox, who lead two games to one, are hitting .133.
Description: Detroit DH Victor Martinez was replaced on the base paths because of a leg cramp late in Game 3 but he's expected to play Wednesday night in Game 4. SOURCE: Tigers.com
Insight: Martinez has probably been the Tigers' most consistent hitter this series with four hits in 11 trips to the plate. Even if the leg injury was bothering Martinez, it wouldn't be a big deal because he rarely plays the field. He's a .286 lifetime hitter versus tonight's starter Jake Peavy.
Description: Tigers ace Justin Verlander (8 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 10 K's, 1 BB) only made one mistake Tuesday against the Red Sox, but it ended up costing him.
Insight: Verlander's 3-2 fastball to Mike Napoli in the seventh inning caught a little too much of the plate and Napoli made him pay by launching a solo homer to deep left center field. These two have a history as Napoli went yard against Verlander in his first major league at bat back in 2006. The run was the first Verlander had allowed in almost a month (September 18th against Seattle). He's in line to pitch Game 7, if necessary.
Description: Tigers DH Victor Martinez is 11-for-27 (.407) against Boston's Game 3 starter John Lackey.
Insight: V-Mart was a hot hitter during the second half of the season (.361) and has stayed hot in the postseason. The heart of the Tigers order - Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder and Martinez have all had success versus Lackey.
Description: Tigers manager Jim Leyland told ESPN's Buster Olney that Andy Dirks is likely to start in left field Tuesday in Game 3 against the Red Sox.
Insight: Left field has been a rotating door for the Tigers this postseason. Jhonny Peralta started their in Game 1 with Don Kelly getting the nod Sunday in Game 2. Dirks is hitless in three at bats this postseason, though he has managed to score two runs.
Description: Despite taking a nasty fall in Sunday's loss to the Red Sox, Detroit right fielder Torii Hunter doesn't expect to miss any time. SOURCE: USA Today
Insight: Hunter plunged over the right field fence in an attempt to steal a home run away from David Ortiz. Hunter cut his head and seemed to be a little disoriented after the fall but he stayed in the game. X-rays on his shoulder, which was also hurt on the play, came back negative. The nine-time Gold Glover is just 1-for-10 in the series.
Description: Five Tigers pitchers combined to one-hit the Red Sox Saturday in Game 1 of the ALCS.
Insight: Anibal Sanchez was effectively wild on Saturday night, striking out 12 hitters while walking six in his six innings of work. Sanchez became the first pitcher in postseason history to depart after six innings with a no-hitter still in tact. Daniel Nava ended the no-hit bid in the ninth by clubbing a single to center field. The Tigers have now won their last two games by a combined score of 4-0.
Description: Tigers DH Victor Martinez is hitless in six career at-bats versus Boston starter Clay Buchholz.
Insight: V-Mart was a hot hitter during the second half of the season (.361) and carried that through the first round of the playoffs against Oakland (9-for-20), but went 0-for-4 in the first game of this series.
Description: Tigers right fielder Torii Hunter is a .143 career hitter (3-for-21) against Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz.
Insight: The veteran outfielder is one of the setup guys for Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder, but isn't likely to help much in Sunday's game as he's batting just .166 this postseason and faces an unfavorable matchup.
Description: Tigers right fielder Torii Hunter is a .478 career hitter against Red Sox starter Jon Lester.
Insight: Hunter is 11-for-23 with three doubles against Boston's ALCS Game 1 starter. The veteran outfielder is one of three Tigers, along with Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez, who have more than 10 at-bats and are batting over .450 against Lester.
Description: Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera, who hit a two-run homer in Game 5 of the ALCS to help Detroit knock off the A's, is 10-for-19 (.526) against Boston's ALCS Game 1 starter Jon Lester.
Insight: Cabrera had hit just one home run since Aug. 26 prior to his Game 5 blast, and it came back on Sept. 17. He was nagged by injuries throughout September and is still dealing with them, but he still had a hit in all five division series games.
Description: Tigers starter Justin Verlander has thrown 27 scoreless innings with 43 strikeouts in his last four starts.
Insight: Verlander sent the Athletics packing with eight shutout innings in Game 5 of the ALDS Thursday night. He seems to have rediscovered his dominance after having a disappointing year by his standards.
Description: Detroit manager named right-hander Anibal Sanchez the Game 1 ALCS starter.
Insight: After years of displaying no-hit stuff but getting inconsistent results, Sanchez had a breakout season in 2013, going 14-8 with a league-leading 2.57 ERA, 202 strikeouts and a 2.39 FIP in 182 innings.
Description: Danny Knobler of CBS Sports is hearing that Tigers ace Max Scherzer has a "very real chance" of being traded this offseason.
Insight: With Prince Fielder, Anibal Sanchez and Justin Verlander locked into long-term deals, the Tigers may not have enough money left over to keep Scherzer when he becomes a free agent after next season. It would be a bombshell of a deal though trading a Cy Young winner (we assume Scherzer will win the award when it's announced next month) isn't unprecedented. Cliff Lee was traded the year after he won the Cy Young in 2009 as was R.A. Dickey when he went from the Mets to the Blue Jays in 2013. David Price, the 2012 American League Cy Young, could be on the trading block this winter as well.
Description: Tigers righthander Justin Verlander is 1-1 with a 2.00 ERA in three starts against Oakland this season.
Insight: Being on the mound for a decisive Game 5 at the Oakland Coliseum isn't exactly breaking new ground for Verlander. In fact, this exact situation unfolded last season when Verlander went nine innings for the shutout to send Detroit to the ALCS. Of Oakland's starters, only Coco Crisp is hitting better than .300 against the former Cy Young winner. We're expecting another strong outing from Verlander in Game 5.
Description: Detroit starter Justin Verlander will take the mound for Game 5 of the ALDS at Oakland on Thursday after the Tigers extended the series Tuesday.
Insight: The Tigers used Game 1 starter Max Scherzer for two innings out of the bullpen Tuesday so they'll go with Verlander, who gave up four hits, walked one and struck out 11 in seven innings in a no decision in Game 2. The right-hander has picked up three straight no decisions despite posting a 33/5 K/BB and a 0.00 ERA in 19 innings during that span.
Description: Tigers outfielder Torii Hunter (left shoulder) is probable for Game 4 of the ALDS Tuesday against Oakland.
Insight: The veteran right fielder injured it early in Monday's loss to Oakland. X-rays were negative. It's nothing serious and we'd fully expect Hunter to play Tuesday in Game 4 of the Division Series. He's 2-for-10 in the first three games of the series, but 7-for-10 with three homers versus Oakland Game 4 starter Dan Straily.
Description: Tigers outfielder Torii Hunter (left shoulder) is probable for Game 4 of the ALDS Tuesday against Oakland.
Insight: The veteran right fielder injured it early in Monday's loss to Oakland. X-rays were negative. It's nothing serious and we'd fully expect Hunter to play Tuesday in Game 4 of the Division Series. He's 2-for-10 in the first three games of the series.
Description: Detroit righthander Max Scherzer held the Athletics to two runs on three hits Friday in a Game 1 victory at the Oakland Coliseum.
Insight: The triumph marked Scherzer's third career playoff win. He's now recorded double-digit strikeouts in two out of his last three postseason appearances. Scherzer will be on the mound for Game 5 next Thursday, if necessary.
Description: Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera is a career .500 hitter against Oakland starter Bartolo Colon.
Insight: Cabrera just completed another MVP-worthy season with a .348 average, 44 home runs, 137 RBI, 103 runs and a 1.078 OPS. He won his third straight batting title and finished second to Chris Davis in both home runs and RBI.
Description: Jhonny Peralta is on the Tigers' ALDS roster, according to Chris Iott of MLive.com.
Insight: The Tigers acquired shortstop Jose Iglesias while Peralta was serving a 50-game suspension, so all of Peralta's playing time will come in left field. Andy Dirks is starting out there in Game 1, however.
Description: Correcting a previous report, Max Scherzer will get the ball for the Tigers in Game 1 versus Oakland.
Insight: We had heard that Justin Verlander would start Game 1 but apparently he'll be on the mound for Game 2 instead. Scherzer, who is 2-1 all-time in the postseason (3.82 ERA in 33 innings), was winless in two starts against the A's during the regular season (4.91).
Description: Detroit righthander Justin Verlander fanned 10 Marlins in six shutout innings Sunday in the Tigers' final game of the regular season.
Insight: Of course, Verlander's performance was overshadowed by what turned out to be a walkoff no-hitter for Miami starter Henderson Alvarez. Verlander (13-12, 3.46 ERA) figures to be the No. 1 or 2 starter for Detroit's opening round series against Oakland.
Description: Tigers right fielder Torii Hunter won't start Sunday against Miami.
Insight: Hunter's first season with the Tigers has been a success. In 144 games, he's produced 17 HR, 84 RBI and a .304 batting average while providing his usual stellar defense in right field. Andy Dirks (.257, 9 HR, 37 RBI) will make the start in right Sunday in the regular season finale.
Description: The Tigers are sitting Miguel Cabrera, Austin Jackson, Alex Avila and Torii Hunter Sunday, according to Jason Beck of MLB.com.
Insight: The Tigers clinched the AL Central and can afford to rest their players before the playoffs begin. Cabrera looked like he was going to blow by his numbers from last season, but injuries hampered him throughout the final month and he hit .284 with one home run and seven RBI in his last 25 games. Cabrera will finish with a .348 average, 44 home runs, 137 RBI, 103 runs and a 1.078 OPS. He won his third straight batting title but finished second to Chris Davis in both home runs and RBI.
Description: Detroit starter Anibal Sanchez will finish first in the American League with a 2.57 ERA.
Insight: Sanchez threw five shutout innings in his final start of the regular season, and the two closest pitchers to Sanchez, Bartolo Colon and Hisashi Iwakuma, both made their last start. After years of displaying no-hit stuff but getting inconsistent results, Sanchez had a breakout season in 2013, going 14-8 with a 2.57 ERA, 202 strikeouts and a 2.39 FIP in 182 innings.
Description: Detroit third baseman Miguel Cabrera is 10-for-21 (.476) against Minnesota starter Scott Diamond with four extra base hits and a 1.304 OPS.
Insight: He tweaked his groin on Saturday and probably wouldn't play if the Tigers had clinched the division, but since they still need one more win he'll likely play Tuesday. He's also 5-for-8 over his last two starts, so the groin isn't hurting his swing.
Description: Detroit third baseman Miguel Cabrera won't be in the lineup Sunday against the White Sox. SOURCE: Jason Beck, MLB.com
Insight: He tweaked his groin on Saturday and probably won't be available for a couple of days. The Tigers almost have the division wrapped up so they can afford to give Miggy a rest. Don Kelly (.235, 6 HR, 23 RBI) will fill in at third base while he's out.
Description: Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera left Saturday's game due to groin soreness and is day-to-day, according to Jason Beck of MLB.com.
Insight: Cabrera left the game prior to the top of the 10th inning. The superstar is likely to win his second straight MVP Award but injuries have cost him the chance to get his second straight Triple Crown. He has played 20 games and hit just .274 with one home run and six RBI since Aug. 27.
Description: A bruised hand will keep Detroit shortstop Jose Iglesias out of the lineup Saturday against the White Sox. SOURCE: Tigers on Twitter
Insight: Iglesias has enjoyed a fine rookie season, contributing a .310 average while playing gold glove defense on the left side of the infield. Ramon Santiago will get the start in his absence Saturday night.
Description: Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias (hand) left Thursday's game after taking a fastball off his left hand and while X-rays came back negative he is doubtful for Friday's game against the Chicago White Sox.
Insight: Iglesias is batting .310 this season (.276 with Detroit), but it's a bit deceiving as he provides little power (3 HR) or speed (5 SB).
Description: Tigers right fielder Torii Hunter won't be in the lineup Wednesday against Seattle. SOURCE: Jason Beck, MLB.com
Insight: Hunter hasn't been able to get it going in September. In 56 at bats this month, he's hitting just .179 with a .214 slugging percentage. Don Kelly (.236, 6 HR, 23 RBI) will get the start in right field.
Description: Detroit righthander Rick Porcello pitched six innings for his 13th win of the season Monday against Seattle.
Insight: Porcello has done well since his nine-run meltdown against Boston at the start of the month (2-0, 1.20 ERA in his last two starts). Still, he's unlikely to crack the Tigers' postseason starting rotation.
Description: Royals starter Jeremy Guthrie has allowed eight hits, including two doubles and one home run, in 19 career at-bats against Detroit first baseman Prince Fielder.
Insight: Fielder has disappointing numbers this season but he is finishing strong by hitting .367 with six homers, 19 RBI and a 1.019 OPS over his last 26 games. He should produce Sunday against Guthrie.
Description: Detroit center fielder Austin Jackson is 1-for-14 (.071) with three strikeouts against Royals starter Ervin Santana.
Insight: Jackson (.277, 11 HR, 43 RBI, 7 SB) hasn't been able to repeat his stellar 2012 season (.300, 16 HR, 66 RBI, 12 SB) but he is finishing with a strong September (.349 in 10 games). Saturday, however, is an unfavorable matchup.
Description: Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera was ejected mid at bat Monday against the White Sox.
Insight: He was arguing balls and strikes. Manager Jim Leyland was also tossed. The ejection happened in the first inning so Cabrera never logged an official at bat. Ramon Santiago has come on to play third base.
Description: Tigers starter Justin Verlander gave up four runs on eight hits with one walk and seven strikeouts over seven innings in a loss to Kansas City Saturday night.
Insight: Verlander has recorded a 3.67 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP in 49 innings since the start of August. After going 41-13 with a 2.52 ERA and a 0.99 WHIP in 489 1/3 innings over the previous two seasons, he has dropped off to 12-11 with a 3.64 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP in 192 2/3 frames this year.
Description: Detroit first baseman Prince Fielder is hitless in six at-bats versus Royals starter Danny Duffy.
Insight: Fielder is actually hitting for a higher average against left-handers than right-handers (.295 vs. .264). Overall, fantasy owners have been unhappy with Fielders' production in 2013 (.274, 22 HR, 96 RBI, 810 OPS). Heading into the season in odd-numbers years he has averaged .295 with 102 runs, 44 HR, 126 RBI and a 1.002 OPS.
Description: Detroit starter Max Scherzer was handed his second loss of the season Tuesday night in Boston.
Insight: Scherzer (7 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 8 K's, 3 BB) pitched well but Jon Lester was a tad better for the Red Sox (7 IP, 8 H, 1 ER, 9 K's, 0 BB). Boston's two runs off Scherzer (19-2, 2.88 ERA) both came on a two-run single by Will Middlebrooks in the fifth inning. Scherzer will try to reach win No. 20 next time out against Chicago.
Description: Detroit third baseman Miguel Cabrera (abdomen) is back in the lineup Tuesday against Boston after missing three games.
Insight: Cabrera (.358, 43 HR, 130 RBI) is battling an abdominal strain. The third baseman is 10-for-16 (.625) with five walks against Tuesday's starter Jon Lester and should be activated in all fantasy leagues.
Description: Tigers DH Victor Martinez is a career .600 hitter against Boston left-hander Jon Lester.
Insight: He's one of three Tigers starters with at least a .500 batting average against Lester (minimum 10 AB). V-Mart is hitting .298 with 73 RBI a year after undergoing surgery to repair a torn ACL. To top it off, he still holds catcher eligibility in most leagues despite playing only two games behind the plate.
Description: Detroit third baseman Miguel Cabrera didn't play in Monday's series opener against the Red Sox and is expected to miss Tuesday's game.
Insight: He did take batting practice on Monday. Cabrera (.358, 43 HR, 130 RBI) is battling a strained abdomen. The Tigers list him as day-to-day, but this injury may cost him any chance of catching Chris Davis in home runs and repeating his Triple Crown season.
Description: Tigers starter Doug Fister blanked Boston over seven innings Monday to win his 12th game of the year.
Insight: Fister had been struggling lately, going 1-2 with a 5.70 ERA in his previous four starts. The right-hander has posted a fantastic 1.85 BB/9 and a 0.55 HR/9 in 179 2/3 innings this season, but he has had terrible batted ball luck with men on base.
Description: Detroit center fielder Austin Jackson is back in the lineup after missing Sunday's game with an injured shoulder.
Insight: Jackson (.270, 11 HR, 38 RBI, 6 SB) hasn't been able to repeat his stellar 2012 season (.300, 16 HR, 66 RBI, 12 SB) but he did pick up the pace a little bit in August (.280 AVG in 125 at bats). Perhaps he can build off that success and finish with a strong September.
Description: Tigers DH Victor Martinez is batting .417 against Red Sox starter John Lackey.
Insight: Lackey is the pitcher he'll be facing Monday at Fenway Park. What a steal this guy has been. V-Mart is hitting .298 with 73 RBI a year after undergoing surgery to repair a torn ACL. To top it off, he still holds catcher eligibility in most leagues despite playing only two games behind the plate.
Description: Tigers righthander Justin Verlander (7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 6 K's, 2 BB) got back on track Sunday against Cleveland.
Insight: Unfortunately, the Tigers' bats fell silent and Verlander (12-10, 3.59 ERA) had to settle for a no-decision. His last win came on August 6th against this same Cleveland team. The five-start winless streak is Verlander's longest since 2008.
Description: The Tigers have called up top prospect Nick Castellanos (OF).
Insight: Castellanos hit .276 with 37 doubles, 18 homers and a 100/54 K/BB over 595 plate appearances with Triple-A Toledo this season. It's unclear if he'll take over as the everyday left fielder, but if he does he's worth adding in 12-team leagues.
Description: Detroit starter Victor Martinez hit .386 with two homers and 13 RBI in August.
Insight: Martinez is now hitting .298 with a .773 OPS on the year. That's pretty impressive considering he was batting .226 with a .606 OPS on June 21. Since then, Martinez has hit .375 with a .951 OPS in 63 games.
Description: Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera (abdomen) left Friday's game in the third inning.
Insight: Cabrera exited Thursday's game with discomfort in his abdominal area near his left hip flexor, the same one that gave him issues last month, and he looked uncomfortable in his only at-bat Friday.
Description: Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera doesn't expect to miss Friday's series opener against Cleveland. Cabrera left Thursday's game against Oakland with abominal discomfort. SOURCE: Jason Beck, MLB.com
Insight: Cabrera went 2-for-3 with a couple of singles before exiting in the fifth inning. If he's in the lineup Friday, it will probably be as a DH.
Description: Torii Hunter saved the best for last. His three-run homer in the ninth inning capped a six-run comeback by Detroit Thursday against Oakland.
Insight: Hunter is 38 and he might be having his best season yet. Thursday's walkoff was his 16th of the year. That's the same number he had last season and there's still a month left in the season. Hunter's .308 batting average ranks sixth in the American League.
Description: Tigers ace Max Scherzer (5 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 5 K's) was able to avoid losing Thursday against Oakland but only by the grace of Torii Hunter.
Insight: Scherzer put Detroit in an early 6-0 hole by serving up home runs to Jed Lowrie and Brandon Moss but Hunter bailed him out in the ninth with a walkoff three-run homer. Scherzer (19-1, 2.90 ERA) hasn't had many outings like this in 2013 and we'd expect him to be much better next time out against the Red Sox.
Description: In a battle of All-Star starting pitchers, Tigers ace Max Scherzer reigned supreme on Saturday.
Insight: Scherzer (19-1, 2.73 ERA) was remarkable on Saturday, fanning 11 Mets hitters over six shutout innings. He got himself into a bases loaded jam in the sixth but was able to work his way out of it. Matt Harvey, the pitcher Scherzer opposed in last month's All-Star Game (also held at Citi Field), allowed two runs and 13 hits in six innings. The loss was Harvey's fifth of the season.
Description: Detroit starter Justin Verlander got rocked Thursday versus Minnesota (7 IP, 10 H, 6 ER, 3 BB, 6 K's).
Insight: He owns a 3.90 ERA in the month of August. Verlander told reporters before the All-Star break that he had identified and fixed a flaw in his mechanics but his results suggest otherwise. The 2011 AL Cy Young winner is winless in his last three starts (0-1, 4.90).
Description: Tigers center fielder Austin Jackson is just 1-for-11 (.091) against Royals starter Wade Davis.
Insight: Add in that he's 1-for-20 over the past four games and fantasy owners should avoid this matchup. Jackson has tailed off from last season, when he hit .300 with an .856 OPS. He's only batting .261 with nine home runs, 28 RBI, 74 runs, six steals and a .738 OPS this season.
Description: Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera has another nice matchup with Kansas City starter Wade Davis as he's a career .357 hitter against the right-hander with a pair of home runs and a 1.269 OPS.
Insight: Cabrera didn't homer on Thursday or Friday ... that's bigger news than him hitting another one over the fence. He's having an MVP season - batting .358 with 38 HR and 115 RBI and has a favorable matchup.
Description: Tigers starter Justin Verlander fired eight innings and allowed two runs on seven hits Friday afternoon against the Royals, but he took the loss.
Insight: Royals lefty Danny Duffy shut out the Tigers on one hit over six innings and Detroit dropped a 2-1 decision. Verlander has posted a 2.48 ERA and a 28/8 K/BB in 29 innings over his last four starts.
Description: Detroit switch-hitter Victor Martinez will make his 10th start this season at first base on Friday.
Insight: This could make his eligible in some fantasy leagues at a position other than DH. Price Fielder is the DH in Game 1 of the twinbill. Martinez has finally found his swing, batting .392 in July and .352 in August.
Description: Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera has a particularly juicy matchup in the second game of the doubleheader with Kansas City as he's a career .429 hitter against right-hander James Shields.
Insight: Cabrera didn't homer on Thursday ... that's bigger news than him hitting another one over the fence. He's having an MVP season - batting .359 with 38 HR and 115 RBI.
Description: Tigers center fielder Austin Jackson has slipped into a 2-for-19 (.105) slump over his last four games and he hasn't had success against Jeremy Guthrie of the Royals.
Insight: Jackson has tailed off from last season, when he hit .300 with an .856 OPS. He's only batting .264 with nine home runs and a .743 OPS this season and is 4-for-23 (.174) with eight K against Guthrie. He's the only Tigers regular who doesn't have at least a .300 lifetime average against the Royals starter.
Description: Detroit first baseman Prince Fielder is showing signs of life by hitting .316 with four doubles and five RBI over his last eight games and also has a favorable matchup Thursday against Royals starter Jeremy Guthrie.
Insight: Fielder hasn't homered in 19 straight games and is hitting just .262 with 17 round-trippers and a .782 OPS this season, but he is 7-for-15 (.467) with two doubles and two walks against Guthrie.
Description: Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera homered again Wednesday against the White Sox.
Insight: Cabrera has hit six home runs and driven in 14 over his last eight games. However, Chris Davis entered play Wednesday having hit four over his last six games to maintain a lead of six homers over Cabrera.
Description: Detroit third baseman Miguel Cabrera capped off an incredible series with a ninth inning homer off Mariano Rivera Sunday at Yankee Stadium.
Insight: The homer narrowed the gap to 4-3 and the Tigers would eventually tie it two batters later on a Victor Martinez solo shot to right. Cabrera finished the series with seven hits, three homers and five RBI. If the season ended today, he'd be the obvious choice for AL MVP.
Description: Detroit catcher Alex Avila was scratched from Sunday's lineup and has been placed on the 7-day disabled list.
Insight: Avila, who took a foul ball to the mask Thursday, passed concussion tests Saturday and was expected to return to the lineup Sunday, but he's still dealing with symptoms. He's batting just .198 with nine homers and 36 RBI, a far cry from his 2011 production (.295, 19 HR, 82 RBI).
Description: Detroit starter Anibal Sanchez hasn't surrendered more than two earned runs in any of his last five starts.
Insight: Sanchez struck out eight batters and allowed two runs on four hits over seven innings Saturday against the Yankees. The right-hander has had his best major league season, going 10-7 with a 2.58 ERA, a 1.13 WHIP and a 139/38 K/BB in 125 2/3 innings.
Description: Detroit right fielder Torii Hunter went 3-for-4 with a homer and four RBI Saturday against the Yankees.
Insight: Hunter went 2-for-18 (.111) with three K over his previous three games, but he otherwise has performed at a high level since early July, hitting .356 with nine home runs over his last 30 games.
Description: Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera is a career .522 (12-for-23) with four home runs with a 1.734 OPS against Yankees right-hander Phil Hughes.
Insight: Cabrera won a great battle against Mariano Rivera to help Detroit tie Friday night's game in the ninth inning. He's now blasted 34 homers and tied with Chris Davis for the major league lead in RBIs.
Description: Tigers catcher Alex Avila flew back to Detroit to be checked for a concussion after taking a foul ball off his mask, according to MLB.com's Jason Beck.
Insight: Avila had a career year in 2011, hitting .295 with 19 home runs, 82 RBI and an .895 OPS, but he has been miserable since then. He's currently batting .198 with nine homers and 36 RBI. He could miss the entire weekend series.
Description: Detroit DH Victor Martinez went 2-for-5 with a double and three RBI Thursday against Cleveland and is hitting .386 over his last 35 games.
Insight: Who would have though that after hitting .225 over his first 77 games this season, Martinez would be hitting 17 points higher than Prince Fielder less than two months later? That's where he is right now, batting .277 to Fielder's .260.
Description: Tigers second baseman Omar Infante (ankle) returned to the Triple-A Toledo lineup Thursday after sitting out Wednesday due to ankle soreness, according to Chris Iott of MLive.com.
Insight: Infante hasn't played for the Tigers since suffering a sprained left ankle when Colby Rasmus slid into him on July 3. He already suffered a setback at the end of July, so expect the Tigers to be extra careful with him if he has more soreness going forward on his rehab assignment.
Description: Tigers second baseman Omar Infante has suffered a setback in his recovery from a sprained ankle. SOURCE: Detroit Free Press
Insight: Infante, who had been rehabbing with Triple-A Toledo, wasn't in the lineup Wednesday because of ankle soreness. The Tigers would obviously rather have Infante in the lineup but the truth is, they've been just fine without him. Since the All-Star break, they've won 15 out of 18 including 11 straight and are now six games clear of Cleveland in the AL Central. Ramon Santiago will continue to play second base in Infante's absence.
Description: Prince Fielder's two-run double in the 14th inning broke a 4-4 tie and lifted the Tigers to their 67th win of the season.
Insight: It was one of two hits on the night for Fielder, who also struck out three times. Aside from his heroics Wednesday night, the All-Star first baseman hasn't had a very good second half. His average since the break is just .214 in 70 at bats.
Description: The Tigers released righthander Jose Valverde on Wednesday.
Insight: It was bound to happen. Valverde lost his closer's job back in June and has been useless in 11 appearances for Triple-A Toledo since then (4.09 ERA in 11 innings). Even if Valverde latches on somewhere else, it's unlikely he'd be able to provide any meaningful fantasy contributions.
Description: Tigers starter Justin Verlander didn't walk a batter for the first time all season Tuesday against the Indians.
Insight: In what was his longest start since June 29, Verlander went eight innings and allowed four hits and one run while striking out seven in a 5-1 win. The right-hander walked five batters his last time out and has a 3.32 BB/9 this season, up from 2.27 last year and 2.04 in 2011.
Description: Detroit DH Victor Martinez is 9-for-19 (.474) against Cleveland starter Justin Masterson with a 1.215 OPS.
Insight: Martinez has finally found his swing after missing all of 2012 due to injury. He batted .390 in July with a 1.010 OPS and has continue to rip line drives in August (.357). He's a must start on Tuesday.
Description: Detroit starter Anibal Sanchez didn't get the win but he still put together a nice stat line Monday against Cleveland.
Insight: Sanchez allowed two runs and four hits over 7 2/3 innings, walking two with 11 strikeouts. The righthander has been money since the break. In four post All-Star starts, he's 2-1 with a 1.35 ERA.
Description: Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera is back in the lineup for Monday's game with Cleveland.
Insight: Cabrera is 7-for-14 with three home runs and a 1.705 OPS versus Clevland starter Corey Kluber. The team was very conservative with their superstar's injury and this is his first start since last Tuesday.
Description: Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera, who said he felt better by the end of Saturday but only pinch hit on Sunday, has a great matchup if he returns for Monday night's game.
Insight: Cabrera is 7-for-14 with three home runs and a 1.705 OPS versus Clevland starter Corey Kluber. The team is being very conservative with their superstar. Jose Iglesias will make the start at third base if Cabrera doesn't, but no player can fill the void when the big man is out of the lineup (.359, 32 HR, 99 RBI 1.121 OPS).
Description: Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera said he felt better by the end of Saturday but he's not in Sunday's starting lineup, according to mlb.com.
Insight: The team is being very conservative with their superstar, trying to keep him off the disabled list, but not wanting the injury to be re-aggravated. Newly-acquired Jose Iglesias will make the start at third base, but no player can fill the void when Cabrera (.359, 32 HR, 99 RBI 1.121 OPS) is out of the lineup.
Description: Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera said he felt better by the end of Saturday and is hopeful that he can go on Sunday, according to Detroit beat reporter Jason Beck.
Insight: The team is being very conservative with their superstar, trying to keep him off the disabled list, but not wanting the injury to be re-aggravated. Newly-acquired Jose Iglesias will likely make the start at third base, but no player can fill the void when Cabrera (.359, 32 HR, 99 RBI 1.121 OPS) is out of the lineup.
Description: Another great night for Tigers starter Max Scherzer, who earned his 16th win of the season Saturday against the White Sox.
Insight: Scherzer is now 16-1 after yielding just three hits in 7 2/3 innings. He struck out six to bring his season total to 170. The AL Cy Young award is still his to lose, but it doesn't look like he has any intention of letting it go.
Description: The Tigers will be without third baseman Miguel Cabrera once again. He'll miss Saturday's matchup with John Danks and the Chicago White Sox.
Insight: He's still battling a strained abdomen. Newly-acquired Jose Iglesias will likely make the start at third base, but no player can fill the void when Cabrera (.359, 32 HR, 99 RBI 1.121 OPS) is out of the lineup. Could a trip to the disabled list (gulp) be around the corner?
Description: Tigers catcher Alex Avila is not in Friday night's starting lineup.
Insight: Avila had a career year in 2011, hitting .295 with 19 home runs, 82 RBI and an .895 OPS, but he has been miserable since then. He's currently on a six-game hitting streak, though his average is still hovering around .200.
Description: Detroit third baseman Miguel Cabrera is expected to return from a strained abdomen Friday against the White Sox.
Insight: Cabrera has missed five of the team's last eight games including Wednesday's win against the Nationals. He finished the month of July with a .288 average, his lowest of the season. Still, his season numbers are impressive - .359, 32 HR, 99 RBI, 1.121 OPS.
Description: Detroit right fielder Torii Hunter corked four hits Wednesday in a blowout win against the Nationals.
Insight: Three of the four hits went for extra bases (two doubles and a homer). He's 7-for-13 with four RBI in his last three games. Hunter is tied with Tampa Bay's James Loney for fifth in the AL in batting average (.316).
Description: Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera was not in the lineup Wednesday afternoon against the Nationals after tweaking his abdomen Tuesday.
Insight: Cabrera's injury is related to the sore left hip flexor that kept Cabrera out of a few games last week. "The muscles of the abdomen operate as hip flexors," Detroit's trainer Kevin Rand said. "This is what bothered him. It’s technically in the abdominal complex. It’s an abdominal strain, but it functions as a hip flexor."
Description: Tigers right fielder Torii Hunter has had a tough time hitting against Nationals starter Gio Gonzalez.
Insight: Hunter is 5-for-25 (.200) with six strikeouts against Gonzalez. However, the Tigers right fielder is also scorching hot, hitting .367 with six homers, 19 RBI and a 1.038 OPS in his last 21 games.
Description: Boston infielder Jose Iglesias has been traded to the Detroit Tigers as part of a three-team trade in which the Red Sox received Jake Peavy and the White Sox received Avisail Garcia.
Insight: It's a great move for Boston to parlay Iglesias' three-month hot streak and strong defensive reputation plus three low-level prospects into Peavy. Iglesias is hitting .330 this season, but that has been boosted by a .376 BABIP even though his line-drive rate is just 18.4 percent. He gives Detroit insurance for Jhonny Peralta's pending suspension for his involvement with Biogenesis.