by: Holly Horning
It’s easy to get hung up on the most recent performance results, especially when they involve a current winning or losing streak. But they can distort the real picture that gives us a more accurate report.
This is why I dislike focusing on streaks. I’d much rather review the patterns I’m seeing. While streaks are a small snapshot of a short time frame, patterns are a bigger view of a larger period of time. In general, I don’t get overly worried about one losing streak (unless it is 8 games) and I’d much rather see the Tigers regularly winning series instead of having a couple longer winning streaks which tend to make us all feel good in that immediate moment.
So, the big questions. How are the Tigers really doing overall? At their most recent rate, what is their likely continued performance?
In addition to where they sit in the standings, look at their patterns. But just don’t look at a couple. You need to put each pattern into context. In other words, find a pattern and then fit it into the bigger overall pattern or picture. Using the Tigers record so far this year, here are a few categories I review:
MONTH WIN/LOSS 0-2 RS 3 – 5 RS 6+RS STREAK #1 STREAK #2 SERIES W/L/T
April 17/10 11 8 8 7 game winning 4 winning/1 losing 5 – 1- 1
May 13/16 16 4 9 8 game losing 5 winning/ 5 losing 4 – 4- 1
June 7/10 3 8 6 (2) 4 game losing 3 winning/2 losing 2 – 3 – 1
This is a good overall performance review in a nutshell. No calculator needed. Of course, you can always dig deeper by going into team offensive, defensive and pitching stats to get a more detailed report about what is really going on.
Looking at the grid above, it’s easy to see that the Tigers have regressed in their monthly win/loss totals since April. The final June totals are going to be key for fans. Dave Dombrowski is also putting his wish list together based upon these last two months and much more in-depth stats.
Since April, their streaks are less dramatic and more frequent. June’s final tally will tell us more. However, notice the trend from winning series to achieving ties…….. to losing them. The latter is a significant concern and potential red flag.
On the positive end, they are having an easier time scoring runs in June to date and have met or are expected to achieve the two higher run categories.
But what isn’t listed here are two other factors which need to be included in any analysis.
1. What impact will players like VMart and JV (and maybe Rondon) have on the team from June moving forward?
2. How has the schedule of playing highly-competitive teams vs. struggling teams impacted the results seen above?
While we will have to wait on question #1, we can assess #2 now. April was filled primarily with competitors who were struggling in the beginning. Was that a significant reason why the Tigers did so well? May, the worst month so far, brought tougher teams into the schedule – Royals (twice), Twins, Angels, Cards and the Astros. Facing more competitive rosters could certainly be factors in why the Tigers lost more games, had that horrible 8-game losing streak and scored significantly fewer runs.
June has been an easier month with a balance so far of both ends of the competitive spectrum. And July promises a tougher time with 6 different competitive teams. The month of August should be of real concern as it is completely filled with the top teams (at this moment) currently leading or near the top of their divisions. And at this time, it’s too far in advance to predict which opponents will be considered contenders in September.
What will be telling is how the Tigers perform post-All Star break. Stay tuned….