Paul Wezner, Executive Editor
I feel about the same as I did when the season began, that being, if everything went right for the team, we'd have a chance to compete, but I wouldn't bet on it. Thus far, we've had some things go right - Jeremy Bonderman has turned it around, and NO ONE expected the sort of production we're getting out of Brennan Boesch. We've also had some things go wrong - Rick Porcello's sophomore slump, the lack of production out of the bottom of the order, to name two. The fact that the Tigers are neck and neck with the Minnesota Twins in the division is just as much of a reflection of their struggles as they are of our successes. So long as the core group stays healthy, this team will have a shot down the stretch, but I still don't see the Tigers as a favorite.
Mark Anderson, Managing Editor
I expected the Tigers to be in the middle of the race through the end of the season, and they are doing just that as we approach the All-Star break. The strengths of the team haven't been what was expected entering the year, as the pitching staff is still in a great amount of flux, but either way, the team is right in the thick of things. The Twins are going to be tough to beat all year, and at some point, the Tigers are going to have to figure out how to beat them. The White Sox have surged as the season has gone alone, and I expect them to stay in it as well down the stretch. I'm pleased with the Tigers first half effort, and I'm thrilled that they are so close to the top of the Division. They will have to get more consistent down the stretch, and the pitching will have to step up, but every fan should be pleased with the Tigers positioning right now.
Jason Avery, Associate Editor, Amateur Baseball
Even though the Tigers are just 1 1/2 games out of first place (as of Thursday afternoon), I'm pessimistic on the Tigers' chances. The club has several holes to fill, and right after the All-Star break, they begin a month-long schedule that includes seven games each with Tampa Bay and the White Sox, plus series with the Rangers, Blue Jays, Angels, Red Sox and Yankees. The Tigers have been able to keep their heads above water by playing very well at home, but sooner or later, you have to play good baseball away from home, and the Tigers haven't done that to this point. Winning the division obviously isn't impossible, but if the Tigers are going to stay in the race, they have to play better consistently, and given their current trend, I'm not sure they can.
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