MLB: Welcome Home, Tigers - Detroit giving fans reason to believe early

darren cooper
Darren Cooper
MLB Sports News


  • Entering play Thursday, the Detroit Tigers - not the Dodgers, not the Yankees - were the last unbeaten team in MLB.
  • The Tigers are 16-8 all-time in home openers at Comerica Park, losing last year to the Boston Red Sox 6-3.
  • Detroit Lions star Penei Sewell is scheduled to throw out the ceremonial first pitch with an unannounced special guest to say Play Ball (Dan Campbell, maybe?)

Before the MLB season started, you could look at Michigan Sportsbooks and there were bets open on if any team would start the season 5-0 and who the last unbeaten team would be.

The odds on the Detroit Tigers were low. It was a great bet.

The Tigers were 4-0 entering Thursday’s doubleheader against the winless New York Mets. Friday, they open their home slate with a series against the Oakland A’s, easily the worst team in baseball. The weather forecast is cloudy, chilly and windy, but this is baseball in Detroit.

What Do The Oddsmakers Say? 

Before Thursday, the Tigers had outscored opponents 16-8. They have won three one-run ball games, and they are 1-3 against the spread. Three of their four games have hit the under.

BetMGM lets you pick the exact match-up for the 2024 World Series (I know it’s early, but you can find some good odds on the Tigers). You can now bet on the Tigers to start the season 10-0 (Yes is +1400) but the Tigers position to win the AL Central hasn’t changed. They’re +275 to win the division behind the Minnesota Twins.

It’s the same deal at DraftKings where the Tigers are still +275 to win the AL Central. Instead of betting the Tigers to go 10-0, DraftKings has a market for the first MLB team to 10 wins. The Tigers are now the fourth pick at +1100. But really, look at their schedule coming up.

Outlook on The Tigers 

Don’t expect the Tigers to get too much attention nationally if this good start continues. None of the teams the Tigers play in the first two weeks are anywhere near World Series contenders. After the Mets come the A’s, who are the most dysfunctional team in baseball, then two games against the Pirates.

It’s fun to think Detroit could be 10-1, or 9-2 after that and then plays Minnesota at home. Minnesota and Detroit are the two teams the sportsbooks think will battle for the AL Central.

The young Tiger bats: Riley Greene, Colt Keith and Parker Meadows have not been good. Combined they’re 5-37 with one homer, but defensively they’ve been steady.

Pitching and Defense, Baby 

Tigers ace Tarik Skubal was fantastic in the season opening start in Chicago with six innings of shutout baseball. Jack Flaherty and Reese Olsen followed up with quality starts in wins over the White Sox.

Closer Jason Foley has two saves in two opportunities. Catcher Carson Kelly has been the best bat with five RBI and had the game-winning hit against the White Sox on Saturday.

Shortstop Javy Baez is batting under .200, but after a miserable spring, Tiger fans will happily take it. Comercia Park has undergone some upgrades in the off-season, new, bigger scoreboard, better sound system (hopefully). The Tigers have transformed too. Pitching and defense can still be the recipe for success in MLB. Detroit hasn’t made the playoffs since 2014 and Detroit fans just want to get there any way possible.

Born and raised in Louisiana, Darren Cooper has a fond appreciation for bayous, Mardi Gras beads and the sports betting industry. Darren has worked for multiple print and online publications since 1998, primarily as a sports columnist in the Northeast. He’s covered a Super Bowl (it was a blowout), the World Series (same) and the NBA Draft (man, those guys are tall). For the last few years he’s dug deep into the sports gambling industry as it exploded across America, learning how the legal sausage is made and how while all the sportsbooks look the same, they all have different identities and styles. He’s learned to always bet within his means -- and take the under. When not in front of his computer creating, Darren spends time with his three boys. He runs, reads and is always looking for the next big thing to write about.