How about them Tigers?
The Tigers so far have been the worst of my preseason predictions, a whopping 12 games better. How have they done this?
The Tigers projected to be one of the worst offenses in the AL, 12th. So far the are 7th. Its a very all or nothing offense as well. They rank 10th in onbase percentage, but 3rd in slugging and second in homeruns.
Four Tigers are playing well above projections, starting with Marcus Thames. He's a guy I would have recommended to any team looking for a cheap solution at DH or corner OF, based on his minor league stats. A projected .792 OPS makes him a useful player. So far he's at 1.040, though in only 160 at bats. I hope he keeps his DH job for the rest of the year even if Dmitri comes back, since I picked him up in fantasy.
Other Tigers playing up are Granderson (.875 vs .759), Ordonez (.885/.793) and Guillen (.856/.785) . For Guillen and Ordonez, they aren't playing at unfamiliar levels, they are just healthy after dealing with a lot of injuries. That's somewhat unexpected, as they have been hurt a lot in recent years. Inge, Shelton, Bones Rodriguez, and Monroe have played about as well as expected, and Placido Polanco is the only Tiger regular not hitting at his established level.
The pitching, supported by a good defense, should have been good, and was projected to be 5th best in the American League. The have actually been first in ERA by a wide margin. Here are the projected starter ERAs:
Minor (fill in for Maroth) 5.44
Bonderman has pitched exactly as expected, at 3.82. The others are all much better:
Bonderman is the only one who strikes out a lot of hitters and has the best peripherals. He may even improve on his numbers. For the rest of these guys, I don't think the second half will be nearly as kind to their numbers.