MLB Power Rankings: Which pitching rotation is the best in baseball?

ARLINGTON, TX - MARCH 29: Justin Verlander
ARLINGTON, TX - MARCH 29: Justin Verlander /
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SEATTLE, WA – MAY 20: Francisco Liriano #38 of the Detroit Tigers pitches against the Seattle Mariners in the fourth inning during their game at Safeco Field on May 20, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /

18. Detroit Tigers

Remember the days when guys like Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer or David Price led the Tigers? Yea, me too.

In 2018, the rotation lacks the firepower it once had, as its 233 punch outs is tied for the fourth-lowest total in baseball.

Despite this and injuries to Jordan Zimmermann, Daniel Norris and Francisco Liriano, Detroit’s rotation has gotten by relatively smooth.

Zimmermann was off to an alright start before he hit the disabled list (4.88 ERA, 9.2 K/9), well, at least compared to his first two years as a Tiger.

Michael Fulmer and Mike Fiers have underperformed at the top of the rotation, combining for a 4.52 ERA. Already this season, Fulmer has tallied four starts with 5+ earned runs. In 2017, he had six total.

The rotation has bright spots in Matt Boyd and Blaine Hardy. Boyd has been excellent thus far for Detroit, with a flat 3.00 ERA, 0.5 HR/9 and 1.070 WHIP.

After coming into the rotation from the bullpen, Hardy has done well in his three starts this year (5 ER, 13 K, 2 BB).

Francisco Liriano has been a brilliant pickup for Detroit, as he’s allowed three earned runs or less in eight of his starts. His deal looks like a bargain, too (1-year, $4 million).

Expect the Tigers rotation to improve once Zimmermann and Liriano return. However, Liriano could find himself im a new uniform after the trade deadline.