Some have complained that this is not a defensive oriented team. Ryan Raburn getting most of the playing time at 2B and Cabrera returning to 3B does weaken the team. However, they should be able to make up for it offensively. Cabrera (.306, 8, 34) and Fielder (.285, 7, 25) have been fine so far and Austin Jackson (.331, 5, 17) and Andy Dirks (.336, 4, 14) are off to very good starts. Delmon Young (.256, 2, 14) and Jhonny Peralta (.254, 2, 12) are off to slow starts but only Raburn (.144, 1, 6), Alex Avila (.222, 5, 17) and Brennan Boesch (.246, 5, 16) have struggled this season.
Could it be the pitching? Verlander is picking up where he left off last year, going 5-1, 2.14 through his first 9 starts, nearly throwing another no-hitter in his last start. Doug Fister has looked good while he's been out there, pitching to a 1.84 ERA in 5 starts. However, he missed some time due to an injury and his replacement, Adam Wilk, went 0-3, 8.18 in the 3 starts Fister missed. Despite the low ERA, Fister has yet to net a win. Rick Porcello (3-4, 5.29) and Max Scherzer (3-3, 5.73) have been up and down to say the least.
Perhaps the biggest issue could be the bullpen. Jose Valverde is 2-1, 5.51, 1.776 WHIP, 10 ER after giving up just 18 ER last season. Dan Schlereth (0-0, 10.29) is on the DL along with Al Alberquerque. I have not noticed alarming things with the Tigers that are keeping them from succeeding. Unlike the Angels, the Tigers have the all-around team to win a lot of games. I do not understand why they haven't.