DETROIT – With their win over the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday, the Detroit Tigers guaranteed they will finish the season with a winning record at home for the first time in five years.
The Tigers earned their 41st win at Comerica Park in style, beating the first-place White Sox with three go-ahead runs in the bottom of the seventh inning. They’re now 41-36 at home this season, with four games remaining -- one against the White Sox and three against the Kansas City Royals.
Nobody has been worse than the Tigers at home over the past five years. Since the start of 2017, Detroit is just 106-164 inside the friendly confines of Comerica Park.
Last season, the Tigers went 12-15 at home. In 2019, Detroit had by far the worst home record in MLB, at 22-59. Only four teams in the league had fewer than 35 wins at home, and the next-worst home record belonged to the Baltimore Orioles, at 25-56.
The Tigers were a bit better in 2018, finishing 38-43 at Comerica Park. They were still among the five worst home teams in the American League, though.
In 2017, Detroit’s 34-47 record at home was the worst in MLB by a full three games.
It’s no coincidence that the last time the Tigers were in serious playoff contention was also the last time they had success at home. They went 45-35 at Comerica Park in 2016 -- the year they were eliminated from the wildcard race the final week of the season.
To be a contender in MLB, winning at home is a must. Take a look at the home records for teams currently in playoff spots:
- Tampa Bay Rays: 48-29
- Chicago White Sox: 49-27
- Houston Astros: 47-28
- Boston Red Sox: 48-29
- Toronto Blue Jays: 43-31
- Atlanta Braves: 37-36
- Milwaukee Brewers: 42-34
- San Francisco Giants: 49-26
- Los Angeles Dodgers: 52-23
- St. Louis Cardinals: 42-33
With the exception of the Braves -- a true outlier -- these teams dominate in their home ballparks. Winning more often at Comerica Park is another promising sign for the direction of the Tigers.