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Blues Brothers
Joe Sheehan
July 09, 2012
Considered title contenders, both Detroit and Philadelphia are below .500. Which is more likely to turn around its season?
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July 09, 2012

Blues Brothers

Considered title contenders, both Detroit and Philadelphia are below .500. Which is more likely to turn around its season?

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The Data

39--40 (through Sunday); 3rd place in AL Central, three games back; $132.3 million payroll (fourth highest in AL)

36--45; last place (fifth) in NL East, 11 games back; $174.5 million payroll (highest in NL)

The Culprit

The Tigers have the worst defense in the majors, with a ball put in play against them more likely to produce a base runner than against any other team. As a result, Detroit ranks 11th in runs allowed (353).

Because of injuries, starter Roy Halladay, second baseman Chase Utley and first baseman Ryan Howard had combined for 721/3 innings pitched and 14 plate appearances (excluding Halladay's 27).

Outside Help

Detroit has to address its defense, which may mean either acquiring a third baseman, such as San Diego's Chase Headley, and moving Miguel Cabrera to DH, or upgrading the corner outfield spots.

The Phillies' bullpen in front of closer Jonathan Papelbon has been problematic. The A's Brian Fuentes, Twins' Matt Capps and Astros' Brett Myers are all logical targets.

The Outlook

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