There is little doubt that as the Tigers enter the 2013 season, they are the clear favorite to win the American League Central division. The two-time defending champ of the Central got even stronger in the off-season, adding rightfielder Torii Hunter, signing Anibal Sanchez to give them one of the best rotations in baseball, and welcoming the return of the injured Victor Martinez to take over the designated hitter role.

Couple that with the fact that there is no clear strong contender to the Tigers in the division, and it's far within the realm of believability to think the Tigers have the smoothest path to the playoffs.

Still, as anyone who follows the game can tell you, there are no certainties when the boys of summer start playing games that count in the standings. The cities of Baltimore and Oakland can attest to that as surprise entrants into the playoffs in 2012. Nobody had those two teams slated to play in the postseason before the 2012 season began.

Uncertainty is one aspect of the game of baseball that makes it great. It's also these surprises that can break a team's and a city's heart.

It's never a good idea to start printing off playoff tickets in February. There is just too much that can happen. With that in mind, I wanted to look at a few things that could derail the Tigers playoff train before it gets to the station.

1. Key injuries
Most teams will have to deal with injuries throughout a long baseball season. The Tigers are no different. However, the Tigers are pretty ill equipped to handle injuries if they happen to certain players on the club. One significant injury could probably be overcome. Two? It might depend on how long and who it is. Miguel Cabrera getting hurt for an extended period is a lot different than Andy Dirks getting hurt. No offense to Dirks, but that's the reality. There is precious little quality depth at key positions on the Tigers squad.