A few things that give me a little glimmer of hope for this year, too:
1) Verlander's workload/crazy 2011. It's unlikely he matches that season. (Same with Fister, honestly). Would need Scherzer to ratchet up a bit to make up for it (which is entirely possible).
2) Detroit's lucky 2011. The Tigers phythag suggest they won six more games than they should have, by the numbers (while the Royals' suggest they should have won seven more). Call it the 03 Royals effect.
3) Detroit's bullpen. Valverde was awfully shaky last year, but somehow managed to go 49/49 despite working into and out of jams in at least 1/3 of his save opportunities. More blown saves from this bullpen really aren't a stretch...
"You gotta love livin', cause dying is a pain in the ass."