Hot or Not: MLB Early Season Review

The season is up and running and we are now presented with a decent sample size for what it may hold. We have the reigning champion Chicago Cubs at a solid 5-2, and the first losers (Hi, Cleveland) at 4-3. But let’s take a little more in-depth look at the teams who have come out swinging, and those who haven’t really come out at all.

HOT

1.) Washington Nationals (5-3):

As a team they’re hitting a blistering .308. Daniel Murphy hasn’t slowed down since he led the Mets on their playoff run a couple years ago, he’s batting .472 with a .778 SLG. He’s poised for another monster season. Bryce Harper is doing his part as well. His slugging percentage may be down, but thats only because of the nine walks that he’s drawn already this season. Also, if you look at their hot bats it looks something like this: Eaton – .310, Harper – .393, Murphy – .472, Zimmerman – .367, Werth – .345.

No wonder they’re 5-2 at the moment.

2) New York Mets (5-3):

While their average may not be as high as the Nationals, when they do connect it’s scary.  They’re leading the league in home runs (15) and hitting seems to be contagious to them. Tuesday against the Phillies they hit 7 homers. 5 of those coming from Cespedes (3) and Duda (2). While they can’t all keep up that pace all year, right now my suggestion would be pitch around them.

3) Cincinnati Reds (6-2)

Watch out for the big red machine. They’re among the league leaders in every major category. They are top three in slugging percentage, stolen bases, and home runs.  And they’re no slouch on the other side of the ball either posting a 2.57 team ERA and .190 opponent batting average. This year they’re poised for success, and they’re doing it as a team which is a scary thought.

4) Los Angeles Angels (6-2)

While all their stats are among the top in the AL, what the scariest part about them is (other than the obvious Mike Trout) their tenacity. They don’t look like the Angels of old at the moment.  They already have two come from behind wins, one of those being a six run deficit in the 9th inning, and have played it close all year. Their biggest loss came to the A’s when they put up a four run 3rd. They can’t sustain this success if they’re going to bring every game down to the 9th, but until THEY realize that, they’re a threat.

 

NOT

1) Seattle Mariners (2-7)

What can you say about them but yikes. A lineup that includes Kyle Seager, Nelson Cruz, and Robinson Cano you would expect to do a little better. They’re batting an abysmal .205 with some of the lowest home run totals in all of baseball. They can’t close out games, plain and simple. Remember those Angels we just talked about, well they made the Mariners look like chumps, twice. They have one save in five opportunities and until they can figure out what is happening at the back end of their bullpen, it will continue to be a train wreck.

2) St. Louis Cardinals (2-6)

I don’t know where to start. They are a team that has a lot of budding talent that, at the moment, isn’t budding. Their ace Carlos Martinez has turned in two quality outings, but can’t get a win. They’ve given up 47 runs through eight games….that’s almost six runs a game for those of you who don’t want to do the math. They have the worst team ERA in baseball (5.4) , along with one of the lowest team batting averages in the NL (.218). With the exception of Yadi and Diaz, the whole team has been pretty lack luster. Unless they do something to turn that around they’re going to be lucky to be gunning for a wildcard spot come October.

3) San Francisco Giants (3-6):

It’s not an even year, so I guess this is to be expected. The odd part about this is that they’re not playing poorly, they just aren’t winning. They’re top 3 in NL as far as team batting average (.249), they’re putting up a decent amount of runs, their pitching isn’t terrible (4.8 ERA). They’re just losing close games. With the exception of the 3-9 loss to the D-backs on April 6th, all their losses have been within 3 runs. They’re just not able to put up runs when it matters. Hopefully it will come around for them, but their luck just got a little worse with Posey going on the DL.

4) Toronto Blue Jays (1-6):

Woof. They’re hitting a collective .196, with 4 homers, and 23 runs. You aren’t going to win games like that. They have the talent to really pull out of this slump, but the team that, just last year, seemed like a real contender has a long way to go if they want to have a repeat performance. Their top hitters (Bautista, Tulowitzki, Donaldson) aren’t putting up the numbers they need to. Bautista and Donaldson have combined for 21 strikeouts already this season. If they plan on winning they need to cut down on swings and misses, and start putting the ball in play.

 

 

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