Monday, April 11, 2011

Observations after the first 10 games

American League

EAST - The Orioles have started to come back down to earth as they’re losers of their last two games after their best start in over 20 years, but they still lead the division by a game but it may be time to pay the piper as 13 out of their next 20 are with the Rangers, Yanks, and Sox. Speaking of Sox they have finally gotten on the right side of the ledger by taking 2 of 3 from the Yankees including beating CC in game 3, but have they really righted the ship or is it fool’s gold?

WEST - The Rangers are on a mission to get back up the mountain and they’ve gotten out of the box quick as the last unbeaten club. But after taking their first loss they got right back on the Texas Steer and have won 2 straight games to already take a three game lead in the West. Unless someone else steps up and shows us something that we haven’t seen thus far we may step in and stop this fight in the second round and give the division to the Rangers.

CENTRAL - Is life imitating art? The Indians are trying to remake “Major league” as they have gotten out to the early lead in the AL Central and have won seven straight games after going 0-2 to start the season. Right behind them in the standings and in the shock value category are the Royals minus an ace pitcher are only a game out in second place and may not be outscoring opponents by that much (only 4 runs) but getting them at the right time to win 66% of their games.

National League

NL WEST – the was arguably one of the toughest divisions in baseball last year top-to-bottom and perhaps the Giants gave it vindication by taking out the Rangers in relatively easy fashion to take the World Championship. Out of the gate there hasn’t been a dominant team but the Rockies have jumped out to the good start at 6-2 but is the run differential of +14 could be a result of favorable home schedule. The bad news is the defending champs are in last place but the good news is they’re only 2.5 games out and will probably be the way it goes in the West this season.

NL EAST- Philly is dominating as expected as they are 7-2 to start the year but more impressive is their +26 run differential, the best in baseball, and the only positive one in the NL East. So will anyone be able to press them for the division? So far the Marlins and Nats have proven to be better than expected but come summer it could be back to the norm so let’s enjoy it while we can.

NL CENTRAL
– I hope this division will be this competitive the entire season because it’s great to see the Big Red Machine, the Lumber Compnay, and the Brew Crew back above the water level and competing. Another division with only one team in positive run differential (Reds) but only 4 games separate the division top to bottom and of course the 800-pound gorilla St. Louis has yet to get that feared offense going but you can count on Prince Albert and the gang to be there at the end.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Ok, so I guess we will need to play all 182 games

If you paid attention to all of the pre-season prognostications particularly on ESPN then there really wasn’t a whole lot of reasons to go the rigors of a marathon 182 game season as it was clear that, barring injuries of course, that we would have a red and white world series as the Cards were going to come out of the National League and the Red Sox out of the American, with the Sox hoisting the trophy in October. I know it’s only the first week in April and perhaps it’s an April Fool’s joke played out way too long but four games into the season the Cards are 2-3 and struggled to get their second win against the Pirates, while Boston is 0-4-life and already pointed fingers and have the normally witty Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy scratching his head and at a loss for words. But don’t fret there’s still six months for all of you to regain your reputations but there may be some nervous moments along the way. The Sox still have two games to rebound and at least get to 2-4 before the Evil Empire come into town for a 3-game set, but it doesn’t get any easier for the Beantown Bomers after that because the Yankees are the beginning of a 10-game AL East stretch that includes 3 with the surprising 3-1 Blue Jays then four with the equally desperate Tampa Bay Rays. On the other side of town the St. Louis Cardinals also came into the season as a prohibited favorite with pitching staff ready to silence the bats of all comers and offense anchored by the Boardwalk and Parkplace of Holliday and Pujols that would more than make up for any lapses in judgment by the Cardinal arms. But they also have gotten out of the box slowly and find themselves 2-3, needing a 7th inning rally to beat Pittsburgh to climb to .400. Now you can’t look to Holliday as the reason as his .750 average leads the club but Prince Albert’s paltry .167 does look like the off-season contract negotiations did take their toll. I must give credit where it is due and it was his base knock that drove in what proved to be the game-winning run in the 7th. More significant than the poor records of both the Sox and Cards are how far back the first week has left them as Boston is already looking up at the top 4 games and the Cards 2.5. I may have a better chance at winning the lotto but if this were to hold it would nice to see the Royals, Reds, Mets, and Orioles still playing when the leaves turn brown.
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