State of MLB into May
April or as I call it the experiment month is now over and we are into May. After Christian Yelich started off hot as the MVP favorite. Cody Bellinger is on a MVP level in April being first in almost every statistical category. Cubs, Yankees and Astros all started slow below 500. They are now back on track with the Cubs and Astros both going on winning streaks taking first place in their respective divisions. Yankees can fill a team with their injuries but they are going to get healthy and with their current record it is a scary sight. The Red Sox their rivals are under 500 and are five games back of the Tampa Bay Rays. It is MLB biggest surprise so far while it sounds like a championship hangover its simply their starting pitching not getting the job done. They ranked 25th in ERA and 21st in WAR in April. Chris Sale is still coasting into this season to save it for the homestretch and playoffs.
The Red Sox were 0-6 in April Chris Sale starts and simply the rest of the rotation is struggling. The bullpen is average but that happens when you let your two best pitchers walk. Jackie Bradley Jr. is one of the worst hitters in the league hitting .148. It just feels like the Red Sox will not pick it up till mid-June at this point. The offseason champs the Philles maintain first place in the NL East. Jean Segura and Rhys Hoskins are leading their lineup with Segura hitting .340 and Hoskins hitting .291. Bryce Harper who has one of the highest OPS in baseball history for April has struggled. Hitting .233 and leading the league in strikeouts the boo birds have been out for him in Philly. I cannot say I’m shocked but the Philles despite bad bullpen play and inconsistent starting pitching maintain a small lead the NL East. Bullpen in general have bene historically bad this season with relivers having a higher total ERA then starters.
Two best free agents Craig Kimbrel and Dallas Keuchel remained unsigned going into May. Teams can use them but nobody is paying up. The Dodgers are the Dodgers they own the best record in baseball and are the deepest team in baseball . They are sending a lot of options at you night after night. Their rotation is deep and their lineup behind MVP Bellinger is deep. They are on a tear right now despite their bullpen struggling and Joe Kelly their big free agent signing has been a disappoint so far. Manny Machado like Bryce Harper is hitting in the .230 range but the Padres sit only a few games behind the Dodgers. The Marines were this year Mets .They started this year 13-2 and were hitting home run after home run. They have now cooled off at 19-17 no longer in control of the division.
The Royals, Orioles and Marlins are all tanking as expected pretty much you can already write them off this season. Chris Davis however snapped his 0-54 slump which was pretty much going to be the most exciting thing of the Orioles season. Call the Rays and Twins as MLB quiet teams both leading their divisions with 20 and 21 wins. The Rays have great starting pitching between Cy Young candidate Blake Snell, new signing Charlie Morton and Tyler Glasnow. They hit the ball hard and put it in play without having big names in their lineup. They are leading the AL East in May and are looking like a playoff team. Twins are just winning with a veteran team that is quiet and gets the job done. Byron Buxton Joe Berrios are getting the job done. I expect them to be active finding pitching towards the deadline to try make a playoff push.
The Nationals are crippled and hurt and just hanging around trying to get healthy. Worst bullpen the league and cannot execute the little things correctly has them sitting five games back the NL East. If things do not pick up soon Davey Martinez will be a hot topic his job security. The Braves still have their lineup from last year but miss Kurt Suzuki in the clubhouse. Inconsistent pitching has them starting off the year being mediocre at 18-16. The Mets made moves in the offseason but Jacob Degrom has struggled and like the Braves are sitting at mediocre despite Pete Alonso having most of his RBI after the 7th inning. Cardinals were hot going into their series against the Cubs but have now lost first place. The top of their lineup is legit and solid pitching has them in the thick of things in the NL Central. Brewers need to figure out their hitting outside of Lorenzo Cain and Yelich if they want to make noise.
In terms of excitement Vlad Guerrero Jr. got called up but has not really brought that star power just yet as the Blue Jays keep rebuilding. Best pitchers in baseball have struggled so far into the season but as the season goes on expect that trend to go away. Overall it’s still early on the season but the Dodgers look like the favorites to win the World Series but its early.