3 Conclusions After Week 1 of the MLB Season
Milwaukee is still a team to be feared in the NL
Wow this was not the start I was expecting out of MIlwaukee. Opening up the season with a four game series against the St. Louis Cardinals, many thought that the series would show how average the Brewers really were. Well, we got our answer. Milwaukee is back baby! OF Christian Yelich started where he left off last season with a HR in each of his first four games and RP Josh Hader showing no cracks. Through the first six games of the season, Hader has pitched 5 innings, allowed zero runs and only one hit. The man has been a beast for this organization since last season and it appears to have no end. Yelich after six games is leading the team in hits (9), BA (..409), HR (4), RBI (8), and OBP (.536); the sad thing being the inability of other teams to stop him at all. The supporting cast has also been fantastic, with OF Lorenzo Cain, OF Ryan Braun, 2B/3B Travis Shaw, and 2B/3B Mike Moustakas assisting on offense and defense. SP Jhoulys Chacin has been their ace since midway through last season and has had a bumpy start to the season. The only other great reliever in Milwaukee is Junior Guerra currently, with Corey Knebel out for season and Jeffrey Jeffress out until perhaps the end of April. Consistency from the starters may be my only concern, with youngsters Zach Davies and Freddy Peralta new to the scene. With Chicago not looking right, the Brewers may run away with the NL Central entering the All-Star break in July.
Favorites are falling under the pressure
What happened!?!?!?!? Seriously though, what happened to the giants of baseball. The Red Sox are 1-5 and last in the AL East, while Houston is 2-4 and fourth in the AL West. These two teams were arguably the two best teams in the AL last season, and now they are choking on their own past success. The pitching in Boston has been atrocious, allowing 42 runs in six games (2nd worst in MLB). Maybe they are missing RP Craig Kimbrel more than they thought they would. For Houston, their pitching has been good enough to keep them in games, but not enough to win them for a stagnant offense. Something on the offensive side needs to change, whether it is new drills in training or altering the batting order. For the NL, Chicago is acting like the curse has never gone away and Washington are useless without Bryce Harper. The Cubs are 1-3 and last in the NL Central, a division that they have ruled over the last few years. While for the Nationals, they look like a chicken with their head cut off without star player Bryce Harper. They are unable to answer in games that their pitchers get them into. Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg are great pitchers, but even they can't carry a team every start. Doesn't matter what the fix needs to be, but my goodness has this been an interesting start of the season for some of the giants of the MLB.
Are the Phillies the favorites in the NL East?
It is like the night was scripted for OF Bryce Harper to be the hero in the capital. In his first game in Washington since signing with Philadelphia in the offseason, Harper hit a home-run late in the game to put an exclamation point on a great game for the Phillies. Entering April 3rd, the Phillies are undefeated and are atop the NL East. Even though it has been Harper stealing the storylines, their best player may be 3rd Maikel Franco. He is leading the team in BA (.545), RBI (8), and OBP (.706) and is severely underrated. Before I forget to say it, SS Jean Segura has turned his career around and is maybe playing the best baseball in his career. He has been everywhere, transferring teams every few seasons but has found a home with Philadelphia. SP Jake Arrieta is still fantastic and leading the pitching department. If this team can keep playing at a high level, they may find themselves in a great spot come the All-Star break.
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