Baseball is back! Our passion, the game of nuance is finally back! It all started as kids, when we played catch in the backyard with fathers or friends. We got our first bat bag, tied our brand new cleats and had our hand in a shiny new glove with a bright white baseball in it.
Now as professional baseball fans we all have a reason as to why we are drawn to the ballpark each and every year. We grew to love the aroma of fresh mowed grass, peanuts, hot dogs and cold beers. We love seeing the ivy growing strong on Wrigley field and the green monster looking taller than we remember. And of course the rivalries, walk-off home runs, no-hitters, and watching the young players make their name known around the league. It is our great joy to recall Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier, the elite pitching of Maddux and Glavine, seeing Gossage close a game out, watching Barry Bonds break the HR record. With a weeks worth of the 162 game season out of the way, I think we were all very happy with what we saw during the first week. Excitement!
Having watched the first week of games the predictions and over analyzing of players and teams seems to be pouring in. We are going to consolidate all the excitement for you, and touch on the top notes of Week 1 in the MLB.
Starting with the biggest story, we have Trevor Story. Following his 6 homers and 1.036 OPS during spring training, he decided to tack on 7 more homers in his first 5 games as a big leaguer. No other player has hit 4 consecutive game HR in their first 4 games, let alone 6 home runs in the first 4 games. He has been getting great pitches to swing at and with his combination of vision, power and the aid of batter-friendly ballparks he’s been able to launch them. After what happened to Jose Reyes, this must be some peace of mind for the Rockies at the shortstop position.
We heard that bringing in Shelby Miller and Zach Greinke is going to make the Diamondbacks competitive. Well after 7 games the team as a whole has a 6.57 ERA. Zach Greinke came into Arizona with his 205M contract and has not proven anything to the fans in Arizona. He has to settle into his new team, and understand that if you keep pitching pop flyballs in Arizona they will leave that park.
Can you imagine having Dexter Fowler, Jason Heyward and Ben Zobrist starting out right before Anthony Rizzo and ROY Kris Bryant (or as the Cubbies like to call it “BRYZZO”) coming up to the plate? Rizzo brought in 10 RBI this week. With Arrieta sliding right back into CY Young pitching form, this team is going to be a very tough team to compete with this year. The loss of Schwarber was definitely a big one, but the depth on that team will overcome his terrible injury.
The slide rule, better known as the Chase Utley rule, has already impacted the game 3 times this year. 2 of the 3 times were game ending double-plays. You are going to see the majority of this happening at the end of the game. It used to be a part of the game to break up the double-play and save the runner on first. If you have watched any of the legal plays that the runner slid straight, it becomes the most routine play you will see in baseball. These are major league players, they can make that double-play 100% of the time. This rule will continue to alter the game in a number of ways.
With Trevor Story making history for Colorado, Tyler White of the Astros is getting over looked. He is batting .556 with 3 bombs and 9 RBI in his first season in MLB. Keep an eye out for this kid, he is a slugger.
Let’s face it, the Giants are back to the EVEN YEAR Giants. Great outings by Cain and Cueto. Bats hitting .268 with 14 HR and 42 RBI. This team is the team to beat this year in this west.
Robinson Cano hit 4 homers in the first week. Last year it took him until mid-June to get to this point. Mariners are hoping he will continue on this path seeing as he is their 240 million dollar investment. If Cano can get hot, the Mariners will be a team to compete with.
The Padres started the season with 30 scoreless innings, which is an MLB record. Losing their first 3 games with a score of 25-0. Without Justin Upton, this will be a very common thing. They will continue to struggle from the plate all year.
MLB WEEK 1 Power Rankings (Not just for week 1)
2. San Francisco Giants
3. KC Royals
4. LA Dodgers
5. Washington Nationals
6. New York Mets
7. Detroit Tigers
8. Toronto Blue Jays
9. Pittsburgh Pirates
10. Houston Astros