Written by: Jeff Williams @SLIMrosco
Baseball is back folks, and what a first weekend it was. I know, it is only a couple games into the season and you can’t really count anyone out nor award anyone the World Series trophy yet. However, I do feel there are some important things to take away from all this, and here are some of my positive and negative standouts from this weekend.
ST. LOUIS CARDINALS (4-1 record)
This one may seem obvious, but wow, what a start for the Cardinals. Through five games they have a .317 team batting average with 31 runs and 9 home runs. They also have 58 hits, a .385 on base percentage and .525 slugging percentage. David Freese has 10 hits, 2 home runs, 8 rbi’s and is hitting .417. He may be the standout so far, but everyone is doing their part. Rafael Furcal has 10 hits and is batting over .400. Carlos Beltran has 9 hits and is batting .318. Also, Yadier Molina and Lance Berkman are both hitting north of .300. It may seem like the hitting has carried the team, but the pitching has been just as great. With a team earned run average of 3.07, an opponent’s batting average of .191 and 39 strikeouts, this pitching staff is only going to get better. They appear to be clicking on all cylinders and I expect them to get better as the season goes on.
HOUSTON ASTROS (3-1 record)
I know that this team may not have all the tools to keep the momentum rolling all season, but I love the way they play. They have a nice mix of veterans and young players that seems to mesh well. Thru 4 games, they have 34 hits, 16 extra base hits, 5 home runs and a team batting average of .260. The young left fielder J.D. Martinez is hitting .385 with 5 hits. Shortstop Marwin Gonzalez has filled in very nicely for the injured Jed Lowrie and centerfielder Jordan Schafer and second baseman Jose Altuve have showed that the young talent on this team has a very high ceiling. On the other hand, the pitching staff has been the biggest part of this team’s success so far. In all 4 games, the starters have gone at least 6 innings. They have a team earned run average of .225, 27 strikeouts and an opponent’s batting average of .200. Those numbers are great and I believe that this early success will give this young team some major confidence. Look for the Astros to make some noise and surprise the league.
PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES (1-3 record)
With Ryan Howard and Chase Utley on the disabled list, it is hard for me to rag on this team offensively. With that being said, this team has some major issues right now with the bats. Thru 4 games they have scored 8 runs, hit only 1 home run and have a .198 team batting average. Shane Victorino, Jimmy Rollins and Hunter Pence have made a little noise, but it just seems that this squad is not playing like a team. On the flip side, the pitching staff has been outstanding. I’m sure that’s not a surprise to anyone, but they have held up their end of the bargain. They have a team earned run average of 2.48, 31 strikeouts and an opponent’s batting average of .227. With top notch pitchers like Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee, look for this staff to have continued success all year. My only concern is who is going to drive in runs for this team while the big boys are injured.
MINNESOTA TWINS (0-4 record)
After four games, this team has looked downright awful. They have scored 6 runs, scattered 20 hits and have a team batting average of .165. Justin Morneau and Josh Willingham are the only two hitters that have shown any signs of life. Joe Mauer is struggling early on but with his track record, I’m sure he’ll be fine. My concern isn’t so much with the two big guys, Mauer and Morneau, but with the rest of the team. It is hard for me to see where this team will get production outside of those two. To make matters worse, the pitching staff has been horrible. They have a team earned run average of 5.18, have only struck out 18 batters and have given up 31 hits. Looking at this staff from top to bottom, I find it hard to believe that they will be able to get guys out on a consistent basis this season. Being a gambler, I will look to fade this team until they can prove me wrong.
So again, I know it is still very, very early in the season but after watching baseball all weekend, I feel that these teams may have shown some of their true colors already. Whether it may be good or bad, keep an eye out for these teams. Hopefully you can use some of these stats and opinions to make some smarter bets.
Written by: Andrew Wittry
Great American Ballpark was constructed in the early 2000's to replace Cinergy Field and was first used during the 2003 Major League Baseball season as the new home of the Cincinnati Reds. Cincinnati has gone ten seasons without hosting the game in the Reds' new home and the city has not held the Mid-Summer Classic since 1988 at Riverfront Stadium. …
Written by: Andrew Wittry
The Boston Red Sox have been in the news countless times this season and usually it is negative publicity. Bobby V's comments about Kevin Youkilis. Josh Beckett playing golf on his off-days but unable to pitch. Once again they are making the headlines but this time it is 100% baseball related. The BoSox are finalizing the biggest deal of the year with the Los Angeles Dodgers that would send Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, and Nick Punto to the West Coast for James Loney, Rubby De La Rosa and a trio of minor leaguers-right handed pitcher Allen Webster, infielder Ivan De Jesus, and outfielder Jerry Sands. …
Written by: Kevin Early
On the same day Ian Desmond withdrew from the 2012 NL All-Star team with an oblique strain, Bryce Harper has been selected by Tony LaRussa as the replacement for Giancarlo Stanton, who will have knee surgery. Youngest position player in an All-Star Game ever.
"I don’t have words to explain it right now. It’s exciting to go. …