Six weeks into the season and I think it’s time to answer that often asked questions..What are the biggest surprises of the baseball season so far? For me there are 3 that really stand out. Three teams that have surprised me. I shall begin…
Everyone expected the Chicago Cubs to be real good ( and they are) , but no one expected the team from the other side of town to be this good. The White Sox, with an American League-best 23-10 record, now lead the A.L. Central by five games over the Indians with yesterday’s 3-1 win, giving the Sox a three-game sweep over the Twins. Who wouda thunk the White Sox starters have would have posted a 2.34 ERA and .204 opponents average over the last 12 home games. The Sox have allowed 1 or 0 runs in 14 of 32 games this season. Everyone knew about Chris Sale (he gives the Yankees fits) at 7-0,with a 1.79 era, but I don’t think anyone expect Jose Quintana (5-1, 1.38), and Mat Latos (5-0, 2.62) to be this good. Let’s not forget former Yankee David Robertson, who recorded his 10th save of the season on Sunday, The Sox prove that good pitching can beat good hitting in plenty of situations. Despite the favorable win-loss mark, the White Sox rank near the bottom in many offensive categories and place dead least in RBI’s With the exception of slugger Jose Abreu who has hit safely in 11 of his last 12 games, and Former Yank Melky Cabrea who leads the team with a .305 average, the offense has been dismal, yet thye are winning. I still think this team is for real. Can’t see any one in the Central division getting more than the 92 wins I think they’ll get.
Another surprise is the team from the city of brotherly love. The Phillies are much improved and currently sit at a surprising 18-14. Philadelphia is knee-deep in a rebuild and way ahead of schedule. For the first time in a long time, Phillies have a big-league rotation. Led by Vince Velasquez, Jeremy Hellickson, Ken Giles, and Aaron Nola. Velasquez leads the staff with a 4-1 record along with a 2.17 era. Odubel Herrera leads the team with a.324 average. Maikel Franco is off to a slow start, but he has the tools to get hot at any time. They are not scaring anyone with their offense, but they seem to find a way to win. I don’t expect them to make the playoffs, but this team is on the rise and may play spoiler come September with 80 wins.
Of the 32 teams in MLB, the one that is easily off to the most disappointing start is the last place Houston Astros, which many picked to win the A.L.Central, are currently 7 games under .500. Let’s start with Carlos Gomez. and his .206 average. That’s looking like a bad trade from last year. Add Jason Castro and his dismal .189 average. You know your offense is bad when Yuniesky Betancourt is your clean-up hitter. While the Astros' offense isn’t off to a terrible start, it is clearly underperforming, scoring just 3.8 runs per game And then there’s the Dallas Keuchel thingy. A 2-4 WL record and 4.70 era and the missing sinker, not the kinda numbers you expect from your number 1 guy. The Doug Fister signing was inspired, but the results have been abominable. Mike Fiers has been a wreck, and Scott Feldman has been on the wrong side of good. Lance McCullers is still not back.While Altuve and Correa are doing what was expected, the Stros struggle, but I think in time this team will turn it on and challenge for a playoff spot, unless the pitching stays right where it is now, BAD.
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