Well, just spent a little time in the car listening to idiots rip Cole Hamels, demand Roy Halladay start tonight as if it is game 7 of the World Series, and generally sound like the uneducated frauds they claim not to be. Essentially, driving home my point from the post a few days back about Phillies “fans.” They are going to be a handful this year. I don’t feel like talking about it any more. Instead, what else is going on in MLB? We’re at that point of the season (obscenely early) where you can make ridiculous projections and many guys are either red-hot or couldn’t manage a bloop single if their life depended on it. Not much can be made of these numbers, but in a few weeks fast starts can turn into good seasons and cold ones can turn into big holes. A selection…
The Orioles are 4-0. The Orioles were a super sleeper last year, but they started terribly and buried themselves by May. Buck Showalter came in, they added some more bats, the young pitchers are another year older and it looks for now that the AL East is down one pushover. Look for Baltimore to fire Showalter in a couple of years, and then win the World Series the following season.
The Reds are 4-0. They are already a quick 3.5 games out in front of trendy Milwaukee. They lead the league in run differential, beating teams by an average score of 8-3. This division already looking weaker than I thought it would be, the Reds could get away.
The Rangers are 5-0. Beat the snot out of the AL favorite Red Sox, and have kept it going against the Mariners. The offense has already erased the bad taste left by losing the World Series to the Giants last year. On pace for 1134 runs, could they get to 1000?
Mark Teixeira is hitting .333 with 4HRs and 10 RBI. Sorry for those traditional stats, metric heads, but they are what they are. It doesn’t feel like April if you can’t make fun of Texy hitting a smooth .190. This is strange, very strange, but a good sign for Yankee fans.
Jered Weaver is already 2-0 with a .69 ERA and a .116 BA against for the Angels. The Angels are going to need an ace and great pitching to compete in the AL West. So far, Weaver has been their guy. Who’s John Lackey?
Jimmy Rollins has a .556 On-Base Percentage, 3 walks and just 1 strikeout for the Phillies. He’s hitting .467 in the early going and has made several hard outs. He’s hitting the ball on the ground with authority and spraying some line drives. It’s been a 4-day revelation and easily the best sign of the Phillies season to this point.
The Red Sox are 0-4, and lost Tuesday to the Indians in front of 9,000 rabid Cleveland fans. We’ve already heard the “No team has won the World Series after starting 0-4,” stat. You could pick out a long list of Red Sox that are struggling but to sum it up, they are hitting .186 as a team and have an 8.16 ERA. Oh my.
Manny Ramirez is 1 for 16, hitting .063 for the Rays. The Rays are another team that is a complete mess, but this one really hurts. Ramirez was given Wednesday afternoon off to shake this funk. I thought Manny might hit a little bit, but this attempt by Tampa to plug a hole with a name veteran might not work.
Ubaldo Jimenez was some people’s pick for the NL Cy Young. He certainly was the NL’s best pitcher for the 1st two or three months last season, but he’ll get off to no such start this time around. He was roughed up on Opening Day and now takes his 7.50 ERA to the disabled list. Troubling sign for the young and dynamic Rockies.
Luke Hochevar is by default the ‘ace’ of the Royals staff. He slid into the spot vacated by Zack Greinke, and in two starts this year has posted a 0-1 record and a 6.17 ERA. It could be another long year in K.C. while they wait for the promise of the minor league system to come to fruition.
Baseball Underdog of the Day: Overall Record, 0-1. Financial Status: (-100 Shrute Bucks)
I liked the pick yesterday. Seattle got a good start from Pineda, but in the end couldn’t give him any support, blew a rally in the 7th and lost 3-2. Those are the reasons why they were underdogs, but I was pretty comfortable with how things went, even though I lost the 100. Because of the odds, I’m not even going to have to go 50/50 at this to make money. So, we’ll press on.
Today’s selection: Minnes0ta (+142) @ New York.
Carl Pavano on the hill for the Twins who has reasonable numbers against the Yankees and he’s facing Freddy Garcia in his Yankees debut. Pavano struggled mightily against the Jays on Opening Day, but I think he bounces back a bit and the Twins can sneak out two straight against the Yanks. Best odds on the board.
Quiz of the Day: 60 Second Blitz MLB Teams. Category: Speed and Division Knowledge. My Score: 29/30.