MLB Early Look!

As we approach the quarter pole of the MLB season I figure it is time to take a look at the quick starters and the early disappointments. Though most teams still have about 125 games to go, you can tell a lot about a team by how they start. Take a look at the past two seasons. In both years every team that actually made the playoffs had at least a .500 record on May 7th. That is 20 for 20. Of the 20 playoff teams over the past two years, 15 of the teams were in playoff position on May 7th of that season. Last year only the Twins and Cubs were not in playoff position. The Twins were 15-14 a game out of the Wildcard and a game and a half out of the division lead. The Cubs were 16-15, which was both a game out of the division lead and the wildcard. In 2016 there were 3 teams out of playoff position on May 7th that made the playoffs (Cleveland, Toronto and the LA Dodgers). Cleveland was 14-13, which was 1 game out of the wildcard. They were 7 games behind the quick start Chicago White Sox (21-10) for the division, but they finished the year 57-74 to miss the playoffs. Toronto was 16-16 which put them a game and a half out of the wildcard and two and a half out of the division lead. The Dodgers ware 15-15. That put them 1 and a half back in the wildcard but only one game behind the division leading Giants at 17-15. So with that being said, lets take a look at the current standings and see who had themselves in position to make it to October.

First let’s take a look at the current division leaders and their records.

AL EAST – Boston Red Sox 25-9
AL CENTRAL – Cleveland Indians 17-17
AL WEST – La Angeles Angels 21-13
NL EAST – Atlanta Braves 19-14
NL CENTRAL – St Louis Cardinals 20-12
NL WEST – Arizona Diamondbacks 23-11

And then the two wildcard teams from both leagues

AL WILDCARDS –NY Yankees 24-10 & Houston Astros 21-15
NL WILDCARDS –Milwaukee Brewers 20-15 & Colorado Rockies 20-15

If your teams are listed above you have to be feeling pretty solid about your team so far. You should at least be in the hunt for a playoff spot. What if your team isn’t listed above. Do they have a shot. Well here are the list of teams that have at least a .500 record right now.

AL Teams –Seattle Mariners 19-14, Toronto Blue Jays 19-16 and Oakland Athletics 18-16
NL Teams –San Francisco Giants 19-15, Pittsburgh Pirates 19-16, Philadelphia Phillies 18-15, NY Mets 17-15, Washington Nationals 18-17 & the Chicago Cubs 16-15

There are two other teams that might still have a legit shot at the playoffs without having to make an incredible move. They are the Minnesota Twins 13-17 & the Detroit Tigers 14-19. Those aren’t spectacular records but with the Cleveland Indians leading the division at 17-17, the Twins are only 2 games back and the Tigers are two and an half. Still things for the Twins are Tigers are slim because I expect a very good Indians team to start playing better.

So after going thru that, who have been the surprises and the disappointments to start the 2018 season. Well first we will start with the good. The biggest surprise has to be the start of the Atlanta Braves. They were 4th from the bottom in odds to win the World Series at the start of the season at 250/1 and 3rd from the bottom to win the NL Pennant at 75/1. Now here they sit on top of a very competitive NL East. Next up, I would list the Colorado Rockies. The Rockies were listed 4th in the NL West and 45/1 to win the World Series at the start of the season. A 20-15 start has them in a wildcard position right now. The American League has gone pretty much as expected so far. The closest thing to a surprise might be the Los Angeles Angels leading the World Champion Houston Astros for the NL West Division lead. Still the Angels had the 10th best odds to win the World Series (28/1) to start the year and 5th for the AL Pennant (13/1), so it really isn’t that big of a surprise where they are. So how about the disappointments. Well I think that this one is pretty easy. The defending NL Pennant winning LA Dodgers are out to a slow start at 15-19. That puts them 8 games out of the division lead in 4th place in the NL West. Things get even worse for the Dodgers with Ace Clayton Kershaw going on the 10-Day DL with bicep tendinitis today. The Dodgers were the favorite to repeat as the NL Pennant winner at 5/2 and was 2nd behind the Yankees to win the World Series at 11/2. I would say the biggest disappointment in the American League may be the Cleveland Indians at 17-17, but as bad as the rest of the AL Central is they still have a division lead.

So do you think that the current trend will hold up and the teams that are in the hunt now will be there at the end of the season or do you see some teams faltering as others get hot? If so who are the teams that will drop and who are the teams that will rise? Make sure you keep taking advantage off all of our Red Hot Baseball action throughout the season, not to mention the late NBA & NHL Playoff action by going to www.freeplays.com and clicking on Razor Sharp Sports! Good Luck!

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