After basketball season dragged on for ages, America’s favorite pastime has finally returned to us. The MLB is back and the 2016 season is already off to a tantalizing start.
Although the season is only a week old, there are already some major headlines being made. The Baltimore Orioles currently hold the top spot in the American League East standings with a 5-0 record, having bashed in 22 runs while only allowing 10 men to cross the plate. Additionally, the reigning World Series champions, the Kansas City Royals, look to be picking up right where they left off last season as they are off to a hot start standing at 4-1 to date.
On the other hand, the lowly Minnesota Twins and the Atlanta Braves are off to winless starts. The Twins are 0-6 after being swept by both the Orioles and the Royals. The Braves already have five losses in the books after they dropped a pair of games to the Washington Nationals and then a weekend series to the St. Louis Cardinals.
From an individual standpoint, the offensive firepower thus far has been astonishing. Colorado Rockies rookie Trevor Story is tied for fourth in the league with nine hits; seven of them being home runs. The 23-year-old alone has more home runs than 16 other teams in the MLB.
Other big name veterans have not fared so well. Media magnet Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees is hitting .214 with one homer and two RBIs to boot. Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Albert Pujols is batting .125 with only three hits in 20 at bats. Additionally, Prince Fielder, the home run hitting titan of a man from the Texas Rangers is hitting at a .208 clip with more strikeouts than hits.
Part of the aforementioned players’ struggles is due in part to the stellar pitching exhibited so far in the young season. The Chicago aces, Chris Sale of the White Sox and Jake Arrieta of the Cubs, each are tied for tops in the league with two wins. Roberto Osuna of the Toronto Blue Jays, Jonathan Papelbon of the Nationals and Jeremy Jeffress of the Milwaukee Brewers are tied for the league lead with three successful saves in their first few appearances.
But as always, when some players succeed, others falter. Matt Harvey, the hefty gas-throwing righty on the New York Mets, has lost both of his starts to begin the year. Big time free agent Zack Greinke, now on the Arizona Diamondbacks, has also lost both of his starts garnering a 9.90 ERA.
To say the least, it has been an exciting start to the spring. As we move through the months and into the dog days of August, we will truly appreciate how great it is to have baseball, and only baseball, back in the fold for a while.