Although the baseball season is just a few weeks old, some things are coming into shape already. Whether these are just trends or truths that will hold true for the next 140 games, we don’t know, but they are worth taking a look at to help understand the shape of the MLB landscape.
When will the Cubs cure their World Series Hangover?
The World Series hangover is certainly not a proven thing, and the Cubs don’t look terrible, but they don’t yet look like the team that was easily the best team in baseball start to finish last season. Kris Bryant is batting just .256 and has struck out in 25 percent of his at-bats. Their pitching staff is not performing particularly well, and 2016 breakout star Kyle Hendricks has a 6.19 ERA in his first three starts. The best bet is that they will turn it around, they have the talent and the experience to, but in baseball you need to find a groove and they have yet to.
What’s going on out west?
The Colorado Rockies lead the MLB in wins! The Arizona Diamondbacks are a close second! The Dodgers and Giants are struggling to start the year and have fallen to third and fourth! This is a different look in the NL West where the Dodgers, who have won the division the past four years, suddenly have some competition. The Rockies likely won’t sustain it as their pitching staff has over performed so far, and their hitters have underperformed, but hitting comes easy at Coors Field. The Diamondbacks on the other hand have a chance to win the division or snag a Wild-Card spot. They are hitting well, and that is even with a slump from slugger Paul Goldschmidt.
Eric Thames? Eric Thames!
Thames currently leads the league with 10 home runs. He last played in the MLB in 2012 when he flamed out, hitting .232 and nine home runs in 271 at-bats. He has 10 in 67 at-bats this year. That is crazy. He is returning from Korea where he recently hit 40 home runs and batted .321. Who knows if this will last. Did he just find his swing after three years there, or are MLB pitchers just not yet adjusting to his swing?
Bryce Harper is back!
One thing it is not too early for is the proclamation that Bryce Harper’s 2016 season was an outlier. He is back, batting .394 with seven home runs and 20 RBIs in 66 at-bats. He has more walks than strikeouts and just looks better at the plate. The MLB is a better place when Harper is playing well.
Willy may be reached at