Emerging Trends… Or Not

A month or so into the MLB season and it is hard to discern the trends that define this season. There is no insurgency yet like the Cubs of last year but there are some teams staking a claim for the post season. As much as it pains me to say it, the Yankees look like they have the depth and strength in their roster to go deep. With the O’s also starting strongly the AL East is the only division with 2 teams above 0.600. The other three are still in the frame too now that the Blue Jays are off the canvas.

 

Looking across all the other divisions for teams above 6 hundred at the moment we have the Astros, the Rockies and the Nationals. All of them have the dubious distinction of going missing around September, so it won’t be any surprise if the picture is vastly different by the time of the All Star break.

 

There has been some exceptional slugging in this season. Judge, Thames and Zimmerman are leading the way with many of their homers going deep into the bleachers. At the Nats, Zimmerman is getting good support from Harper and Murphy. At the Yankees, the breakout season for Judge is abetted by consistent hitting from Castro.

 

Casting an eye over the pitching stats,  there are familiar names like Kershaw, Tanaka, Arrieta and Cueto in the win column but it seems to me that the rotations for many teams are in flux. The biggest signing of the off-season, Chris Sale, has proven to be a strikeout king but not always getting the offensive support he needs. It is not only the Red Sox that have been suffering this fate.

 

So maybe the emerging trends aren’t really trends at all but merely snapshots. That’s OK there are always new stories to replace the old. I’ll keep a look out for those trends and hope that someone, somewhere is ready to break out and be the story we all want to see. The Cubs are struggling and that tells us a lot about the vagaries of baseball.

 

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Grew up playing the rugby codes in suburban Sydney. Moved to Melbourne during the Carey era so becoming a Shinboner was the natural call. Still love the game they play in heaven. Took an interest in MLB a few years back and have become infatuated with America's pastime.

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