The Cheap Seats
First of all, if you don't LOVE Major League⚾️Baseball, TAKE A HIKE. The Cheap Seats aren't for you. We won't spend the eight months of the college and NFL 🏈 offseason, speculating on draft picks and new FA fits. This is baseball and it's the greatest show on earth!
So, here we are, 2 weeks into the Major League Baseball season, and the league is starting to take great shape. Nobody has ever won a pennant in April, but they sure as hell have lost them. That's what we're tackling today on the 17th day of April. These teams are in dire need of a good week.
St. Louis Cardinals (3-9)-
A perennial championship contender, the Cards are just 3-9. What's worse, they're losing because of the same problems from last year. The defense has been pedestrian at best, but it's the pitching that has been worrisome. Adam Wainwright is now 0-3 with a 7.24 era. Lance Lynn is 0-1 with a 5.23 era. The closer Seung Hean Oh has a 9.64 era / 1.71 whip and 0 saves. WOWZA. Though Wacha and Carlos Martinez have been solid, and Leake unbelievable, the Cardinals have to see much better production from 2 of their long time anchors in their rotation, and Oh has to be a door slammer. The only thing that has kept St. Louis alive and kicking, is the fact that Pittsburgh swept the Cubs in Chicago this past weekend. Now the Cards host the Pirates the next 3 days. The big week ends with 3 at Milwaukee. St. Louis has to win BOTH series. A 4-2 week will help turn the season back towards the right direction. Lose the week, and this season could be lost before it truly starts. Mike Matheny's job may not be on the line but St. Louis's 2017 season is.
Toronto Blue Jays (2-10)-
Josh Donaldson is on the DL. The entire team is hitting a collective.200, with an abysmal.309 OBP. Averaging about 3.5 runs a game won't get it done in the AL EAST. What is worse is that they are already 5 games out. If Toronto doesn't get on track quickly, they might miss the train to October completely. Baltimore, New York and Boston are playing great and there's no way .500 wins this American League East. The week starts with 3 home games versus Boston and a road trip to the Angels. Considering, the Jays then land in St. Louis early next week, we could be looking at a collision corse for two teams we thought were playoff bound.
Other views from way back here in the Cheap Seats:
Marcus Thames is for real! After spending the last few years in Japan, he is tied for the league lead in home runs. Great to see a come back story. Especially for a bargain in salary-strapped Milwaukee.
Marcell Ozuna is starting the year off with a banf=g across the board. .404 with 18 RBI and grand slams to that have helped keep Miami afloat so far. Keep an eye on him. Raw talent and sitting in the middle of a pretty strong line-up.
Chris Archer is back to the form that makes him an ace. Tampa can now ask for a king's ransom, if they chose to move him.
Mike Leake and Ervin Santana are pitching like it's 2010. Two aging veterans that both started with a sub .60 era.
The Braves have now won 4 in a row after starting the year on a long road trip that began with a 1-6 record. Don't bury this team yet. A combination of grizzled veterans and young phenomes, should make for a fun brand of baseball this summer.
The baby bombers in NY are going to compete THIS YEAR. The biggest question (the starting rotation) has looked solid. With that pen, and plenty of offense, the Yankees are back in the AL East race and that's only good for baseball.
As predicted in the preview article, Colorado is leading the NL West and are looking good. The bullpen will be the reason they stay in it. Rockies execs may have finally figured out the formula.
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