The first two weeks of baseball in the central division has told us a numerous amount of what we should expect and what teams need to do for improvement.
The Minnesota Twins are the best team in the American League right now. Why? Because, the Twins don’t waste good pitching and defense with poor situational hitting. The Chicago White Sox cannot say the same. In their nine losses, they lost six by two runs or less.
The other contender, the Detroit Tigers, have struggled with consistency in their first two weeks. The reason? Pitching. The ace Justin Verlander has given up 13 runs in 17 innings. Jeremy Bonderman has given up 11 runs in nine innings. The fifth starter, Dontrelle Willis, has five walks and opponents are hitting .348 against him. Max Scherzer is the only pitcher pitching well, and the offense cost him a win already.
The New York Yankees are batting .286 as a team, and they are tied for first in the American League with 64 runs scored. They also have a 3.79 ERA, which is enough for their potent offense to win.
The Tampa Bay Rays have quickly moved up the standings with the awful play by the Boston Red Sox. They won the first three games of a four-game series with the Red Sox, and they also have beaten up on Baltimore. The six-game winning streak is needed when chasing the Yankees. The Rays pitching is the reason for the climb.
Matt Garza has 19 strikeouts with seven walks and David Price has 14 strikeouts while only walking five. Opponents are hitting .179 against Garza and .204 against Price. They have also only allowed a combined seven earned runs in 38.2 innings.
The one true surprise in April is the Oakland Athletics. They lead the major league in ERA, and they have won some close games. The problem signs are beginning to point towards the evening out of their record, however. The offense has no power, and they shouldn’t score many runs on the year.
Plus, the Seattle Mariners are beginning to play much better, winning four in a row against Oakland and Detroit. The Mariners have done it with their pitching, and they have also scored some timely runs during the streak. The reason they started slow was due to the lack of run support.
The Los Angeles Angels have struggled with pitching, but they were able to get a quality start by Ervin Santana in a 3-1 win over Toronto yesterday. They have begun to score some runs, so if the pitching comes around, they should also climb up the standings.
TOP FIVE AL TEAMS APRIL 19:
1.) Minnesota Twins - They pitch, play defense and are tied for first
with 64 runs scored.
2.) New York Yankees – They have the best offense in the AL, and they
have beaten the division rivalries.
3.) Tampa Bay Rays - They have the two best pitchers in the AL so
far in Garza and Price.
4.) Oakland Athletics – They have pitched well, but the offense lacks
5.) Seattle Mariners – They had a great week, and they look to
continue their improvement.