A quarter of MLB’s 2016 season is behind us and while we are in no way saying anything is over, there are definitely a few trends that only totally oblivious people could miss. Some of the lessons we learned so far are obvious and expected, while some truly surprised us. One thing we know for sure and that is that this baseball season is only heating up and that we are in for even more excitement.
Well, for one, we learned that the Arizona Diamondbacks may not have made the best deal in the history of the franchise when they signed Zack Greinke to a massive, $200-plus-million contract this winter. While last season he gave up only 41 earned runs in 222 innings, he has already surrendered 29 this year, in less than 50 innings. Their biggest star, Paul Goldschmidt isn’t playing much better, hitting only .223. The good thing for the Diamondbacks fans is that all of these may turn out to be only temporary setbacks.
We have also learned that AL East is where you go for great hits. This is mostly because of the Boston Red Sox and the Baltimore Orioles who are both having amazing seasons so far. The Sox are leading the league in OPS (.848) and slugging percentage (.489) while the Orioles lead in home runs with 55. For the Boston team, it is David Ortiz doing the most damage, while the Baltimore team has a bona fide trio of batters in Chris Davis, Mark Trumbo andManny Machado. We can imagine Ortiz slowing down a bit on account of his age, but we do not fear for either the Sox or the Orioles to be perfectly honest.
Another lesson we learned is that it is good to live in Chicago if you are a fan of baseball. The Cubs were expected to be good this season, with the best record in the MLB so far at 27-9 and the best, plus 109 run differential. However, no one saw the White Sox doing as well as they have been in the year’s first 40-odd games. They have a more than a decent 24-14 record and their Jose Quintana and Chris Sale are throwing like possessed.
Will this be the second time in more than a century that both Chicago teams make it to the playoffs?