We wanted it, and we got it. The 2018 MLB season has finally arrived. At last, fans got to see their teams hit the diamond and help write the newest of America’s pastime. Last Thursday, Miami and Chicago kicked off the season with the visiting Cubs emerging victorious.
The first week of contention has already passed. Though the season has only begun, all 30 teams are starting to figure out what to keep going and what to change. The road to October will be a bumpier ride for some. For those who made the playoffs in 2017, the mark they set will be the bar they would like to surpass.
Let’s take a look at how some teams have created strides in the first few games.
2018 MLB Season: American League
Some American League squads came storming out of the gates to start the season. Only seven days of baseball have past. But these teams have grabbed attention early and are building momentum to carry on through the games to come.
The first team is the defending World Series champs: the Houston Astros. Manager A.J. Hinch and company no doubt have plans to repeat their title runs. What they have been doing this first week has put them ahead of their division. As of right now, The Astros have the second highest batting average and the second lowest ERA in the MLB.
If the Astros keep having fun like they are now, we could see them in the World Series again this year.
Another team off to a great in the AL is the Boston Red Sox. So far, the Red Sox have yet to play at home in Fenway Park. But they have proven to be the ultimate road warriors these past few games. Boston’s fielding and pitching are at the top of the league right now. But if they are going to return to October, their offense needs to kick it up a notch.
Boston’s team batting average is at .240, and they have tallied just 21 runs and four home runs. Improvements at the plate can give their defense plenty of cushion and leave the rest of the AL East in the dust.
Both the Seattle Mariners and Los Angeles Angeles have made strong starts too. With their batting and pitching leading the way to their hot start, the Mariners have shown they can hang with the best of them. As for the Angels, they have started on high notes at the plate, on the mound and on defense.
2018 MLB Season: National League
The National League has teams looking to hit the ground running as well. Spots in October are in short supply, and all 15 teams want in. These squads, however, have made significant bounds to get ahead early in their divisions.
Starting off, we have the NL Central’s strongest outing: the Pittsburgh Pirates. This is their first season this decade without Andrew McCutchen on their roster. But so far, Pittsburgh has adjusted nicely and managed to find success. Similar to Seattle, Pittsburgh’s plate presence has become a central point to their early success.
Their pitching rotation, however, will need to stand its ground to keep the Pirates riding high. Pittsburgh’s pitching staff has recorded a 4.96 ERA so far, which ranks just 22nd.
Over in the NL West, the Arizona Diamondbacks came out firing to start their 2018 campaign. Arizona has shown the benefits of playing at home, starting with a 5-1 record. The Diamondbacks’ strongest suites are in their pitching and fielding, both in the top 10 so far.
The Milwaukee Brewers and Washington Nationals are also making noise in the MLB early. Both teams proved to be formidable at the plate and have shown dominance on the road. However, both teams will need to tighten up on the mound and on defense to keep the wins coming.
With the 2018 MLB season just beginning, there is no telling what can happen. There can be teams struggling now that will later turn up the heat. There can be teams starting hot, but hit cold streaks in the upcoming weeks. Regardless, baseball is back, and the world will be watching.
Featured image from wikipedia.org
“From Our Haus to Yours”