More than a quarter of the MLB season is in the books and many players and teams are off to interesting starts. Some are off to very disappointing starts such as Washington, while others are off to hot starts that no one predicted, such as the Twins. Below are a few starts that are going to be analyzed and deemed legit or not.
Washington Nationals being 11 games under .500.
The Washington Nationals have the second-worst record in the NL. The only team with a worse record is the Miami Marlins who are in the midst of a rebuild. Washington is currently 19-30 and nine games behind the Philadelphia Phillies for first in the division.
They have the talent but injuries, poor defense, a lack of offensive production and a below average bullpen has set the team back. Now the offense will come around once the starters come back from the IL. Trea Turner, Matt Adams, Juan Soto and Anthony Rendon have all returned in the past month. Those four will help jump-start an offense that has been struggling to drive runs in.
The bullpen is another problem, as they continuously blow leads.
Verdict: The offense and defense will improve as the starters return from the IL. But the Nationals will continue to lose games until they fix the bullpen.
Minnesota Twins having the second best record in the MLB
The Minnesota Twins entered the season as a team competing for a wildcard spot. Instead, they are 32-16 and .5 games behind the Houston Astros for the best record in the league. Minnesota has taken advantage of the injuries to the Cleveland Indians and have taken hold of the division.
The Twins are led by ace Jose Berrios and breakout candidate Jorge Polanco. Berrios is 6-2 with a 3.39 ERA, while Polanco is hitting .339 with an OPS of 1.001. The Twins have a healthy Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano just returned from the IL. Free agent acquisitions of slugger Nelson Cruz and utility man Marwin Gonzales has added to the team’s depth.
The Twins offense has been one of the hottest in baseball as they are first in runs scored (273), second in home runs (90), batting average (.269), and OPS (.838).
Verdict: The Twins are legit as the offense is putting up impressive numbers. While they won’t finish with the second-best record in the league, they are a threat to the Indians to win the AL Central.
Before he ended up on the IL, Tyler Glasnow was 6-1 with a 1.86 ERA and 55 strikeouts over the course of eight starts. He was a big reason the team was able to overcome an early injury to Blake Snell. Part of the Chris Archer trade, Glasnow has taken the next step after struggling in his few appearances over the last couple of seasons. Now the 25-year-old is on the cusp of asserting himself as the co-ace to Blake Snell.
Despite not having pitched since May 10, Glasnow is tied for first in wins (6). This year opponents have a slash line of .202/.240/.277 and an OPS of .518 against him. Glasnow has a K/9 rate of 10.24 and a K/BB rate of 6.11. In the small sample size before his injury, Glasnow was proving himself as a starter after he served stints in the bullpen with the Pirates.
Verdict: Glasnow’s start was legit and as long as his injury doesn’t linger, he will pick up right where he left off.
Feature Image From KSPT TV.
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