Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Boomer's Diamond Notes: Quick Starts, Slow Starts

With most teams playing 10-11 games so far in this 2012 version of the MLB season, some teams are off to great starts, such as the Dodgers (9-1), Rangers (8-2), and Nationals (8-3); while some teams try not to bury themselves too early Padres (3-8), Twins (3-7), Royals (3-7). While the rest of the league most teams are hovering around the .500 mark, you can't win any division crowns in April, but winning early gets you off to a good start and teams ride the wave of good starts. Well lets take a minute to look around the league and see where everyone is at, especially Boomer's two favorite teams the Indians and Reds. Just around 152-games to go...

AL East
The five teams that make up this division are separated by just two games, with the Baltimore Orioles on top at (6-4) and the Boston Red Sox at the bottom at (4-6). The Orioles are in the lead now, but were picked to finish last in the AL East Standings, so don't expect them to stay on top for long, while the Yankees (5-5), Rays (5-5), and Red Sox (4-6) all expect to battle for the division crown and/or the two wild-card spots. The Red Sox are coming off a weekend, in which they took 3 out of 4 games at home vs. the Rays, but have some clubhouse issues involving first-year manger Bobby Valentine and the players. Be interesting to see what happens with that. The Toronto Blue Jays (5-4) have the best scoring difference in the division so far at +12 (47 to 35).

AL Central
The heavily-favored Detroit Tigers after the first ten games are on top of the division with a 7-3 record. While the White Sox started off hot at 5-2, have dropped their last two and sit in second place at 5-4 currently. The Cleveland Indians (4-4) started the season 1-4 at home, however, over the weekend their started a 9-game road trip off with a 3-game sweep in Kansas City against the Royals. As for the Royals, looks like its same old story as they share the basement with the Minnesota Twins in the AL Central at 3-7. Will anyone be about to contend with the Tigers in the division? Only time will tell.

AL West
The two-time defending AL Champs, the Texas Rangers find themselves at 8-2, having the best record in the AL at this point. The Rangers have done it so far with quality pitching and timely hitting as they have scored 45 runs so far, while only giving up 24 runs to their opponents. The LA Angels, the team that was picked to run with the Rangers all year, are off to a slow start and sit in third place in the AL West (4-6). While the Seattle Mariners (6-5) and Oakland A's (4-7) have already played each other 7 times in 11 games. Just wait till the two have to play someone other themselves, they won't be winning very many games.

Now take a look at the NL...

NL East
The two teams picked to finish at the bottom of this division, find themselves at the top so far at this point, with the Washington Nationals (8-3) and New York Mets (7-3) surprising folks thus far in the season. While the heavily-favored Philadelphia Phillies (5-5) have struggled to score runs with some key parts missing from the line-up, have one IF not the best pitching staffs in the league. The Atlanta Braves (5-5) and Miami Marlins (4-6) round out the rest of this division. It will be interesting to see if the Nationals and/or Mets will be able to ride their hot starts as we move closer to the end of April and into May.

NL Central
The defending World Series champs, the St. Louis Cardinals are on top of the NL Central at 7-3, and are starting right where they finished from their World Series run last fall. The Cardinals have the best scoring difference in all of baseball at +23 (57 to 34). The Astros, Brewers, and Reds all sit at 4-6, as the Brewers and Reds need to turn things around quickly, if they want to contend with the Cardinals. As for the Pittsburgh Pirates (3-7) after a 2-1 start to the season, have lost 6 of 7 games, and struggle to score runs only 19 in ten games, the worst in all of baseball. While the lovable Chicago Cubs continue to struggle at 3-7.

NL West
The hottest team thus far in this young 2012 MLB season, has to be the LA Dodgers. Winners of 9 of their first 10 games, are off a a surprising start, have taken advantage of a soft schedule so far (7 vs. the Padres and 3 vs. the Pirates), it all be interesting if they can keep it up once the schedule gets tougher. The D-Backs, the defending AL West champs, are off to a hot start as well, sit at 7-3. The Giants and Rockies are both 4-6, as the two teams struggle giving up runs. While the San Diego Padres are counting down the number of games left in the season, sit at 3-8, worst in the MLB.

Boomer's Clubhouse Chat

Cleveland Indians 4-4
Games this week: 3 @ Seattle and 3 @ Oakland

Look what happens during a weekend in Kansas City. A three-game series sweep vs. the Royals in KC, in which the Indians scored 32 runs and had double digit hits in all three games, has the Tribe back at the .500 (4-4), as their look to continue the hot hitting out west this week. After a slow start to the season, in which the only way the Indians were scoring runs, was with the long-ball, in the Royal series, they were able to knock the ball all over the diamond. In the series the Indians scored 3 or more runs in a single inning six times. When you score a lot of runs, the pitching kind of gets covered up, however, the Indians did allow 3, 9, 7 runs in the 3-game series, while using a lot of their pitchers from the bullpen. I would like to see the starters this week in Seattle and Oakland go deeper into the games and relieve the bullpen a little bit. The Indians need to be thinking they can at least take the series vs. the Mariners and A's, as those two teams look to be two of the worst in the Major Leagues. Lets Go Tribe, keep it going.

Cincinnati Reds 4-6
Games this week: 3 @ St. Louis and 3 @ Chicago Cubs

Well after a very disappointing weekend in the Nationals Capital, in which the Reds lost 3 out of 4 to the Nationals, two of which came in extra innings, the Reds are not off the the hot start the fans where expecting. The Reds struggled to score runs over the weekend scoring only 12 runs in the 4-game series, on top of scoring just six in a 3-game series vs. the Cardinals at the beginning of the week. The Reds need to figure things out soon, or will find themselves out of the race for the NL Central with a expense payroll. With another 3-game series vs. the Cardinals to start this week, this time out in St. Louis, the Reds have to find a way to get the bats going and win that series. Then over the weekend in Chicago, they got to be thing anything else but a sweep vs. the Cubs would be a disappointment. So the Reds, have dug themselves a hole thus far, but theres plenty of time to turn the ship around. Lets Go Reds!

This is what I feel like would happen, if guys knew when I drop 'em from my Fantasy Baseball team.