A month of baseball is coming to a close and it has been an interesting first month. The Jays are not winning like they should be, the Astros are losing like they ought to and the Red Sox, Royals, Pirates and Diamondbacks are first in their divisions. The Braves and the Rangers are first as well, but that was expected. The other four teams that I had mentioned were not expected to do well at all, but then again it is only one month right? There is a lot of baseball left and the season is starting to heat up, so it is time to see how the Nick Picks are doing so far. Earlier this year I picked six teams that I felt would be an exciting team to watch this season, whether or not they would make the playoffs. So lets look at some stats, I will choose two top pitchers and fielders and show the attendance and where they rank in runs scored.
Baltimore Orioles 15-10 (3rd place AL East) 3 games behind the first place Boston Red Sox. The O’s are playing like they did last year and are competing every game which makes it difficult on any team facing them. With their young core developing, this team could be back at the top once again this season and it does not hurt to have a powerful bullpen.
Chris Davis BA .349, 16 runs, 30 hits, 9 HR and 28 RBI’s
Adam Jones BA .352, 22 runs, 37 hits, 4 HR and 20 RBI’s
Josh Johnson 1-2 ERA 0.64, 10/10 saves, 14.0 innings, 12 Ks, 1.00 WHIP
Darren O’Day 2-0 ERA 0.71, 13 games, 12.2 innings, 11 Ks, 0.87 WHIP
Average Attendance: 26 398 Rank 19th
The top two batters say it all, but the reason why I picked these two relievers is quite simple, they impact the bullpen and this team so much that I think if they did not have these guys then the O’s would have a harder time winning, holding and saving games. The Orioles continue to have a great record in 1 run games, and that is due to the strong bullpen.
Cleveland Indians 9-13 (last place AL Central) 4 games behind the first place Kansas City Royals. To be honest, I expected more for this team. They have a good closer in, Chris Perez and have decent fielders, unfortunately it is not working right now for the Tribe.
Mark Reynolds BA .280, 14 runs, 21 hits, 7 HR, 19 RBI
Carlos Santana BA .388, 12 runs, 26 hits, 4 HR, 10 RBI
Justin Masterson 4-2 ERA 3.12, 1 shut out, 40.1 innings, 39 Ks, 1.26 WHIP
Chris Perez ERA 1.13, 8 games, 3/4 saves, 8.0 innings, 9 Ks, 0.88 WHIP
Average Attendance: 15 194 rank 30th
Terry Francona’s team seems to be having a rough start this season and having the lowest ranked attendance cannot be helping. Francona will be given time with this team and I think I will be able to turn things around.
Oakland A’s 14-12 (2nd Place AL West) 2.5 games behind the first place Texas Rangers. The A’s are playing like a playoff team and although some of their top players like Reddick aren’t playing to their potential they are still winning!
Jed Lowrie BA .333, 18 Runs, 43 Hits, 3 HR, 15 RBI,
Josh Donaldson BA .327, 18 Runs, 34 Hits, 2 HR, 20 RBI,
Bartolo Colon 3-0, ERA 3.38, 32.0 Innings, 20 K, 1.03 WHIP
Jerry Blevins 2-0 ERA 1.65, 14 games, 16.1 Innings 16 K, 0.67 WHIP
Oakland A’s Average Attendance 19 446, Rank 28th.
The A’s are still playing the way they did last season and are right behind the Texas Rangers for first place. With the “mighty” Angels, Mariners and Astros all below the 500 level the A’s only have one team to worry about and it seems for the time being the A’s are going in the right direction.
Philadelphia Phillies 12-14 (3rd place NL East) 4.0 games behind the first place Atlanta Braves.
Chase Utley BA .295, 14 Runs, 28 Hits, 4 HR, 18 RBI
Ryan Howard AVG .286, 10 Runs, 26 Hits, 3 HR, 16 RBI
Cliff Lee 2-1 ERA 3.03, 35.2 innings, 30 K, 1.04 WHIP
Kyle Kendrick 2-1, ERA 2.41, 33.2 Innings, 24 K, 1.10 WHIP
Phillies Attendance 36 653 Rank 7th.
With Howard, Utley and Rollins playing some good baseball and Michael Young proving to be a good acquisition, the Phillies just need their pitching to heat up and lately it seems to be going toward the right direction. Maybe the Phillies can get over the 500 mark and compete against the Braves and Nats for first.
Pittsburgh Pirates 15-10 (1st Place NL Central)
Garret Jones BA.319, 8 Runs, 23 Hits, 3 HR, 15 RBI,
Russell Martin, BA .266, 12 Runs, 21 Hits, 5 HR, 9 RBI
Jeff Locke 3-1, 2.83 ERA, 28.2 Innings, 16 K, 1.26 WHIP
AJ Burnett 2-2, 2.83 ERA, 35.0, 48K, 1.17 WHIP
Pirates Attendance 20 615 Rank 23rd.
Andrew McCutchen is having a slow start to the season, but the Pirates are fighting for first place with the St Louis Cardinals. The pitching and the batting have been great so far, but this is not anything new. The Pirates, for the past couple of years have been great in the first half of the season, what matters now is making sure their second half of the season is a solid one and then they could possibly (and finally) make the playoffs.
San Francisco Giants 13-12 (3rd Place NL West) 2.0 games behind the first place Arizona Diamondbacks
Pablo Sandoval BA.361 , 11 Runs, 33 Hits, 3 HR, 20 RBI
Buster Posey BA .29, 9 Runs, 23 Hits, 3 HR, 14 RBI
Madison Bumgarner 3-0, 1.87 ERA, 33.2 Innings, 34 K, 0.89 WHIP,
Tim Lincecum 2-1 3.64 ERA, 29.2 Innings, 32 K, 1.35 WHIP
Giants Attendance 41 761Rank 2nd.
Last years World Series Champs are not the most dominating team of the year so far, but there is a lot of baseball left and they have been competing with the Rockies and the D-Backs this past month for first place. Tim Lincecum is pitching a lot better than last season and Sergio Romo is showing why the Giants didn not re-sign Brian Wilson (Still shocked no one has signed him).
That is one month down, five more to go and anything can happen! So for the teams at the bottom you still have a chance to get better and the teams at the top be careful, because the playoffs are not for a while.
Note: Stats are from ESPN and MLB.com all numbers are base from April 29th.
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photo credit: Erik Daniel Drost via photopin cc