Just thought I’d give some brief thoughts on both the Cards and baseball and general. This type of post will probably be my regular style of posting for a while as I work on coming up with some player specific and team specific ideas. You’ve been warned. 😉
Nice to see Matt Adams hit his first home run on Saturday. I hope there are many more to come from the big guy. As noted by Scott Spratt of Baseball Info Solutions (it’s an ESPN Insider story), Adams actually hit less home runs last year than his statistical data projected that he would (the system said he should’ve hit 18, based on batted ball trajectories), and thus is a candidate to mash more homers this season, especially since he’s entering his age 26 season, the beginning of his prime years.
Kansas City Royals
Many experts predicted the Royals to finish fourth in the AL Central, due to the improvements of the White Sox, the continued evolution of the Indians (who made a big addition with Brandon Moss) and the Tigers being the Tigers. I think many experts, who regarded last season as a fluke to begin with, added the various signings (Kendrys Morales)/non-signings (James Shields) to the equation, let it all marinate in their heads for a bit and cranked out projections and analysis that had them finishing 3rd or 4th and well out of the Wild Card race.
Well apparently this really ticked the players off, according to various articles, so now they’re playing this season with a chip on their shoulder. I’m not really a Royals fan per se, being a Cards fan and all, but I love me some underdogs, so I’m secretly (well, not so secretly anymore, eh? ;)) cheering them on to win the AL Central and prove all of those experts wrong (Plus I’m a big Yordano Ventura fan. I like watching the kid pitch.) Well so far so good, as the Royals are undefeated so far this season. (Admittedly so are the Tigers, but still.) Plus a 1985 rematch 30 years later between Cards and the Royals in the World Series with rock. I’d love the chance to get a little revenge, though facing that bullpen, if it matches or builds off of last years performance, would be a tad scary. The Cards would still win though.
Speaking of teams outperforming their expectations, the Braves are 5-1. Raise your hand if you saw that coming (looks) “sit down you in the back row! I know you’re from Atlanta!” Anyways…How’re they doing it?
Well, the top two starting pitchers in their rotation, Julio Teheran and Shelby Miller, have gotten off to a good start, and until last night nobody in their bullpen had given up a run, earned or otherwise (and even then the reliever only gave up one run). Here is the data. Of course, once I post this, the bullpen will likely start blowing 10 run leads left and right. That’s just how these things go.
There’s some people performing on offense, but mainly it’s the pitching that’s carrying this team. Small Sample Size? Sure, everything is right now. For example, for the Braves specifically, I don’t expect Jason Grilli to continue to be a perfect closer for long (he’s 3 for 3 in save chances with a 0.00 ERA so far). He was too up and down last year to right the ship so quickly. And as for a baseball in general trend, I don’t expect the Nationals to stay in last place long, though the longer they are, the more i’ll laugh and say things like “Best rotation ever? Yeah right!” 😉
That’s a few thought for now, I’ll hit other Cards players and other teams in my next post
As always, thanks for reading.