The first month of the season is behind us. Here is a first month review of each team. There is lots of parity andonly 8 games separate the best in the ML with the worst.Â Apart from the Yankees there are no real surprises after the first 30 days of the season.
Boston (16-8) – Even with their hitters struggling the Boston pitching staff has been stellar and have led the squad to the best record in the AL and a 5-1 record through April against the Yankees.
Toronto (12-12) – With some crushing injuries especially in the bullpen the lack of depth has become evident with some terrible late inning collapses. Despite injuries to the starting 9 the Jays continue to lead the AL in hitting as predicted.
Baltimore (12-13) – Somewhat of a surprise. With the revamped bullpen the O’s have been able to hang in against supposedly stronger opponents. Instead of being one of the worst teams in the AL the Orioles might be one of the most middle of the pack teams if the bullpen can continue this success.
Tampa Bay (11-14) – The pitching is bad. This season is going to be another long one on the Gulf Coast. They are still in a very tough divison and games against better teams will cost them.
New York Yankees (9-14) – “Old and in the way or on the DL” should be the motto this year. Playing bad ball all around even with the heroics of Alex Rodriquez. Joe Torre might be looking for work by the end of May if this doesn’t turn around
Cleveland (14-8) – Solid all around team. Have quited critics that doubted they had what it takes to challenge in the tough ALC. This young team should be able to parallel the Indians squads of the mid-90s. Should be a good year in Northern Ohio.
Minnesota (14-11) – The studs from last year have been studs this year, surprisingly. This team keeps finding ways to win. If the pitching can maintain their pace they will be tough to beat.
Detroit (13-11) – With little changes from last years AL Championship team the Tigers hitters seemed to slump coming out of the gate. This cost them games and it will not continue. I feel they will win this division.
Chicago (12-11) – Have had a tough schedule compared to their divison rivals but are still hanging in there. This division will be a four-team race down to the wire and the White Sox will be there.
Kansas City (8-17) – While they may not give up 1000 runs again they will be in last place and lose 100 games.
LA Angels (14-11) – Quality start, this team should be able to cruise to the AL West title.
Seattle (10-10) – A young team with some solid up and coming stars. If they can get a taste for winning this year, look out for next year.
Oakland (12-13) – The lack of depth that hurt them towards the end of last year and in the playoffs is even more evident now with the loss of stars to FA and some injuries to key players. Ken Macha knew a sinking ship when he was on one.
Texas (10-15) – Typical thing from Arlington, recycled stars, no pitching. This is a last place team and may be the worst in the oil patch in years.
Atlanta (16-9) – More young stars in the south. They got help in the bullpen and they look ready to be playing baseball in October again even though it is the start of May.
New York Mets (15-9) They have been getting the most out of the starting pitching. Expected to be a good team, the Mets are and should make the playoffs.
Florida (12-13) Look at another average season out of this team of overachievers. Another year or two they could be dynamite.
Philadelphia (11-14) – Another bad start in Philly might cost Manuel his job. They were expected to contend and are already 5 games back with two powerhouses in their divison. More bridesmaids in Philly again.
Washington (9-17) – This team cannot score and have been lucky to win the 9 games they have. With John Patterson as their ace this is a AAAA team if there ever was one. Look for them to lose 105+ games.
Milwaukee (16-9) – A lot are surprised by the Crew’s start but they shouldn’t be. Solid pitching and fundamental baseball has the Brewers poised for their first pennant race since 1992.
Pittsburgh (12-12) – Same as the Brewers here. They have an emerging pitching staff that might rival Atlanta’s of the early 1990’s. The competitiveness is there and while this year should shake out to be a .500 type year the prospects are endless.
Chicago (10-14) – $270 million and a Sweet Lou = A lower finsh in the standings. Lou Pinella and the other players they brought in are not going to turn the struggling Cubbies around. Late inning losses and some bad losses at home will set the tone for the season.
Houston (10-14) – This team is exactly where they expected to be. Looks like Brad Lidge is done. I feel this will be a very dull team to follow.
St.Louis (10-14) – Despite a slow start to the season I feel the defending Champs will be able to turn things around. They are in a notoriously weak divison and will be able to pick up some garbage wins along the way. Hope the death of teamate Hancock won’t damage their season.
Arizona (16-11) Good pitching, will have better leadership now that The Big Unit is back. Solid core throughout lineup should make NL West interesting with Padres and Dodgers.
Dodgers (15-11) Typical Dodger team, lots of pitching may have trouble scoring runs. They will continue to hang tough in this weak divison.
San Diego (13-13) The lack of hitting is starting to become evident. The rest of the divison has caught up and the Friars are still waiting for their pitchers to score some runs.
San Francisco (13-11) Bonds is on a tear and an impressive win streak is deceptive of this teams true nature. Look for them to return to Earth and the bottom of the NL West stading by the end of May.
Colorado (10-16) Helton is still a stud but is playing with a group of nobodies. Clint Hurdle is probably on the block. Look for another losing season in the Mile High City.