We are through April

#MLB #WashingtonNationals #MilwaukeeBrewers #ChicagoWhiteSox #MLBFirstMonth

It has been a fun month of baseball so far, a couple surprise teams performing pretty well through 23ish games. The White Sox are currently 13-10 and a half-game behind Cleveland for first in the AL Central. Even after trading Sale, and Quintana underperforming the Sox are still winning games and pitching well. Colorado is leading Arizona by a half-game in the NL West, two games ahead of the Dodgers and seven games ahead of the last-place San Fransico Giants. Finally, there are my Brewers who are one game behind the Cubs in the NL Central. After a 13-13 April, they are a little ahead of the rebuild in my opinion. While the pitching is cooling off significantly, it is fun to see them up there one game behind the Cubs.

AL Division Leaders

  • Baltimore/Yankees 15-8
  • Cleveland 14-10
  • Houston 16-9

NL Division Leaders

  • Washington 17-8
  • Chicago 13-11
  • Colorado 16-10

 

League Leaders

Washington hitters are destroying the stat categories to start the season, Ryan Zimmerman is leading the league in average hitting .420, and Bryce Harper is third .391. Zimmerman is also tied for the league lead with Eric Thames in home runs with 11 and first in RBI with 29 with Harper and Murphy in second at 26 RBI.

Chris Sale is dominating the pitching categories, the Red Sox haven’t given him any run support, but he has a 1.19 ERA and has struck out a league-leading 52 batters. Dallas Keuchel is having his bounceback year after an injury-plagued 2016 season he has five wins on the season.

The Brewers

As stated above, the Brewers are 13-13 and are performing better than I would have thought through the first month of the season. The Achilles heal of this team is the bullpen, the pen is 2-8 this season, blowing eight wins on the season has turned a great start into a good start. On Saturday we saw the pitchers blow a four-run lead twice against the Braves. Washington has been the hottest hitting team in the MLB and has surpassed the Brewers in almost all hitting categories this season, including the Nationals hitting .295 this season. The Brewers are still leading the MLB in HR with 45, second in the MLB with 52 doubles, second in slugging percentage, and third in OPS.

The White Sox

Quintana has been struggling to start the season he is 1-4 with a 5.22 ERA and hasn’t made it to the 7th inning yet this season. Before his last start 4-26 he was 0-4, against KC he was able to turn thing around, one earned run and struck out 10 over six innings. It’ll be interesting to see if he turns this around as he is one of the biggest trade chips left on this Sox team. Gonzalez and Holland have been pitching out of their minds right now. Gonzalez is 3-1 with a 3.27 ERA, and Holland is 2-2 with a 2.17 ERA. Much like the Brewers, I wouldn’t expect Holland and Gonzalez to maintain this success as the season continues.

Fantasy Baseball

As of now if you are giving away an MVP for this fantasy baseball season it has to be Ryan Zimmerman, he is crushing every category except for steals and potentially could have started this season undrafted in most leagues.

Everyone knows the story of Eric Thames by now, he had a historical first month of the season, and as a Brewers fan, he has been a blast to watch. It is interesting to see how the projections have changed for him over this month. He went from a huge question mark, no one really sure if he would be able to hit MLB pitching, to a guy who potentially could have 40 HR by the end of the season. His average is .345 right now, I don’t expect that to stay where it is now, but the HR, RBI, and R will remain at a very high level all season. Hopefully, we can see some steals, he has zero to start this season.

Aaron Judge is super hot to start this season as well, he would have been a late-round flier in most leagues. Currently, one HR off the lead league and has a nice .303 average in this early season.

Chris Sale has been the best pitcher in baseball to start the season, putting up Kershaw type numbers in the ratio categories, and on another level with strikeouts, unfortunately, he has been unlucky in the W category. He was able to win 15+ last season with a bad White Sox team, he should have no problem getting there with a great Red Sox team.

Ervin Santana has also been pitching out of his mind to start the season, playing on a bad Twins team he has 4 wins 26 Ks 0.77 ERA and .66 WHIP. Those ratio stats will be unsustainable, as a Santana owner, it may be beneficial to try and sell high on him at this point.

Ivan Nova has been a new man ever since he was traded to the Pirates last season, he was 5-2 last season with Pittsburg and has started this season 3-2 with a 1.50 ERA and a .75 WHIP including a complete game shutout in his last start against Miami. Over his last three starts he has gone 8.0 IP 7.0 IP and 9.0 IP only giving up three earned runs.

The Prospects

Yoan Moncada, the #1 prospect going into this season is hitting the ball pretty well in AAA he has a .314 average with 4 HR 7 RBI and 6 SB. The problem with Moncada at this point is his K/BB right now, he as 30 strikeouts in 21 games and only 10 walks. I would assume the White Sox want to see the walk rate go up and the strikeout rate goes down before a call up happens.

Amed Rosario, the #3 prospect is having a lot of success in AAA, and if the rumors prove to be true, he should be called up to the MLB very shortly. Hitting .404 in AAA with a .439 OBP. He isn’t a big power guy, but he has good speed and good hitting tools to help that Mets lineup. He is also a good defender and should provide a better glove than Jose Reyes at this point.

Austin Meadows, the #7 prospect has been struggling to start his season in AAA. He has struck out 20 times and only walked 5 in 21 games. He is only hitting .195 with a .247 OBP. Everyone expected him to get the call-up once Marte got suspended but it doesn’t look like the Pirates think he is ready.

Lucas Giolito, the #9 prospect is struggling to start the season in AAA. He is 0-3 in four starts and has a terrible 6.63 ERA and 1.53 WHIP.

Lewis Brinson, the #16 prospect is crushing it in Colorado Springs. I badly want to see him up in a Brewers uniform sooner than later. But, I see the Brewers doing what they did with Arcia and waiting until August to call him up.

 

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