Tampa Bay Rays, Boston Red Sox, St. Louis Cardinals, San Francisco Giants…..
In recent years these teams have been grouped together. The top four have been sitting in the bottom of their respective divisions, while the bottom four have been at the top of their divisions fighting for the post season and winning pennants.
This year, however, it is the exact opposite. The Orioles have just one loss and lead the AL East, ahead of the Yankees, Red Sox and Rays. The Royals and Indians are tied with the White Sox for the lead in the AL Central. The Pirates are second in the NL Central, behind the Reds. The Rays and Red Sox are not only at the bottom of the AL East, but have fallen into the cellar. It is now a race to see who can win a game before the other. It is hard to believe the two are the only teams without a win this season, combined 0-12. The Cardinals lead only the woeful Astros and the defending champion Giants are in last place.
I know, I know…..IT’S EARLY!
However, it is worth pointing out the strange start to the season. If the end of the season is anything like the beginning of the season, the playoffs may be the most unpredictable in recent memory.
Strange things are not just happening in team standings, but for individuals as well. Albert Pujols opened the season by grounding into a career high three double plays and is hitting just .182. Carl Crawford has struggled with his new team, hitting just .174. It was no secret there would be some issues with the Red Sox pitching, but the team has a MLB high ERA at a blistering 7.13.
You can take from the start of the season what you want, but like Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa said, “It’s early in the season!”