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Max Rosenfeld

One Thing We’ve Learned About Each Team Through Six Weeks

As Memorial Day approaches, teams are beginning to form identities. Players are approaching the All-Star push and front offices are noticing which holes may need to be addressed at the deadline. So, what is one thing we have learned about each club six weeks into the season?

National League West

Arizona Diamondbacks: A.J. Pollock makes all the difference. Pollock missed the majority of last season with a fractured elbow, but has returned in top form this year batting .304/.342/.464 while leading the Diamondbacks to a surprising 19-6 start.

Colorado Rockies: This team is a true playoff contender. They boast one of the deepest lineups in baseball and a young rotation that is capable of growing as the year progresses. Look out for the Rockies in October.

Los Angeles Dodgers: Julio Urias is 20 years old and is ridiculous. Urias owns a 1.08 ERA in 17 innings pitched, and looks to fill the void of Zack Greinke two seasons ago.

San Diego Padres: Not only do they hold the number one pick in this year’s draft, but the Padres are strong contenders for next year’s number one selection as well.

San Francisco Giants: Injuries to Madison Bumgarner and a plethora of outfielders has the Giants playing like one of the worst teams in baseball.

National League Central

Chicago Cubs: When healthy, Wade Davis is the best closer in the game. The Cubs currently have no regrets about letting Aroldis Chapman walk in the offseason as Davis has yet to allow an earned run.

Cincinnati Reds: Reds fans love to “Woo!”…look it up, it’s horrifying.

Milwaukee Brewers: Milwaukee is showing signs of a strong rebuild. The club currently holds an 18-17 record and has outperformed expectations. Although they aren’t expected to keep up this pace, this is an encouraging sign for the franchise.

Pittsburgh Pirates: Andrew McCutchen really is done. The former MVP is batting only .215 and has shown that last year’s poor performance was not a fluke but a clear sign of regression.

St. Louis Cardinals: Perhaps “The Cardinal Way” really does exist. Winners of six straight, the first place Cardinals are streaking.

National League East

Atlanta Braves: Bartolo Colon is no longer a reliable MLB pitcher. The Braves signed the fan favorite to a one year deal in the offseason, but the right hander has struggled with a 7.22 ERA.

Miami Marlins: Christian Yelich is quietly one of the best hitters in the National League. Yelich is batting .281/.331/.422 in the heart of the Marlins order. Although the Marlins have plummeted in the standings, they are still fun to watch given their explosive offense.

New York Mets: Michael Conforto is legitimate star. He wasn’t even supposed to play every day, but now the outfielder is batting .337/.430/.652 with 8 home runs and 21 RBI’s out of the leadoff spot.

Philadelphia Phillies: They are who we thought they were. The Phillies are a below average to decent team with an eye toward the future.

Washington Nationals: Even without Adam Eaton, the Nationals are the best offensive team in baseball. They lead Major League baseball in batting average, on base percentage, slugging, home runs, and runs scored.

American League West

Houston Astros: Dallas Keuchel is back. The southpaw currently owns a 1.88 ERA to go along with a 5-0 record and has been one of the most dominating pitchers in all of baseball.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: Mike Trout is continuing to pave his path to Cooperstown. Trout is undeniably the best player in baseball and may go down as one of the greatest in the history of the sport.

Oakland Athletics: Sonny Gray might be bumping up his trade stock. He’s looked solid in two starts this season.

Seattle Mariners: Nelson Cruz may be under-appreciated. He is currently batting .325 with 7 home runs.

Texas Rangers: Mike Napoli’s playoff magic may have ran out, as the Rangers are in last place in the AL West and do not look like they’ll be able to jump the Astros or Mariners.

American League Central

Chicago White Sox: The Sox are open to dealing with anyone, including the Cubs. General Manager Rick Hahn made this clear recently.

Cleveland Indians: Francisco Lindor really is the best shortstop in baseball. Lindor burst onto the scene in last year’s playoffs, and is continuing his stellar play thus far batting .288/.347/.561 with 8 home runs and 20 RBI’s. Add this offensive output to a strong defensive skill set and you have yourself a superstar.

Detroit Tigers: The window of contention for this Tigers team is likely over. Detroit currently stands at 16-16 and is far inferior to the Indians, who are expected to run away with the AL Central.

Kansas City Royals: It’s time to blow the Royals up. Kansas City is in last place in the AL Central with a 13-21 record.

Minnesota Twins: Byron Buxton is not ready and he may never be. Once considered a can’t miss prospect, Buxton is batting just .188 on the young season.

American League East

Baltimore Orioles: They’re going to outperform preseason expectations. Again. PECOTA pegged them for 73 wins in March, but the O’s are off to a hot 22-11 start.

Boston Red Sox: Chris Sale is unhittable. The lefty has a 1.92 ERA and 73 strikeouts in 51.2 innings pitched.

New York Yankees: The Baby Bombers are ahead of schedule. This was supposed to be a developmental year for the Yankees, but suddenly Aaron Judge has 13 home runs and the Yankees own the best record in baseball. Just wait until Clint Frazier and Blake Rutherford come up- the Evil Empire has returned.

Tampa Bay Rays: Chris Archer is back. Archer has a 3-1 record and 3.04 ERA

Toronto Blue Jays: Jose Bautista’s offseason contract demands were even more ludicrous than we thought. The former All-Star is hitting only .177.

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Max is a student at Saint Joseph's University where he is a Communication Studies major. He is a contributing writer for Baseknock MLB and the host of the Payoff Pitch Podcast, which airs every Tuesday morning.

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