Here we are – a whole week into the 2013 season – and the MLB has not disappointed. We’ve seen history (that’s you, Chris Davis), Number One’s that got absolutely destroyed and youth that is ushering in the new breed of super-stars already having an impact on their organizations and respective fan bases. Good things are happening in the game with more to come.
This is the point when teams start to establish an identity, when our pre-season predictions begin to gain traction or fall along the way. But to anoint certain teams or individuals with batting titles or a pennant would be a disservice to the game of baseball and all of its glorified randomness. Such an exercise always proves futile, but I won’t let being wrong deter me from making some bold statements concerning teams Anyways, we are 7/162 into the season – its time to evaluate some underrated ball clubs in the Left Coast Leagues.
The A’s are riding a 5-game win streak that is due in part to their young pitching who – so far – has held off a decline in performance that many industry experts had expected to occur. The staff has an ERA of 3.23, good for 9th in the league, and gotten impressive power performances from Josh Reddick and Yoenis Cespedes, two-thirds of a talented outfield that could produce 90 home runs this season. They swept the Astros and split their home opener with Seattle, so the real test could be coming up in a series against the Angels in Anaheim. This could prove to be the marquee matchup during the season if both teams prove to as good as advertised. Oakland could be poised for another AL West Title if the Angels can’t find a solution to their pitching problems.
For the NL West, we have the feel good story of the Colorado Rockies who sit at 5-1 atop the division standings. Led by a staff that has an ERA of 2.80, 1st in the league and the powerful and talented combination of Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez who are showing the Rockies’ front office why they signed them to long-term contracts. They go against the reigning World Champs in San Francisco, which might be the farthest thing from Coors field in terms of hitting dynamics of a park. Where the ball flies in the thin air of Denver, the ball dies because of thick, dense ocean air that makes AT&T a power hitter’s graveyard. How this effects Colorado’s lineup remains to be seen, but we can expect diminished offensive ball game and spirited series where the teams competitive spirits come out in full.
It’s a long season and we are in the very beginning of a six-month journey that will feature many turns and twists. Will these two teams continue to thrive or will they buckle under the stresses of a 162 game schedule? Do you guys have an opinion on the Left Coast so far?? Feel free to leave comments below.