I spent some time studying the MLB standings this morning, and there are some interesting observations to be made.....
- First and foremost, your Pittsburgh Pirates are five games over .500 at 21-16 and in third place in the NL Central, 2.5 games behind the Reds. If the season ended today, they'd be in the playoffs, but it is WAY too early for that kind of talk (as the past two seasons have taught us).
- The Pirates next 13 games are against the Hated Brewers, Astros and Cubs. These teams are collective thirty games under .500 and are a combined 7-23 in their last ten games. Ten of those thirteen games are at home. The Pirates may never face a softer sequence of games during the season.
- That said, the Cardinals and Reds are looking strong and the Pirates are going to have a tough time beating them out in the Central, although in six games against them thus far, the Pirates are 5-1. I know, I know...small sample size.
- How would you like to be a baseball fan in the land of the Big Spenders in SoCal? The Dodgers are 15-21, in last place in the NL West, seven games out of first. The Angels are 14-23, in fourth place in the AL West (thank you, Astros), and ten games out of first.
- Think Don Mattingly and Mike Scioscia are feeling any heat out there?
- The Yankees lost all their good players to injury before the season, were aging rapidly, and were pretty much given up for dead before the start of the season, right? Then how come they are 23-13 and in first place in the AL East? And Mark Tiexiera and Curtis Granderson will be back soon. I guess Brian Cashman may be the most under-rated GM in all of MLB. Yankees haters should probably postpone the party plans for the time being.
- The Red Sox, who had a very hot start are 2-8 in their last ten games, but still sit at 22-16, two games behind the Yanks. This, of course, means that ESPN will continue to televise every single one of the forty or so games these two teams play against each other this season.
- And here's another big spender not doing so well. The Toronto Blue Jays, who had perhaps the splashiest off-season of any team, are 15-24, in last place, 9.5 games behind New York.
- The sexy pick to go all the way this year was the Washington Nationals, and they are doing just okay so far: 20-17 and 1 game behind Atlanta in the NL East. Of greater concern to Nats fans might be that I believe that they are 0-5 in their games against those same Atlanta Braves so far.
- The Giants, the most unassuming two-of-the-last-three-World-Series-winners in memory, are chugging along, eight games over .500 and with a two game lead in the NL West.
- The Orioles are showing that 2012 wasn't a fluke. They are eight games over .500 and one game behind the Yankees in the AL East.
- You think Los Angeles fans are suffering, how about those in the City of Broad Shoulders? The Cubs and White Sox are a combined 30-42 and both are in last place in their divisions.
- Cleveland is tied with Detroit for first place in the AL Central. Did anyone see that coming, and is it sustainable?
- Kansas City, a franchise almost as bad as the Pirates over the last 20 years or so, is holding its own at 18-16 and 1.5 games behind the Indians and Tigers.