The first month of Major League Baseball is in the books. Let’s take a look at how each division stands at this point.
Major League Baseball has seen a month of games come and go. While the American League has its projected leaders on top, the National League is seeing a shakeup in leadership. Let’s take a look at how the standings look a month in.
American League East
The Boston Red Sox are off to the hottest start in baseball with a 21-7 record. Behind this surging start to the season has been excellent hitting and pitching. Boston is currently sitting with the best batting average in baseball, fourth best wRC+, third lowest strikeout percentage and second highest OPS. In competition with the Red Sox are the New York Yankees. The Yankees lead the Sox in most positive offensive categories, however, their starting pitching is not quite on the level of the Red Sox. Currently, New York sits three games behind Boston, and the two are sure to battle it out through this long season.
American League Central
One of the few divisions in baseball that will not have too much competition, the Cleveland Indians have a hold on the American League Central. Despite having a bottom five offense in baseball as of now, Cleveland should be able to hang on to the division throughout the season. The AL Central may be the worst division in baseball and the first month of the season clearly demonstrates that. Pitching will be the major concern of the Indians. Cleveland is 16th in fielding independent pitching with a team-wide FIP of 4.03.
American League West
Out in the West, things are a bit more interesting. Defending World Series champion Houston is sitting on a 2.5 game lead over Seattle. The Mariners and Angels are off to decent starts this season; perhaps nobody getting more press time than Los Angeles. Between Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani and the addition of Zack Cozart, the Angels have been a trendy team to follow in 2018. Los Angeles is 16th in baseball in wRC+ and 18th in wOBA. However, the Angels are going to have a lot of work to do on the mound if they are going to catch Houston.
National League East
Surprisingly, the Washington Nationals are off to a rough start this season and are 5.5 games behind the first place Mets. Just behind the Mets are the Braves and Phillies,1.5 and 2.0 games out, respectively. New York is sixth in the Majors in team fielding independent pitching and eighth in WHIP.
National League Central
The top four teams in the NL Central are all within a game and a half, then there are the Cincinnati Reds, who are 10.5 games out. The Cubs and Pirates are both top ten teams in wRC+, the Cardinals are 15th, and the Brewers round it out at 26th. Right now, Milwaukee’s pitching is keeping them in the race with a top-five team in WHIP.
National League West
The NL West might be the most intriguing race of them all. The reigning National League champion Los Angeles Dodgers are fourth in the division and just lost Corey Seager for the season. Despite having the tenth best offense in wRC+ and seventh best pitching staff in the majors, the Dodgers just cannot seem to get it going. Statistically, it is hard to explain. However, bad luck is not likely to run the course of the season. Look for Los Angeles to bounce back by the All-Star break.