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A Review Of MLB 2019's First Two Weeks And A Rest-Of-Season Outlook

The 2019 MLB season is already about 1/16 of the way done and there's a lot to talk about.

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Note: All statistics and standings referenced in this article were sourced from the official MLB website.


AL

East

The AL East has been quite a surprising division, with the Tampa Bay Rays jumping out to a quick nine and three record, with the third best win percentage in the entire league. Perhaps the biggest concern in this division is not the unexpected rise to the top for the Rays, but the fall of the defending World Series Champions, the Boston Red Sox, to the bottom of the division, with just a measly 3 wins. I am sure the Red Sox will recover from their slow start, but considering they are already 6 games behind the division leading Rays, it will hard for them to win their division once again.

Central

The Indians are once again leading the AL Central here in the early goings of the season, with a seven-three record to start the year. However, the Tigers have also made a name for themselves already, just a half a game behind Cleveland with a seven-four record, and the Minnesota Twins are only a game behind as well. This division may well be an interesting one to watch as the season goes on, with lots of teams already in close contention and winning records.

West

My oh my, the league-leading Seattle Mariners are on top of the AL West, with an impressive 10 wins and two losses to make for a lopsided .833 win percentage. It helps that their bats have stayed hot and their pitching has stayed dominant, accounting for their league-best +37 run differential. The next best team, the Astros, are already 3.5 games behind the Mariners, and considering the Mariners show no signs of slowing, they will likely dominate the rest of the season.

NL

East

The NL East has been my personal favorite division so far, not just because it has my personal favorite Atlanta Braves. Behind the AL Central, the NL East is the second-most competitive division so far in the year. After getting swept by the Philadelphia Phillies to start the year, the Braves have won six out of their last 7 games, jumping out to a six-four record, 1.5 games behind the seven-and-two Phillies. In addition, the Mets have also played well and are also only one game behind, with a six-three record.

Central

The NL Central has gone about as expected in the first two weeks. The defending AL Central champs Milwaukee Brewers have taken a two game lead already at eight wins and three losses, and the Cubs have gotten into a slump, falling to three-and-seven within the first 10 games. This division seems to be inconsistent outside of the Brewers, however, so it may be interesting to see what happens to the Pirates and the Cardinals as the season continues.

West

As to no one's surprise, the Dodgers have jumped out in front of the rest of the teams in the NL West, with an eight wins and three losses. This is especially unsurprising considering the Dodgers have Cody Bellinger, who leads the league in home runs with 7, and the fact that the Dodgers have the best team batting average in the league with .296. However, the seven-and-four San Diego Padres are just a game behind LA and one good series could put them ahead, making for a good battle the rest of the season.

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​A Division By Division Review Of April In The MLB

The 2019 MLB season is well underway, so it may be safer to make some predictions.

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(All statistics referenced are from https://www.mlb.com/.)

Now that most teams have played at least 30 games, we are about 1/5 of the way through the 162 games for each team, which still leaves a huge amount of baseball to be played. However, a lot of predictions and inferences can be made with this large sample size of April, and while they may not hold up, they do have solid evidence behind them. So with that, let's review the pennant races after April.

NL East

The NL East is shaping out to be a competitive division this year, not because all the teams are exceptionally good, but because the teams are well-matched (excluding the MLB-worst Marlins). The Phillies got off to a hot start but cooled off for a bit and picked up steam again, winning seven of their last 10 to lead the division by 1.5 games over the Braves, who are also heating up. The Mets and Nationals are under .500 and slowing down.

NL Central

This division has been wildly competitive as of late, and going to be in my opinion the most fun to watch over the next few weeks. The red-hot Cubs have won their last 7 games, taking the top spot from the Cardinals, who have lost their last four. The Brewers and Pirates are also very close, 1.5 and 3 games back respectively, and on 3 and 2-game win streaks respectively.

NL West

The Dodgers and Diamondbacks have revived a strong rivalry and have kindled a strong battle already, playing good baseball, with both teams winning 7 out of their last 10. Both clubs already have 20 wins and are only aiming for more. The Padres are also starting to show signs of improvement, but it is likely that the Dodgers and Diamondbacks will be the ones battling for their division.

AL East

Surprisingly, Tampa Bay continues their new success atop the AL East, two games over the Yankees. No one expected the Rays to jump out and lead the division, but they have started to maintain their success and seem to be here for real. Both the Yankees and the Red Sox are finally recovering after shockingly slow starts, 19-14 and 17-18 on the year respectively, good enough for 2nd and 3rd place in the division. If Tampa Bay can play well against the Red Sox and Yanks in their matchups, the Rays can distance themselves in the race.

AL Central

Another surprise, the Twins lead the AL Central by two games, over the Cleveland Indians, who many expected to lead the division this year. While the Indians are 18-14, their expected average factoring in Runs Scored and Runs Allowed should be 15-17, and every club in the AL Central has a negative run differential except the Indians, so it may be safe to say the Twins might be leading for a while.

AL West

In the AL West, the Astros have reclaimed the top spot and look to defend their title. The Mariners, whom no one expected to get to get off to the hot start that they enjoyed, have really fallen off and gotten themselves into a slump, dropping seven of their last 10 games to fall to a 19-17 record. The Astros will likely continue their success and stay atop the AL West

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