Holy crap! I’m not sure that anybody was ready for the above headline!
As of the writing of this blog, the Mets and the Angels both have 10 wins, the first two teams to double digit wins in their respective leagues. Hell, they were the first two teams to double digit wins in Major League Baseball.
While it is still incredibly early in the season and none of this truly matters, it does display something that nobody saw coming: both teams are off to a scorching hot start. Does this change how I think this season will play out? No, not really, anyway. Not at this time.
The buzz has mostly been around the Angels and their new phenom, Shohei Ohtani. Ohtani is a pitcher, as well as a hitter, and has been incredibly efficient through the first 13 games of the season. He is slashing .364/.417/.773 with 3 HRs and 8 RBIs, as well as a 1.189 OPS. That is pretty damn impressive, in and of itself. I truly believe that pitchers will figure him out as the season goes on. But considering that nobody knew how he would translate from the Nippon League to Major League Baseball, this has been a significant start.
One of the most fascinating things about Ohtani is that he not only hits well, but he pitches every sixth day also. And how has the pitching gone so far? Ohtani has had two regular season starts and owns a 2-0 record with a 2.08 ERA, surrendering only 4 hits and 3 earned runs. However, he has struck out 18 batters so far, including taking a no-hitter in to the 7th inning during his second start.
The amount of success that Ohtani has had is impressive, but the rest of the team has been very efficient, as well. They are batting .283 as a squad, while slugging .474. Those are fantastic numbers this early in the season. As I said before, they will more than likely level off, but it sure is fun to watch in the mean time.
There has not been nearly as much buzz around the Mets, which is very surprising to me. During the NL Preview episode of The Outfielder Podcast, Jimmy Midtown gave Ben and I a formula that would allow the Mets to have a pretty decent season. Ironically, they have followed that exact model and it is paying dividends, so far, anyway.
The Nationals have gotten off to a slow start and that has afforded the Mets some breathing room to build a small lead. Gabe Kapler has also been helpful to the Mets’ efforts, given that he has blown several games for the Phillies.
The Mets’ numbers aren’t anything sexy, but the important part is the amount of production they’re getting out of players such as Adrian Gonzalez and Michael Conforto, now that he is finally healthy.
As we cruise towards May, it will be a lot of fun to watch both of these teams to see if they can keep up their current pace. I have not changed my mind about where I think both of these teams will fall in the standings when we get to October. However, it is certainly fun to see these teams do something that nobody expects. And, at the end of the day, isn’t that what baseball is all about?