The first full week of every month I’d like to give a brief recap of what I have seen from each division. This month, I’ll work down the standings from top bottom, then east to west.
- Washington Nationals (17-8)
The NL East leaders aren’t winning games with pitching, that’s for sure. But when you’ve belted 43 homers and boast a plus-48 run differential through the first month, pitching doesn’t really come into play, including a 23-5 whooping of the New York Mets on Sunday.
- Miami Marlins (11-12)
Despite having four hitters above .280, the Marlins struggle to produce runs. Free passes might help, but Miami sits dead last in the MLB in walks.
- Philadelphia Phillies (11-12)
After a six-game winning streak, Philadelphia has cooled off and dropped three in a row to the Los Angeles Dodgers. This perfectly average club will likely drop two or three more before getting another win with a trip to Chicago coming up.
- Atlanta Braves (10-13)
The Braves are winners of four of their last five. Of course, it helps playing the Mets and Milwaukee Brewers. Atlanta will need to figure things out late in games, as it is bottom-five in the league with just four saves and a 2-6 record in one-run games.
- New York Mets (10-14)
Lucas Duda hyperextended his elbow. David Wright is out with a shoulder injury. Yoenis Cespedes, hamstrung by a hamstring. Now Noah Syndergaard is the latest Met to fall victim to the disabled list with a “slightly torn lat muscle.” This might be a good time to feel the sting of the injury bug, but only if the Mets don’t dig into too deep of a hole without their starters.
- Baltimore Orioles (15-8)
The division co-leaders were consistent through the first month of the season and never lost more than two games in a row. Part of winning consistently comes with winning close games. The Orioles were 6-1 in one-run games in April.
- New York Yankees (15-8)
The Bronx Bombers lived up to their name by ripping an AL-leading 37 dingers in April. Rookie outfielder Aaron Judge has already hit 10 home runs on the season and, given his mammoth size, probably won’t slow down any time soon.
- Boston Red Sox (13-11)
Boston is getting things done on the opposite end of the spectrum from its division rival, with just 15 home runs in April—good enough for dead last in the MLB. It’s pitching that’s working for the Red Sox with a top-three ERA.
- Tampa Bay Rays (12-14)
The Rays are not in a great place offensively. They’re leading the MLB in strikeouts and tied with the Arizona Diamondback in runners left on base. Despite all that, they’re still top-10 in total bases.
- Toronto Blue Jays (8-17)
Toronto is still trying to recover from a seven-game slide during the first couple of weeks of the season. A turn around may not come until Josh Donaldson and Troy Tulowitzki return from the DL.
Photo by Brigham Berthold