What we know about the 2016 Baseball Season so Far
Posted by: Anthony Yaylor
Fans who bet on MLB at online sportsbooks may have been understandably distracted by the NBA and NHL Final series, and thus may have missed a few of the following tidbits:
The Chicago Cubs are the MLB equivalent of the NBA (regular season) Golden State Warriors. Following a loss to the Mets in the NLCS last season, the Cubs picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and signed such free agents as Jason Heyward and John Lackey. Their current 47-21 record puts them in line to challenge for the best record in baseball’s modern era, held by the 2001 Seattle Mariners.
The Texas Rangers have achieved more than just belated revenge. Regardless of how good it must’ve felt for Rougned ‘Body’ Odor – and by extension for Rangers fans – to sucker punch Jose Bautista (don’t try this at home), the fact is that Texas has achieved a lot more than that. For example, they have the best record in the American League in spite of injuries and the shortcomings of players like Yu Darvish, Prince Fielder and Shin-Soo Choo. Do you have to be oddly named to land a spot in the Rangers’ roster?
Clayton Kershaw is still the best pitcher in baseball. And Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead. The real story is that Kershaw has managed to be even better than his usual self in the first half of the 2016 season, with a 1.57 ERA, and walking only seven batters in 15 starts.
Mike Trout could be the next Ty Cobb. And not because he likes to assault handicapped fans (which he doesn’t). As people who bet on MLB might remember, Trout has set new records for career Wins Above Replacement in his age-20, age-21, age-22, and age-23 seasons – and he could conceivably match Cobb for the top spot in this his age 24 season.
Mets starter Noah Syndergaard throws a fastball harder than Thor throws Mjölnir. Syndergaard has averaged 98.2 mph with his fastballs in 2016, and ranks second in walks/ nine innings – behind the aforementioned Kershaw.
David ‘this is our f****** city!’ Ortiz is going out with a bang though his feet whimper. Big Papi’s last season is also turning out to be his best, despite unbearable feet pain. The 40-year-old designated hitter has a Major League-best 1.118 OPS – which has Red Sox fans who bet on MLB at online sportsbooks hoping his retirement is of the 10 minute kind.
The Giants are playoff-bound. In fact, Madison Bumgarner is already pitching at postseason level, with a 1.85 ERA. The Giants won the World Series in 2010, 2012 and 2014. And this is 2016. Will the trend continue?