Best record in the league for the Royals, less good for the defending champion and deGrom who continues to shine, return to what happened in this fourth week regular season MLB.
Fit Team: Kansas City Royals
For the first time since May 2015 – when the Royals won the World Series – Kansas City has the best record in the Major Leagues (15-8, .652 wins). After a fairly interesting start to the season, the Missouri franchise has passed the second over the past week. Victory against the Rays, sweep of the Tigers and 1/2 against the Pirates, Kansas City obtained six new victories, almost all gleaned away! The Royals are aggressive in attack (2e on stolen bases, 3e to the home runs) and it is bearing fruit for now.
The stalling team: Los Angeles Dodgers
Stop for the reigning champion this week. Opposed to the Padres and then to the Reds in two successive series in the Dodgers Stadium, Los Angeles has won only twice in seven games, showing itself in particular in difficulty against a direct opponent in the NL that they still dominate (tied with the Giants at the time of this writing). Particularly in difficulty to produce hits lately, however, the Dodgers remain a terrifying team, like their recent victory against the Reds (8-0). If there is nothing maddening for Californians, we will still have to hope that this bad patch ends as soon as possible.
Man of the moment: Mike Trout (CF, Angels)
The best player in the Major Leagues will not have needed much time to recall his superiority. Already in great shape, the Angels star today has the best slashline MLB (.426 BA, .539 OBP, .820 SLG, 1.359 OPS) and is just as dominant as usual. If he didn’t get the slightest home run this week, however, he split from a four-way match hits in the series’ first meeting against the Rangers, posting crazy averages in said series. Los Angeles still has only a slightly positive record (12-11) but can count on its superstar to hope to aim high this season.
The Strong Arm: Jacob deGrom (SP, Mets)
Jacob deGrom is on cloud nine at the start of the season. In the month of April, the Mets pitcher obtained 59 strikeouts in 35 rounds launched, all with an ERA of only 0.51! Uncompromising on the mound, he has already made three consecutive games at 14+ strikeouts, a record equaled in the Modern era. This week he rocked the Washington and Boston hitters and even offered himself two hits (and an RBI) against the Nationals, showing himself to be even more versatile than usual. If his Mets struggle to chain the victories, deGrom still recalls that he is a more than serious candidate to recover a NL Cy Young that he let go last year.
Action of the week: Rizzo future Cy Young?
Freddie Freeman in the box vs. pitchers: 😤
Freddie Freeman striking out vs. Anthony Rizzo: 😄
– The Athletic (@TheAthletic) April 29, 2021
- Injured against the Angels, Jake Odorizzi (SP, Astros) had to quickly give way to Kent Emanuel (RP, Astros). The latter then launched 8.2 innings, the longest relief since 1988 and the longest for a pitcher making his MLB debut since 1974.
- This season Fernando Tatìs Jr. (SS, Padres) takes pleasure in hurting the Dodgers. The Dominican currently has six home runs against Los Angeles this season, twice as many as any player against the Dodgers over the entire year 2020. Note that he also became the first shortstop to hit a home run in three consecutive matches at Dodgers Stadium even though he comes there as a visitor.
- In the first game of the series between Angels and Rangers, Shohei Ohtani (SP / DH, Angels) appeared on the mound being the leader of the Major Leagues in home run (7). The Japanese became the first starting pitcher to start a game with this status since Babe Ruth in 1921. It’s hard to be in better company.
- At 22, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (1B, Blue Jays) made the first 3-home-run game of his career against the Nationals. He thus becomes the youngest player in the history of the Blue Jays to achieve such a performance, and the youngest player in the history of MLB achieved this by adding 7 RBIs in the same game.
- During the Dodgers’ river success against the Reds yesterday (8-0), Clayton Kershaw (SP, Dodgers) recorded twenty-two swings and misses, tying his career record. The legend of Los Angeles compiles so far 39 strikeouts and an ERA of 2.10 in 38.2 innings pitched this season.
- The Giants’ rotation is running at full speed, and it shows in the stats. As reported for TheStrikeOut on Twitter, five starting pitchers from San Francisco have an ERA of less than 2.5: quite simply a first in MLB in an April since the A’s in 1978.
Image on top credit: AP Photo / Gene J. Puskar