Back from the trip of a lifetime honeymooning in Italy.  But I am home and ready to present the current ROTO category leaders five and a half weeks into this young baseball season (as of 5/6/18). A lot has changed since my last update.  Let’s dig in!

Wins

AL – BOS Rick Porcello/CLE Corey Kluber/NYY Luis Severino (5)

This is a nice trio of pitchers and no surprise here as they are all at or near the top of their divisions.  Sure a lot of credit goes to the pitching, but when your offense is as good as these three, wins aren’t so hard to come by.  Run support numbers in their wins:  Porcello (37), Kluber (33), and Severino (34).

    Favorite in the Group – CLE Corey Kluber

Kluber is easily one of the top pitchers in baseball over the last few years and gets to face a Brewers squad unfamiliar with his stuff.  He’s been a fairly reverse split so far this season giving up a wOBA of .225 and an OBP of only .208 to lefties.  We’ll see if the Brewers can handle it with their team 23.4% K-rate.

    Waiting in the Weeds – CLE Carlos Carrasco

NL – WSH Max Scherzer (6)

About what we’ve expected from Scherzer, and even deserves one more after his most recent outing.  See K’s for better description of his season thus far.

    Favorite in the Group – N/A

    Waiting in the Weeds – PHI Aaron Nola

 

Saves

AL – SEA Edwin Diaz (13)

Diaz has looked great so far, with his highest K% of his career at 42.5%.  His SIERA is excellent as well sitting at 2.26 while throwing mainly 4-seamers (98mph) and sliders (90mph).

    Favorite in the Group – N/A

    Waiting in the Weeds – BOS Craig Kimbrel

NL – COL Wade Davis (13)

He throws most of his pitches hard, but rarely straight.  Davis features a devastating cutter and breaking ball to go along with his 4-seam fastball.  In April, his breaking pitches produced a 42.86% whiff rate and has only improved that number in the small sample size in May at 66.67

    Favorite in the Group – N/A

    Waiting in the Weeds –  ARI Brad Boxberger

On the all beef team.  Brad Boxberger, George Bamberger, Hal Bamberger, Boze Berger, Brandon Berger, Clarence Berger, Heinie Berger (my favorite name), Joe Berger, Johnny Berger, Tun Berger, Wally Berger, Peter BERGERon (a stretch), Ray King (nicknamed Burger), and soon to be Jake Burger.

Strikeouts

AL – HOU Gerrit Cole (77)

Here’s where the real fun begins.  Barring any type of injuries, it looks to be a two man race for the MLB strikeout king between Cole and his NL counterpart.  Although still early in the season, there should be a few others to join the race.  Everything is working for Cole, with his heat in the mid to high 90’s and keeping the ball low.  He’s primarily used his 4-seam and curveball and through 50.2 innings, he sits third in K/9 at 13.68 and tops in baseball with a 41.9 K%.

    Favorite in the Group – N/A

    Waiting in the Weeds – HOU Justin Verlander

Houston’s good.  Houston’s real good!

NL – WSH Max Scherzer (80)

As expected, Scherzer is running away with the strikeout lead in the NL as the next closest is Corbin at 60 K’s.  Scherzer deserves another W for the way he pitched the other day against the Phillies going 6.1 innings with 15 K’s.  His velocity is consistently in the mid 90’s with his fastball.  He ranks 2nd in all of baseball with a FIP of 1.74 and 4th in xFIP at 2.59.  The K/9 is the highest since debuting in the majors at 13.94.

    Favorite in the Group – N/A

    Waiting in the Weeds – ARI Patrick Corbin

Doubt he catches the top spot, but he’s really the closest there is, especially with Jacob deGrom and Clayton Kershaw injured.  A healthy Stephen Strasburg or Noah Syndergaard may be the best options to wait in the weeds soon.

 

ERA

AL – HOU Justin Verlander (1.17)

Houston starters have done a fantastic job limiting runs.  They have far and away given up the least amount of runs on the season giving up 103, while the next closest is the Diamondbacks at 112.  The 35-year old has continued his dominant ways similar to how he closed out 2017 with the World Series Champs.  Not only is he leading the league in IP at 53.2, but he is also 2nd in SIERA at 2.72 trailing only his teammate Cole.

    Favorite in the Group – N/A

    Waiting in the Weeds – HOU Gerrit Cole

NL – MIA Jarlin Garcia (1.09)

This guy sort of came out of no where joining the Marlins big league club as a reliever from AA last year.  He had no starts and only 53.1 innings of work with a 1-2 record.  To start of 2018, in four starts and 33.0 innings he has only allowed 15 hits and four earned runs giving him that ridiculous 1.09 ERA.  We’ll see if he can keep this up with more scouting reports available the more he pitches.

    Favorite in the Group – N/A

    Waiting in the Weeds – STL Carlos Martinez

 

WHIP

AL – OAK Sean Manaea (0.66)

He has been pitching great in 2018, however much of this number can be attributed to his no hitter along with his AL leading BABIP at .167.  He gives up a lot of ground balls, which could eventually lead to more base hits as he is not much of a swing and miss guy at 7.61 K/9

    Favorite in the Group – N/A

    Waiting in the Weeds – HOU Gerrit Cole

NL – ARI Patrick Corbin (0.76)

Similar to Manaea, Corbin seemed to be more known for his ability to keep the ball on the ground.  But the strike out numbers are showing up as well at a career best 11.74 K/9.  The ground balls are no surprise as Corbin relies on the slider and sinker.  Understandably so, he has only faced 37 lefties giving up just five hits and three walks and a wOBA of .186 and a wOBA of .242 to righties.

    Favorite in the Group – N/A 

    Waiting in the Weeds – WSH Max Scherzer

 

Runs

AL – BOS Mookie Betts (36)

Acting pretty GOATly this season, Mookie is dazzling in many offensive categories.  He is currently day-to-day with a right shoulder contusion, but hopefully he makes his way back quick.  If he’s this good at baseball, I Betts you he’s good at recovering as well.  Bad pun, I get understand.  He is leading baseball in wRC+ by a large margin at 225 and a .818 SLG%.

    Favorite in the Group – N/A

    Waiting in the Weeds – LAA Mike Trout

AL all-star outfield is going to be fun this year.  Should be an exciting 1-2 punch for AL leader in R.

NL – ATL Ozzie Albies (33)

Ozzie in his second season has already almost surpassed all of his statistics from last year.  The wOBA is there at .386, and he’s a guy that will steal a base or take the extra base on his hit slugging .597.  The Atlanta offense was exciting enough already, then Ronald Acuna Jr. was called up.  Scary team to face and a lot of run potential.

    Favorite in the Group – N/A

    Waiting in the Weeds – WSH Bryce Harper

 

Homeruns

AL – BOS Mookie Betts (13)

Unbelievable hitter, but at some point you expect the likely suspects to start creeping up, even with Trout as the weed waiter.

    Favorite in the Group – N/A

    Waiting in the Weeds – LAA Mike Trout

NL – WSH Bryce Harper (12)

Bryce-A-Roni really wants to get paid, and the torrid home run pace that he’s on is certainly helping.  Outside of a few games, Bryce has been struggling a bit lately.  The K% (15.9) is the lowest and BB% (24.8) is the highest of his career.  The walks may hurt his opportunity to maintain this lead, but he is absolutely talented enough to stay there.

    Favorite in the Group – N/A

    Waiting in the Weeds – COL Charlie Blackmon

 

RBIs

AL – OAK Jed Lowrie (31)

Easy MVP for Oakland so far, and a bit of a surprise.  We’ll see if he sustains this pace, but something tells me he’ll regress throughout the year.  Time will tell.

    Favorite in the Group – N/A

    Waiting in the Weeds – NYY Didi Gregorius

NL – ARI A.J. Pollock (29)

It’s nice to see Pollock healthy as he has been on and off the DL since his 2015 all star campaign.  Should he stay healthy, he could finish with some great numbers.  He has been given plenty of RBI opportunities batting mainly in the cleanup spot behind David Peralta, Ketel Marte, and Paul Goldschmidt.

    Favorite in the Group – N/A

    Waiting in the Weeds – WSH Bryce Harper

 

Stolen Bases

AL – SEA Dee Gordon (14)

Sweet Dee showing off the speed.  His OBP is the highest of his career at .367 and Gordon is always a threat to swipe more than one bag in a game.

    Favorite in the Group – N/A

    Waiting in the Weeds – CHW Tim Anderson

NL – ATL Ender Inciarte (13)

Wish his name was Beginner instead of Ender, and not because of his ability/inability to play baseball.  He generally leads off on the Atlanta squad, gets on base and then is off to the races.

    Favorite in the Group – N/A

    Waiting in the Weeds – WSH Trea Turner

 

Batting Average

AL – BOS Mookie Betts (.355)

    Favorite in the Group – N/A

    Waiting in the Weeds – OAK Jed Lowrie

NL – ATL Nick Markakis (.344)

Markakis is part of the exciting Atlanta team.  He rarely strikes out with a K% of 8.6.  A hitter that makes as much contact as him is bound to have a solid average but expect this to slowly work its way down as he has not had an AVG above .300 since 2008.

    Favorite in the Group – N/A

    Waiting in the Weeds – NYM Asdrubal Cabrera

  1. formrchildmodel says:
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    Love seeing these.

    As a Phillies fan, I was going to chime in about Odubel as the waiting in the weeds guy for AVG, but in good sense went back and read the intro. He’s gone 7 for 13 from the May 6 until now. So it would seem a lot has changed even from your update to this morning.

    Hope you enjoyed Italy. My wife and I went for our 1 year anniversary. We loved it so much, we are probably going to postpone other bucket list trips to go back soon.

  2. Ricky Olshansky

    Ricky Olshansky says:
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    Much appreciated and highly recommend Amalfi Coast area (Positano, Ravello, Capri) and also highly recommend avoiding cabs in Naples, absolutely terrifying.

    There is a slight grace period for editing and publishing as I try and wait until after Sunday’s games finish so the stats are up to date for that week, and usually finish descriptions Monday before the first game of the new week. But usually takes 1.5 to 2 days to be published, so there is always a decent chance that some of the numbers change by the time it’s out there.

    Odubel would currently be waiting in the weeds, and I like his matchup tonight against Stratton, could surpass Kemp and take over as NL AVG leader tonight. Since you’re a Philly fan, it looks like Nola’s the real deal, and he too would be currently waiting in the weeds in W behind Scherzer.

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