5 teams off to hot starts and why they can keep it going

SEATTLE, WA - MARCH 31: Ichiro Suzuki
SEATTLE, WA - MARCH 31: Ichiro Suzuki /
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BALTIMORE, MD – APRIL 01: Jose Berrios
BALTIMORE, MD – APRIL 01: Jose Berrios /

Seattle Mariners

The Mariners kicked off the season facing the Indians, coming away winning the series and had James Paxton not imploded in the first inning, we might be talking about a sweep. Seattle’s offense has shown the power we expected clubbing five home runs against Cleveland, but their average .304 on-base percentage is concerning. Mariners start getting runners on base, this offense could be scary.

Their pitching, sans Paxton, has been excellent – particularly their bullpen which has only allowed three runs in 10 innings of work this season. The Mariners besting a team with World Series dreams like the Indians gives this club some much-needed confidence entering 2018.

Los Angeles Angels

Well, Ohtani got a hit as a DH so he’s officially a two-way superstar in the making (I kid..). But the kid impressed in his debut, making only one mistake by A’s 3B Matt Chapman made him pay on a three-run shot. But his ability to throw 98 mph fastball and then mix in a 90 mph fastball showcases how much control the 23-year-old has over his pitches. Outside of Tyler Skaggs, who shutout Oakland over 6 1/3 innings, each starter allowed three or more runs in their start. However, the bullpen has been locked-in, holding the A’s to four runs in 14.1 innings in relief.

Offensively, Mike Trout and Andrelton Simmons both have an OPS at or over .900, while new-comer Zach Cozart and 1B Jefry Marte are both hitting well to start the season. The Angels hot-hitting has them tied for 2nd in the league with 22 runs scored and also have the 2nd lowest strike-out rate at 14.2% so far. If the Angels can continue to improve in their rotation and keep pushing runs across this team is built for the postseason.

Minnesota Twins

The Twins are in the headlines for the wrong reason right now, but that doesn’t take away from their excellent starting pitching to start the season. So far, their starters have yet to surrender a single run. Jose Berrios was incredible in his complete game shutout of the Orioles, striking out six and only allowing three hits with a single walk.

The offense for the Twins is currently tied for the league-lead in team home runs with seven, but only have 15 runs scored on the season so far. Their .303 team on-base percentage needs to increase if they plan on being a postseason team. But with Miguel Sano striking out eight times already and Logan Morrison being held hitless thus far, if those two start hitting the Twins get two of their best run-producers going in the right direction.