Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Surprise Division Leaders

It's only April, but there are surprises atop three divisions - the White Sox, the A's (tied with the Angels), and the Marlins.

For Oakland's strong start, Jeff Hackman of the Hardball Times credits productive starting pitching.

The White Sox have based their success so far on both offense - 2nd in the AL only to Boston in runs scored, and first in home runs (led by Thome and Crede with 5 apiece) - and pitching (team ERA behind only Oakland and Minnesota). They've also benefited from a weaker-than-expected AL Central.

Florida's run seems the most likely to be a fluke - they've got a negative run differential, have beaten up on the Pirates and Nats, and their starting pitching hasn't been there: of their rotation, only Scott Olsen and Mark Hendrickson have ERAs under 6. Things could get ugly fast if the heavily-taxed bullpen starts to wear down or Hanley Ramirez goes into a slump. Also, despite their strong start, they're again having trouble filling the seats.


  1. The Marlins will win the World Series.

  2. The Marlin's starting rotation should solidify once their injured starters (Mitre, Sanchez, and Johnson) come back.

    That with a pretty good bullpen and a solid offense should help them compete for the wild card.....I hope.

  3. joe girardi was the key to their series chances. unless he's back this year they're fucked.

  4. I'm glad girardi is gone. Although we did have a good season with him at the helm, I'd much rather have pitchers with healthy arms after one season of work.

    Plus the Marlins are doing better than the Yankees right now and are paying about $170 million less.

  5. Jim Thome, off to another great start. a really unbelievable player.