MLB

8 Early MLB Trends That Will Last (and 4 That Won’t)

We’re one-eighth of the way through the MLB season and Curtis Granderson (.141), Jose Bautista (.145), and Dexter Fowler (.186) are all making less contact than your ugly friend on Bumble. It’s a small sample size, but we know some of these trends are going to die out like fanny packs and Canadian tuxedos, while others will live on like Aviator sunglasses and…wait a second…hipsters brought back the Canadian tuxedo? Had no idea. Anyway, here are the early MLB trends that’ll last, and the ones that won’t…

The Eight That Will Last:

8. Bryce Harper’s MVP-caliber Season

Bryce Harper got off to a ridiculously hot start in 2016 before cooling off, so what’s different this year? His health. (And his hair product — he upgraded from Axe to L’Oreal). Harper’s .423 BA and 1.373 OPS will *probably* drop off come October, but we fully expect a transcendent .330+ BA, 40-homer, 1.000 OPS season…

7. Eric Thames Power Surge

What did they feed Thames in Korea and what shady Seoul-based supplement website do we have to visit to procure the same concoction? Most thought the Brewers slugger’s early season home runs were an anomaly, but they weren’t. Thames drives the ball to the opposite field, hits off-speed pitches well, and could very well reach the 45-homer plateau by the end of the season…




6. J.T. Realmuto’s All-Star Season

Did you know that Realmuto — a last name that kinda sounds like a ’90s Pokemon character or Tamagotchi rival — hit .303 last year with a .771 OPS? He’s currently hitting .354 for the Marlins, and let’s be real: you probably didn’t know J.T. Realmuto from S.J. Tamagotchi until reading this, which is fine, you have a life, we understand. Just know when Miami’s in the hunt late in the season, it ain’t all Giancarlo Stanton and Christian Yelich — J.T. is (for) Real…

5. Steven Souza Jr.’s Breakout Year

The former Nationals prospect put up so-so numbers for the Rays in the first two years of his tenure, but is currently hitting .330 with a .404 OBP. He’s destined to fall off, right? Not in our eyes. SSJ’s plate discipline has dramatically improved over the last year, and his overall focus has as well. Is it depressing that we’ve already watched three Rays games on MLBTV and can actually analyze Souza’s swing and tendencies? Yes, but let’s not get into that…

4. Dansby Swanson’s Woeful Hitting

Through 19 games, Swanson’s line is .143/.165/.195. That’s…not good. Swanson might end up being an okay hitter, be we think he has “Gordon Beckham 2.0” written all over him. He’ll be fighting with the Mendoza line all season and might not come out on top…




3. Byron Buxton’s Equally Woeful Hitting


The Twins’ top prospect also doesn’t look anywhere close to Major League ready. After flashing signs late in 2016, it appears those meaningless games don’t translate to the meaningful ones. Buxton looks more lost than a tourist on Hollywood Boulevard who thought the iconic street was full of wonder and movie stars, not sewage and crackheads…

2. The Royals En Route To A Rebuild

Lorenzo Cain, Eric Hosmer, Moose-tacos, and Alcides Escobar are all free agents after this season, and it’s almost a lock that at least two of the four will be wearing a different jersey next season. The KC pitching staff is struggling after the tragic loss of Yordano Ventura and nobody on the team is hitting over .300 — this Royals team is far removed from the 2015 World Series squad…




1. The Diamondbacks and Rockies Atop the NL West


Every single mainstay in Arizona’s lineup — every single one — is hitting over .293. The Diamondbacks’ potent lineup combined with solid starting pitching has proved a winning combination in Phoenix, while Colorado has relied on the same formula to excel both at home and on the road this season. The Dodgers will be there with them, but either of these teams could take the NL West crown and do damage in the playoffs…




The Four That Will Not Last:

4. Mark Reynolds’ Scorching Hot Start

Mark Reynolds’ swing is longer than a Tolstoy novel and has more holes than an M. Night Shyamalan script. This isn’t the first time he’s gotten off to a scorching hot start, but trust us, it won’t last…

3. Kyle Schwarber’s Uncharacteristically Slow Start

Schwarb’s hitting just .213 thus far, but boasts a .351 OBP. What does that mean? Everyone in the league is pitching him very, very carefully. The Cubbies’ offense hasn’t really gotten going yet, but when it does, Schwarber will start doing what he does best: turning baseballs into Statcast parabolas…




2. Texas Near Last Place in the AL West

This doesn’t mean that we think the Rangers are a top five AL team (we don’t), but they definitely have a chance to win 85-90 games because their division, outside of the Astros, is so darn bad. They’ve gotten off to a slow start, but Texas should be able to dominate its division and make a run in the second half…

1. Baltimore Leading the AL East

This one’s tricky because Manny Machado (.205) and Mark Trumbo (.190) aren’t hitting, but the O’s are still winning games. That being said, even with Trumchado’s struggles, the starting pitching in Baltimore outside of Dylan Bundy leaves a lot to be desired. We’re putting our money on the idea that Wade Miley, Ubaldo “Gopher Ball” Jimenez, and Kevin Gausman can’t combine to win enough games to keep the O’s on top of the Red Sox and Yankees. Change-for-a-Buck Showalter is getting the most out of his guys per usual, but we can’t envision their AL East supremacy lasting into June…

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