Now that the baseball season is more than a month old, we’re starting to get an idea of which teams are good and which have some room for improvement. Here’s a look at some of the teams that are off to hot starts on offense, which may include some surprises based on preseason expectations.
This was supposed to be a rebuilding year for the Mariners after they traded away players such as veterans Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz. But they came out of the gate quickly, jumping out to the best record in the majors and showing off some power in the process. T
They set a new MLB record by hitting at least one home run in each of their first 20 games en route to a 13-7 record in those games. They scored 132 runs in those 20 games, an average of more than 6.5 runs per game. After suffering their first shutout of the season in their 21st game, they came back with an 11-run showing in their next game. They hit 53 home runs in their first 24 games, tying the record set by the Cardinals in 2000. They’re due to experience some regression to the mean as the season progresses, but for now, they are the most productive lineup in baseball.
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers opened the season strong, launching eight home runs on opening day the way to a 12-5 victory against the Diamondbacks. Like the Mariners, they’re averaging more than six runs per game in the early going of the season.
Cody Bellinger is a big part of that success on offense, as he trails only reigning National League MVP Christian Yelich atop the MLB leaderboard for home runs. The Dodgers already have more than 40 home runs for the season, setting up the possibility for them to break the National League record of 249 home runs, set by the Astros in 2000.
New York Mets
The Mets were in the bottom half of the majors in many offensive categories last season, including being tied for last with a .234 team batting average. A productive offseason saw them add veteran hitters such as Robinson Cano, Jed Lowrie, and Wilson Ramos. But perhaps their best addition at the plate in 2019 is National League Rookie of the Year candidate 1B Pete Alonso, who was one of the last players to make the Mets’ major-league roster coming out of spring training.
Alonso’s career is off to a strong start as he is hitting well over .300 with eight home runs already. Overall, the Mets are in the top 10 in the majors in batting average and hits, a big improvement over last season.
The Cubs’ pitching staff has been in the headlines for how disappointing it’s been so far this season, and that overshadows how good the offense has been early on this season. Few teams in baseball have a more productive lineup than the Cubs.
The usual suspects — including Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, and Kyle Schwarber — started slow, but Jason Heyward and Willson Contreras picked up the slack. Both are hitting well over .300, and Contreras already has six home runs, which is already more than half of the 10 he hit a season ago. He’s on pace to break his career-high of 21 homers.
The Astros currently sit near the top of the majors in batting average, with several players hitting over .300 so far this season. Among them is one of the team’s offseason acquisitions, Michael Brantley. Jose Altuve, surprisingly, isn’t one of the players above .300, but he enjoyed a power surge in April with eight home runs, just five shy of the 13 he hit in his injury-shortened season in 2018. Houston has one of the best lineups in baseball right now, and the fast start will help the Astros as they look to make another deep postseason run in 2019.