The first two months of the MLB 2016 season were rather unusual. Teams who weren’t expected to win were winning, and teams expected to lose were losing. Well, it appears as if the standings are finally starting to form up as expected. The Phillies, who raced out to one of the best records in the game after three weeks, have come crashing back to earth. Philadelphia is just 5-17 in their last 22 games and are no longer winning one close game after another. Another team that started out well and are fading fast are the Chicago White Sox. The White Sox, who owned the best record in the American League one month ago, are just 8-22 in their last 30 games. The White Sox rotation, which held up the first month, has fallen apart, just as we all expected. Kenny Williams and Rick Hahn, rather than wait for the trade deadline, made a move now, trading for James Shields to try to fix some of their rotation problems.
Meanwhile, there is the flip-side of that. There are also teams who were supposed to contend, that started the season cold, and are now warning up. First and foremost, would be the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals were a mess the first two months of the season. Their offense was struggling, their rotation was a mess, and a lot of people were pushing the panic button in St. Louis. The rotation has started to turn the corner the last few weeks. Carlos Martinez, their young star arm, is starting to get warm, and staff ace Adam Wainwright is back to his old self. Overall, the Cardinals have won five in a row and are 7-1 in their last 8 games. The hottest team in baseball at the moment though is the Texas Rangers. The Rangers, who sort of sputtered in first gear to begin the season, are 17-5 in their last 22 games despite their catching issues. The Rangers offense is just on a fire and so is their bullpen. Still, they need to upgrade their catching situation, and the arrow keeps pointing to Jonathan Lucroy. The holdup is over the return for Lucroy. Rangers GM Jon Daniels wants to part with ready now prospects. Brewers GM David Stearns wants long range prospects.
Speaking of those Brewers, they are one of the few teams who aren’t “forming up” right now. The Brewers currently sit at 30-33, and took the last two games of a four game series this weekend against the vaunted New York Mets. Still, let’s check back in two weeks from now, this four games series with the Mets was the beginning of the toughest part of the Brewers entire 2016 schedule. Between now and the All Star break, outside of a two game series against the Athletics, the Brewers play five teams, the Mets, the Nationals, the Cardinals, the Giants, and the Dodgers. Let’s see where they are two weeks from now, or even at the All Star break.