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Overreactions from the First Two Weeks of the 2023 Season

4 min read
Randy Arrozorena taking part in for the Rays

As Main League Baseball rolls into its third weekend of 2023, naturally overreactions and sizzling takes fill social media feeds and speak reveals. So at the moment we’re having a look at a few of these reactions and early traits and trying to render verdicts.

Response: MLB’s new guidelines are working

Verdict: Not an Overreaction

Previous to this season, Main League Baseball applied a sweeping set of rule modifications designed to extend motion, quicken the tempo of play, and minimize down on total recreation lengths. To this point, the outcomes have been strikingly constructive. First, the league selected to closely limit the protection’s capacity to shift batters by requiring at the very least two infielders to be on both sides of second base on the time of pitch. Second, MLB altered the bases to be 3 sq. inches bigger than earlier than in an effort to extend the success fee of stolen base makes an attempt and to permit extra room on bases for participant security. Lastly, and maybe most notably, the pitch clock went into impact this season. Now, there’s a 30-second timer between batters, a 15-second timer between pitches when all bases are unoccupied, and a 20-second timer between pitches when bases are occupied. Pitchers are to be charged with a ball if a pitch just isn’t delivered earlier than the expiration of the timer, and batters are to be charged with a strike if they aren’t attentive and able to hit by the 8-second mark of every timer.

How have these modifications labored? League-wide batting common is up 16 factors, stolen bases are up 30%, and the typical recreation time is down by 31 minutes. Altogether, these numbers level in direction of these rule modifications serving their final function and certain point out that the 2023 rule modifications are right here to remain.

Response: The Tampa Bay Rays are one of the best staff in baseball

Verdict: Overreaction…barely

Tampa Bay stays undefeated at 11-0 and sits atop the American League East. The Rays lead the league with 83 runs scored, 14 greater than the second-place Los Angeles Dodgers whereas having surrendered solely 19 earned runs, the least within the league. Maybe much more remarkably, the Rays have actually solely performed one shut recreation, which was Monday’s 1-0 win over Boston.

Clearly, the Rays will finally lose, nevertheless, there may be nothing fluky about their begin to the 2023 season. Admittedly, the Rays haven’t performed the strongest competitors, having swept Detroit, Washington, Oakland, and Boston, nevertheless, they’ve dealt with these groups the best way an excellent staff is meant to. Nonetheless, Sportsbooks appear to be fading the early steam round Tampa Bay as DraftKings at present lists the Rays as solely a slight favourite to win the American League East, the third option to win the American League Pennant, and the seventh option to win the World Collection.

Response: The St. Louis Cardinals are in bother

Verdict: Overreaction

In distinction to Tampa Bay, the Cardinals have stumbled out of the gate in 2023 and discover themselves in fourth place within the Nationwide League Central, wanting up at even the rebuilding Cincinnati Reds. Regardless of the gradual begin, it isn’t time to write down the Cardinals off simply but.

First, the Cardinals managed to catch the World Collection favourite Atlanta Braves and division-leading Milwaukee within the first 10 video games of the season, dropping 5 of 6 to these two groups. Whereas their report may not present it, Cardinals hitters have been completely respectable so far posting the league’s fourth-highest batting common, second-highest on base share, and fourth-fewest strikeouts. Cardinals pitchers, alternatively, have struggled a bit so far, pitching to the league’s Nineteenth-lowest ERA.

Sportsbooks are but to overreact to the Cardinals’ gradual begin as DraftKings nonetheless lists St. Louis because the second option to win the Nationwide League Central, barely behind Milwaukee.

Response: The San Diego Padres burnt some huge cash this offseason

Verdict: Overreaction…for now

The San Diego Padres entered the 2023 season in win-now mode with proprietor Peter Seidler’s dedication to punching above their market weight. Finally yr’s commerce deadline, the membership made an enormous splash in buying outfielder Juan Soto from Washington previous to inking him to an enormous new contract. This offseason, the membership introduced in Xander Bogaerts on an enormous new deal and expanded its payroll to almost $250 million, the third highest within the league.

Early returns haven’t been constructive for the Padres because the membership sits a recreation above .500 and has posted decidedly common staff batting and pitching statistics. All hope just isn’t misplaced for San Diego as all-world shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. will rejoin the membership within the coming weeks together with beginning pitcher Joe Musgrove. The return of those two gamers and their potential reversion to type by others is purpose sufficient to maintain the religion with the Padres in the interim.

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