I was lucky enough to grow up playing organized baseball and hockey until the tender age of 16. Though I could hold my own on the ice and field, I was never very good, especially compared to my buddy, Tom. Tom was a head taller than everyone else, threw harder than everyone and his ball always seemed to go farther when he hit it. On a grassroots level it can be expected for one player to physically dominate, but at an elite level like in the Major League Baseball, it just doesn’t happen – very often. The last week of dominance that Josh Hamilton displayed was rare, awe-inspiring and something that we will all remember for years to come. Speaking of never forgetting…
In Case You Missed It
- C.J Wilson started in back to back games, becoming the first Angels free agent this year to show up for consecutive games.
- Stephen Strasburg struck out the Pirates 13 times in 6 innings, making Neil Walker, Clint Barmes and Garrett Jones look like below average hitters…
- Wilson Ramos will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL, adding to the impressive string of talent on the DL for the Nationals
- The closer troubles for teams like the Mets, Marlins and Blue Jays are still that- troubles.
Single: The Hamilton Chronicles
Hamilton is the talk of the league, and for good reason. Hamilton hit .467 with 9HR and 18 RBI in ONE WEEK! Teams will start pitching around him, but when you have a lineup so deep and versatile, pitching staffs in the American League are going to have to pick their poison when it comes to the Rangers. There’s no way to give Hamilton his proper just-do, but to but this week and season in perspective:
- More home runs (18) then walks (13- and 5 of those were intentional)
- Is hitting a home run every 7.6 AB this season
- No player has hit more home runs through 35 games
- 8 of his 18 home runs came in either the first or second pitch of the at bat
Double: Two Teams That Can Score
There are two teams in the National League that seemed to have gotten their offence going. Both the New York Mets and the Milwaukee Brewers are scoring runs in bunches, and the credit can be given to their leaders in their batting order. David Wright for the Mets and Ryan Braun for the Brewers have been hitting the cover off the ball, with both hitting above .430 the last week and cashing over bets for bettors. The Mets were 6-0 to the over, with the Brewers a profitable 4-2. The strong trend to the over for these two teams has something to do with their pitching staffs as well, with both teams being in the bottom third of the league in ERA, WHIP and errors. On top of that, when the starters get pulled, you can feel safe to know these bullpens are vulnerable to give up runs, as the Mets and Brewers have 2 of the worst 3 bullpen ERA’s in baseball. Now, I know your asking, “When do these teams play each other next so I can blindly bet the over”? The answer to that would be Monday when they open a brief 2 game set in Citi Field.
Triple: Three Matchups to Look Forward To
Detroit (D. Smyly) vs. Chicago (AL) (J. Danks)
- The Tigers come back from their week long road trip out West to play division rival Chicago for a short 2 game series. Tigers rookie Drew Smyly has been great, posting a 1-0 record (team is 4-1 in his starts), 1.09 ERA and 1.09 WHIP. He will be facing a lineup that hits lefties at .193, dead last in the majors. This will be the first time Smyly sees a team for the second time (Box score HERE) so seeing how he changes his approach to hitters he’s seen will tell the story in this one.
St. Louis @ San Francisco ( Wednesday, Thursday)
Another short 2 game series between the last 2 World Series Champions. San Fran is having troubles putting runs on the board, whereas the Cardinals are scoring in bunches, led by Carlos Beltran, who’s .298/13HR/32RBI has Cardinal fans over that Pujols guy.
Boston @ Philadelphia ( Friday-Sunday)
Two of the most popular teams in the league facing off in what should be an entertaining inter-league series. Both have massively disappointed this season, whether due to injuries (Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Jacoby Ellsbury) or underachievement (Adrian Gonzalez, Roy Halladay). Note that Jonathan Papelbon is getting his first chance to face his old pals in Boston since he left as a UFA. No word on whether he will have time to go to a quick 18 with buddy Josh Beckett.
Homerun: Hamilton Chronicles II
Enjoy the video below!