We are almost two weeks in to the 2011 MLB season and it’s time for some overreactions. I know we’re not even 1/10th of the way into the season but it’s never too early to start looking towards the playoffs! Today, I’m going to introduce you to three teams that, if the season ended today, would be in the playoffs. That’s right, these teams are leading their divisions and surprising everyone. While Texas has gotten off to a hot start, I’m not covering them because we all knew they’d win the AL West this year, right? It’s not like any of us were hoping the Mariners could make a run at it, right? That just would have been crazy. One day. Anyway, these three teams are headed to the playoffs and you may not have seen them coming.
Yes, the Cleveland Indians. This is a team that has won 8 in a row but can’t manage to draw 10,000 fans to a home game. Even the Tampa Bay Rays fans are shaking their heads in disappointment. After dropping their first two to the White Sox, the Indians turned it around and swept the Red Sox and then the Mariners. It’s about time something good happens to Cleveland. Their basketball team sucks thanks to LeBron, their football team is named the Browns and the Indians haven’t won their division since 2007 when they had Cliff Lee and C.C. Sabathia. Fausto Carmona is the only starting pitcher on their team that I knew before the season and he’s had a rough start. I suppose we should have all seen this coming though. The Indians do have guitar legend Carlos Santana starting at catcher. Oh wait, it’s not the same person? I just pray that Justin Masterson cools off because I can’t handle another “Masterson is Masterful!” headline. Oh and will someone tell Travis Hafner that he doesn’t look cool with his shirt unbuttoned! You’re wearing an undershirt. We can’t even see your amazing chest hair!
I really want to say that I saw this one coming. Because I did see it coming. Really. But I didn’t tell anyone. The Orioles actually have a good team this year. Remember the last time the Orioles won the AL East? I don’t either. It was 1997 and I had to look it up. But this year is supposed to be different and it’s started off that way. When I went into my fantasy baseball draft, I wanted to pick up as many players as I could from three teams: The Baltimore Orioles, the Toronto Blue Jays, and the Pittsburgh Pirates. I thought these three teams would surprise everyone and I wanted to stock up on their best players for their breakout years. Did I succeed? Of course not! From the Orioles, I managed to snag Matt Wieters (when I already had two other catchers) and Adam Jones. Ha! I cut Wieters a week into the season and Adam Jones is only starting in my outfield because I have no one better. Although, if you look at the Orioles lineup, no one is hitting very well. Actually, they’re hitting about as well as the Mariners. So basically, they’re not hitting. It’s their pitching that’s carrying them. I didn’t think to draft any of the Orioles pitchers but I was able to pick up Jeremy Guthrie. Let’s be honest though, Zach Britton is the one that I really wanted. And why not? He’s going to be a star and is already looking pretty impressive. But of course, he was already taken. I wanted to get him for $1 and since it’s a keeper league, he’d be mine for years at a super cheap price. What would you say if I told you that you could have a Cy Young winner for under $10, is that something you might be interested in? Wait, what am I saying? You don’t want Britton, cut him now!
ROCKIES! Yes, Coloradans, I am finally mentioning your Rockies. I have no choice. They are a good team. So good that Jose Lopez is playing well. Jose Lopez! Coming from a Mariners fan, don’t get used to it. Again, what really surprises me is their pitching. I’m noticing a trend here. Teams that have good pitching get off to good starts and yet, we are surprised. I am having a little problem getting over one thing though: When did Coors Field become a pitcher’s ballpark? It seems like all the Rockies starting pitchers are actually good. I remember when Pedro Astacio was the only pitcher who could find any success in Colorado. Now I’m trying to talk myself out of picking up Esmil Rogers in my fantasy baseball league. Everyone is supposed to hit home runs in Colorado. Not shutouts and no-hitters. It’s just not supposed to happen. I can’t handle change. Does no one remember the Blake Street Bombers?