The National League has gotten off to wild start in 2015 as the New York Mets have gotten off to the hottest start in the league. The Mets who many had behind the Washington Nationals have jumped out to a 11-3 record to start the season while the Nationals are just 7-7.
As we start to look at the Mets success early on it simply comes down to the teams success on the mound. Through the teams first 14 games, the Mets have allowed just 42 runs while the teams offense has outscored their opponents by 22 runs to start the season.
Along with the Mets a few of the other hot teams around the National League include the Atlanta Braves, the St. Louis Cardinals, the Chicago Cubs, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Diego Padres.
Here is a quick overview of each division in the American League.
East Division: Entering the season all the media basically crowned the Washington Nationals the top team in the National League. Yes we might have been on board with that after the team landed Max Scherzer to anchor a rotation that led all of baseball in earned run average. The downside while the pitching has pitched well for the Nationals the team has only outscored their opponents by two runs.
While the Nationals have struggled to score runs the Mets have been red hot winning nine straight games to move to 11-3. The teams success has been built around strong starting pitching including Jacob deGrom, Jonathan Niese, Bartolo Colon and Matt Harvey.
deGrom might be the hottest pitcher in baseball allowing just two earned runs over his first 19.1 innings. Along with deGrom, Niese has a 1.50 earned run average in three starts while colon has a 2.25 earned run average in three starts.
Following the Mets in the standings has been the surprise Atlanta Brave who has gotten off to a 8-5 record without Justin Upton, Evan Gattis or Jason Heyward in the lineup. The Nationals currently sit in third at 7-7 after going 6-4 over their last ten games followed the Philadelphia Phillies and Miami Marlins.
Central Division: In the central division the St. Louis Cardinals hold a slight advantage over the Chicago Cubs for the top spot. While many expected the Cardinals to compete this year many did not have the Cubs as a serious contender despite landing Jon Lester this offseason.
Along with their hot start the Cubs also made the biggest move of the week calling up top prospect Kris Bryant to join a lineup that includes Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo. The Cubs have picked up wins in their last two games as well as seven over their last 10 games.
Now that we hyped up the Cubs lets get back to the Cardinals who sit in first place at 8-4. While we saw the Cardinals being one of the top teams in the division we did not expect to see their pitching being this good after trading away Shelby Miller. The Cardinals currently lead the league allowing just 26 runs in those 12 games.
Leading the staff for the Cardinals is Michael Wacha who has pitched to a 1.35 earned run average over his first two games. Along with Wacha the entire starting rotation for the Cardinals currently sit under a 2.77 earned run average.
Rounding out the rest of the Central Division is the Cincinnati Reds at 7-7 in third place followed by the Pittsburgh Pirates and Milwaukee Brewers.
West Division: Yes we love to see the Mets and Cardinals get off to hot starts but the West Division is where all the real firepower of the division is. In the front of the pack stands the Los Angeles Dodgers at 9-4 including winning seven of their last 10 games. The second team in the division we are paying close attention to is the San Diego Padres who are 8-2 over their last 10 games.
Despite the strong start the Dodgers have yet to get it going this year as they have only scored 65 runs to start the season while the pitching staff has allowed 52. The good news is after a rough first two outings Clayton Kershaw bounced back allowing just one earned run over six innings striking out 12 Colorado Rockies.
Following up the Dodgers is the Padres whose offseason acquisitions are paying off early as they currently lead the National League with 80 runs scored. Matt Kemp currently leads the club with 14 runs batted in while other newcomers Justin Upton (8), Will Myers (10) and Will Middlebrooks (11) have combined to drive in 29 more runs. The four have combined to hit eight home runs to start the season.
Rounding out the NL West is the Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks both at 7-7 followed by the defending World Series champions the San Francisco Giants.
Now that we have taken a look at each of the divisions around Major League Baseball we can take a look at individuals. Here is our list of top individual performers over the first week of the season.
Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds: Votto has been red hot start the season hitting .377 with six home runs and 13 runs driven in over his first 14 games. This is a sign the fans of Cincinnati will like to see after Votto has battled injuries over the past few seasons since signing his big contract.
Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks: The Diamondbacks first baseman has continued his solid start picking up three home runs over his last seven games. In that seven game stretch Goldschmidt has a total of seven hits, six runs scored and eight runs driven in.
Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals: After taking the loss on opening day, Scherzer has allowed just two earned runs over his next 14 innings while striking out 17 hitters. The key offseason acquisition has pitched to just a .83 earned run average over his first three starts.
Anthony DeSclafani, Cincinnati Reds: DeSclafani might not just be a sleeper to start this season he might be pitching the best in all of baseball. The Reds starter allowed zero earned runs over 15 innings last week following up his first start of these season in which he allowed just two earned runs over six innings.