The third week of the Major League Baseball season is over as the New York Mets continued to dominate in the National League. The Mets have been the talk of the season early on after a very strong start. That success continued last week as the Mets reeled off four wins in a six games stretch.
Those two losses were at the hands of the New York Yankees over the weekend. Overall the Mets have won four of their first six series including four of them against the National League East division. Overall on the season the Mets are 13-3 against the Division with sweeps over the Philadelphia Phillies, Atlanta Braves and Miami Marlins.
The other big news from around the National League this week was the devastating injury sustained to Adam Wainwright. Wainwright who stumbled out of the batter’s box on Saturday Night suffered an injury to his Achilles that will result him missing the remainder of the season. The Cardinals have the top record in the National League Central at this point.
Here is a quick overview of each division in the National League.
East Division: The Mets continue to be the talk of the NL East after jumping out to a 14-5 record. After Sunday’s loss to the Yankees, the Mets still held a commanding six game lead over the division despite losing two of their last three games. The keys to their success this season has been their pitching as they have outscored their opponents by a league high 27 runs through 19 games.
Continuing to be a big disappoint is the Washington Nationals who finished up the week losing five straight games including losing their final two games against the St. Louis Cardinals and a series sweep in Miami. The team’s only win this past week came on Tuesday as they won 2-1 in extra innings.
The concerns continue to be revolving around the team’s ability to score runs. In those seven games last week, the Nationals scored a total of 15 runs while their pitching allowed 38 runs. In between those two teams sit the Braves, Marlins and the Phillies.
Central Division: All eyes will be on the Cardinals after the team suffered a key blow to their rotation. Now many will wonder if they will regret the offseason trade that saw Shelby Miller dealt to the Atlanta Braves. Overall the Cardinals posted a 4-2 record last week was the pitching was brilliant.
In those six starts, the Cardinals rotation allowed just 14 runs with six of those coming on Sunday. Following the Cardinals in the standings are the Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates who started a three game slate on Monday. The Pirates were red hot last week winning five of seven games including winning five straight after opening the week with back to back losses to the Cubs.
The Cubs also played great ball winning four of six contests in large part due to their success on the mound. Jake Arrieta picked up wins against both the Pirates and the Cincinnati Reds. The former Baltimore Orioles starter has found his way in Chicago and that trend has continued this season. Arrieta is 3-1 with a 2.03 earned run average including allowing just three earned runs last week in 13 innings.
At the bottom of the NL Central sit the Reds in fourth place followed by the struggling Milwaukee Brewers.
West Division: Out West this division continues to be crowded from the top to the bottom with all five teams having at least eight wins to start the season. This was a division many had as a one sided contest led by the Los Angeles Dodgers who currently sat in first place with a 11-7 record after the team failed to sweep the San Diego Padres on Sunday.
Despite sitting in first place the Dodgers had a rough start to last week losing three straight games to the San Francisco Giants at home after the team struggled to score runs. The Dodgers lost game one 6-2, game two 3-2 and game three 3-2 in extra innings. Luckily for them the other four teams struggled as well.
The Rockies managed to play to just a 3-3 record falling right behind the Giants in the standings followed by the Padres, Arizona Diamondbacks and San Francisco Giants. The Giants were the hot team in the division winning four of five but still sit in last place.
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 third week of the season in the National League.
Alex Guerrero, Los Angeles Dodgers: A name that many people out East might not know of is heating up for the Dodgers. That guy is Alex Guerrero who has only appeared in 11 games this season for the team. Last week, Guerrero hit as well as any other player in Major League baseball picking up three home runs in just eight gat bats. In all Guerrero picked up six hits to go with five runs batted in and three runs scored.
Zack Cozart, Cincinnati Reds: While Cozart only hit .250 last week he did manage to pick up three home runs and drive in seven runs for the Reds. Overall the hitters around the league where quiet making it difficult to find a few really good options on this list.
Dee Gordon, Miami Marlins: No one expects to see a ton of power from Gordon but he did do his job to get on base. Last week, Gordon picked up 11 hits in 28 at bats driving in one run, stealing two bases and scoring a couple runs.
Jake Arrieta, Chicago Cubs: Yes the Cubs have Jon Lester but Arrieta has been the real deal for the team this year. Last week, Arrieta appeared in two games allowing a combined three earned runs over 13 innings while striking out 13 in route to picking up two wins.