It’s almost time to Play Ball

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Brentton Wharton, staff writer

MLB Spring Training kicked off two weeks ago as the teams got back into first gear with some pickup games.

The defending champion Los Angeles Dodgers went to bat against the Oakland Athletics in the first spring training game for both clubs. The Dodgers squeezed out a 2-1 victory over the A’s. There were some high scoring games also in the first weekend, with multiple games having one or both teams score 5 or more runs.

The Twins and Red Sox hit it off in a 7-6 thriller that was ultimately won by Minnesota. The Mariners and Padres gave us a really fun spring showdown, which saw the Mariners win 5-4. And in my opinion the highlight of the first weekend, the 9-7 firework show between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Atlanta Braves.

The Rays got the best of the Braves that day but Atlanta found themselves in the win column in their very next game, with a 5-3 win over the Boston Red Sox. So far there’s still three teams — after the first weekend — yet to take a loss, although only having played a few games, any win streak is a good one. The Miami Marlins are sitting atop of the National League at 3-0, with the Cubs and Dodgers right behind at 2-0. Over in the American League the top of the pack are the four one loss teams. That would be the Kansas City Royals and New York Yankees at 3-1, and right behind them are the 2-1 teams, the Los Angeles Angels and Toronto Blue Jays. 

As far as the preseason rankings go to the surprise of no one it’s the Dodgers claiming the top spot. Only fitting the defending champs crack the top spot as the team is set to defend their championship this season.

An interesting team ranked in the top ten, however, is the New York Mets. After missing the postseason with a 26-34 record they are a preseason top ten, and are even ranked above the Twins. NBC Sports has an interesting take on the Mets, saying “The Mets may not have landed Trevor Bauer, but they still should have a top 10 rotation. Carlos Carrasco — acquired from Cleveland with superstar shortstop Francisco Lindor — joins Jacob deGrom and Marcus Stroman (2020 opt out), and Noah Syndergaard will return after missing last season due to Tommy John surgery. Combine that with Lindor and James McCann lengthening a quality lineup, and the Mets look poised for a run at the NL East crown.”

The only way to find out who is gonna rise to the occasion and meet expectations this season is to tune in when it all starts. Come opening night, we’re gonna be ready for the first pitch.