The Bullpen – May 20, 2015 Edition

As we are now about a quarter of the way through the regular season of the Major League Baseball season here is a look at the top teams as well as some of the surprising to this point in the season.

The Houston Astros (26-14) have to be the most surprising team this season in Major League Baseball. They currently lead the American League West by 5.5 games over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. They have the second best record in Major League Baseball behind the St. Louis Cardinals who are 26-13 on the season. Second baseman Jose Altuve is having a great season for the Astros as he lead the team in average (.319), Runs Batted In (24), OBP (.374), and hits at 52. It is great to see the Astros being successful after struggling for so many years. A couple of interesting stats about the Astons offense are that their season total of home runs is a major league-leading 60 through 40 games. However, the Astros have the worst team batting average (.229) in baseball. The long ball is definitely helping them out. Houston has five players with more than five homers each this season who are hitting under .250, three of them are hitting under .200. Astros batters have 362 strikeouts, second-most in baseball. Dallas Keuchel is leading the way on the pitching staff as he is 5-0 with an ERA of 1.87. The Houston Astros will start Dallas Keuchel against Jesse Hahn (1-3, 4.42 ERA) and the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday afternoon.

The St. Louis Cardinals are the top team in baseball right now as they are getting great production from Matt Holliday and Matt Carpenter. The 2 of them are leading the team in batting average Holliday – .315), RBI (Carpenter – 24), home runs (Carpenter – 7), OBP (Holliday – .435), and hits (Carpenter – 44). As a team they are hitting .268 and have driven in 168 runs. Michael Wacha is leading the way on their pitching staff as he is 6-0 with and ERA of 2.13. Lance Lynn has 58 strikeouts to lead the Cardinals. St. Louis will remain one of the tops teams in baseball as they have a great pitching staff and their offense continues to do well. They are currently leading MLB in team ERA at 2.79.

The Washington Nationals, New York Mets, and Los Angeles Dodgers are the other teams in the National League that are playing well right now. Expect the Dodgers to remain near the top in the NL West with their outstanding pitching staff. They are currently third in MLB and the NL with a team ERA of 3.23.

In the American League, the New York Yankees (22-18) are one of the surprising teams. They currently are tied atop the AL East with the Tampa Bay Rays. They are getting production from Alex Rodriguez, which not too many people expected. He is hitting .248 with 10 home runs and 22 RBI. The Yankees will need to have their players stay healthy if they want to compete this year. Jacoby Ellsbury is one of those players as he was just placed on the DL with a sprained knee.

The Kansas City Royals (25-14) and Detroit Tigers (23-17) will remain contenders in the AL Central. The Royals will be a team that is still around when the postseason rolls around. They just know how to play. They get great performances from their pitchers and their offense continues to come through as they are leading the AL in batting average at .287 and total hits at 391. The Royals team ERA is best in the AL at 3.29.

It has been a fun season so far in Major League Baseball. It is good to see the storied franchises doing well, but it is also good to see other teams battle as well that have struggled in the past. It is always to get some new blood in the mix to change things up.

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