Two weeks of the season down, two weeks of Matt Kemp taking player of the week honors in the NL. He also won the last player of the week award last season, so it’s three straight for him. The kid is pretty good, no?
Kemp won the award again for a week in which he went 12-for-22, hit four home runs and had 26 total bases, helping lead the Dodgers to the best record in baseball. So far this season Kemp is hitting .487/.523/1.026 with six homers, which is pretty nuts, even for a small as heck sample size.
In the AL, the award went to Josh Willingham of the Minnesota Twins. In six games last week, Willingham batted .455 (10-for-22) with a double, three home runs, four RBI, three walks and six runs. On the season he’s hitting .419/.514/.871, leading the league in the latter two categories.
For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League Central
Do the Indians have a weakness? Do the Tigers and Royals have one more playoff push in them or do they have to start contemplating rebuilds? The White Sox and Twins are rebuilding, but do either of them have a chance to be remotely competitive?
As we sit here in March, the answers are “not really,” “possibly,” and “not a chance.” There are no games that count this March, however, so they’re just guesses. But educated ones! Here are the links to our guesses and our education for all of the clubs of the AL Central:
Kansas City Royals
Chicago White Sox
For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the National League East
The Washington Nationals crave a playoff run that doesn’t end at the division series. The Mets crave a season in which they don’t have a press conference about an injured pitcher. The Marlins are trying to put the nightmare of the end of the 2016 behind them. The Phillies and Braves are hoping to move on from the “lose tons of games” phase of their rebuilds and move on to the “hey, these kids can play!” phase.
There is a ton of star power in the NL East — Harper, Scherzer, Cespedes, Syndergaard, Stanton, Freeman — some great young talent on ever roster and, in Ichiro and Bartolo, the two oldest players in the game. Maybe the division can’t lay claim to the best team in baseball, but there will certainly be some interesting baseball in the division.
Here’s how each team breaks down:
New York Mets