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Marty's Musings April 19th: Cubs continue to roll

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Noah Syndergaard is currently the talk of the town and leads the story-line in MLB.

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to ‘Marty's Musings', my weekly column of numbers summarizing the past week in Major League Baseball. I am your guide for taking an analytic look at the prior week and the upcoming matchups to watch, identifying numbers that are generally not found in a standard box score.

The Cubs are rolling, Trevor Story remains the hit of the Rocky Mountains,and an aging All Star resigned in Texas. Check out this edition of ‘The Musings'.

Numbers

0-17 - Combined record to start the season for the Twins and Braves.  Both got off the snide at the same time, but the beginning of April was a disaster for both clubs who have a long summer ahead of them.

45 - The Cubs run differential entering Tuesday's games.  The Cubs are 10-3 and have been outscoring opponents at an average of 5.85 to 2.38 per game. The preseason darlings are living up to expectations coming out of the gate.

2 - Home runs in one inning for Mark Trumbo in the O's 11-5 win over the Rangers last Friday. Trumbo drove in five runs and became the first ever Baltimore player to hit two homers in one frame.

37 - Age of Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre who Texas inked to a two-year contract extension. Beltre remains highly effective and has put up at least a 4.6 fWAR in the past five seasons.  He current has a 134 wRC+.

6 - Home runs in one game for the Cardinals in a clobbering of the Reds. Last Friday, St. Louis had 13 hits and scored 14 aided by homers by Matt Holliday (who hit two), Aledmys Diaz, Randal Grichuk, Brandon Moss and Matt Adams.

361 - Career home runs for Ryan Howard who tied Joe DiMaggio last week for 81st place on the all-time list.  To put into perspective how the game has changed, the free swinging Howard passed Joe D in career strikeouts in mid-2007.

16 - Consecutive fastballs thrown by Phillies starter Vince Velasquez who struck out the side in the first inning of his start on Thursday.

What to Watch

There will be contests aplenty between young and talented rising stars this week. Here's a few to keep an eye on.

Tuesday, April 19

Logan Verrett (NYM) v. Vince Velasquez (PHI)

Velasquez dominated the Padres last week, pitching a complete game shutout on Thursday. On the season, he has 25 strikeouts and only three walks and is yet to allow a home run.  In his major league starting debut, Logan Verrett worked six innings of shutout ball against the Marlins.

Thursday, April 21

Jake Odorizzi (TB) v. David Price (BOS)

Odorizzi comes into the game with a 20:3 strikeout to walk ratio and goes up against David Price and the divisional rival Red Sox.  In his last start, he pitched seven innings of shutout ball against the White Sox.  David Price's dominance has yet to be on display in Boston though he continues to amass strikeouts. He has struck out at least eight in all of this three games.

Sunday, April 24

Noah Syndergaard (NYM) v. Julio Teheran (ATL)

Every start of Noah Syndergaard is must watch tv.  He's throwing in triple digits on multiple pitches(!!) and through 20 fantastic innings, has given up two earned runs and struck out 29.  AGainst a putrid Braves team, this could be a very entertaining (and one-sided) matchup.

*Matchups determined by pitching probables earlier in the week and are subject to change

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Steven Martano is an Editor at Beyond the Box Score, a Contributing Prospect Writer for the Colorado Rockies at Purple Row, and a contributing writer for The Hardball Times. You can follow him on Twitter at @SMartano