Welcome to ‘Marty’s Musings’, my weekly column of numbers summarizing the happenings in the baseball world. I am your guide for taking an analytic look at the news and notes throughout the game, and highlighting this week’s key pitching matchups.
All this news and more in this week’s Musings.
News and Notes
31 - Whit Merrifield has been off to a torrid start in Kansas City, continuing a hitting streak from last September, and mustering 31 consecutive games with a hit. The streak ended after a forgettable 0-for-6 game on Thursday afternoon against the Mariners, who defeated the Royals in extra innings. At least there’s one exciting player in Kansas City, because it looks like it’s going to be a long season for the 5-10 Royals.
62 - Plate appearances between hits for the Orioles Chris Davis, who finally broke through on an RBI single against the Red Sox last week. He didn’t have a hit in 33 at bats to start 2019, and his drought lasted from last season. Alas, he’s finally off the schnide.
2012 - The last time the Padres defeated the Diamondbacks in four consecutive meetings, which they did last week, taking three out of four games in the desert. San Diego currently sits in first place in the NL West with an 11-6 record, in large part due to the early-career success of rookie Fernando Tatis Jr.
7 - Consecutive games in which the Mets scored six or more runs, a franchise record. During those seven games however, they went 4-3 due to some unexpected pitching bumps, including Jacob deGrom’s worst start in nearly 18 months, which say his quality start streak end at 26.
4.6 - Billion dollar valuation Forbes put on the Yankees. Each of the 30 teams is worth at least $1 billion per the data, with the Marlins the least valuable, and the Yankees the most valuable. Not a bad little investment for the Steinbrenner family, as George purchased the team from CBS in 1973 for $8.7 million...yes, million.
11 - Extra base hits for Pete Alonso in his first ten games, the first time a player has done that since 1900. On the season. Alonso has six home runs and seven doubles in just 16 game to start the season.
6 - Weeks that Yankee ace Luis Severino will be shutdown due to a lat strain. The Yankees have suffered a myriad of injuries, with perhaps an even better team on the injured list than on the field. The Yankees suffered a three-game sweep at the hands of the Astros last week.
18 - Games to start the year in which the Seattle Mariners have hit a home run. The streak continued despite being swept from the Astros.
Matchups to Watch
Monday, April 15
Noah Syndergaard (NYM) v. Aaron Nola (PHI), 7:05 ET
Two of the most fun teams in baseball square off tonight in the best pitching matchup of the day. In last outing, Syndergaard posted a 7:0 strikeout to walk rate, but stayed in the game through seven innings and had trouble the third time through the Twins order. Nola has yet to hit his stride in 2019 and is looking to bounce back to his normal form at home.
Luis Castillo (CIN) v. Clayton Kershaw (LAD), 10:10 ET
Kershaw makes his 2019 debut at home Monday night against a revamped Reds team. Castillo has been excellent to start the season, but will take-on the potent Dodgers lineup, and an aging but still fun Clayton Kershaw.
Tuesday, April 16
Chris Sale (BOS) v. James Paxton (NYY), 6:35 ET
The first game of the ALDS rematch pits two struggling starters who were expected to dominate. Chris Sale has struggled with velocity issues through his first few starts, while James Paxton has not looked sharp and has yet to get out of the sixth inning in any of his first three starts.
Wednesday, April 17
Carlos Carrasco (CLE) v. Erik Swanson (SEA), 6:40 ET
The Mariners were off to a red-hot start before they were swept in Houston. They take on the defending NL Central champs this week, facing-off against Carlos Carrasco who has not gotten off to a good start. The Indians look like they are trying to win the division in the cheapest way possible...will it work? Maybe!
Friday, April 19
Eduardo Rodriguez (BOS) v. Charlie Morton (TB), 7:10 ET
With the Red Sox and Yankees stumbling out of the gate, the Rays are in position to stay relevant and make some noise in the AL East. Next weekend, they host the Red Sox, and get their chance to pounce against Eduardo Rodriguez who has had a rough start to the season (like the rest of the Sox rotation).
*All pitching matchups as of Sunday night’s pitching probables