It's already been almost two months in the baseball season this year, so most anomalies have gone away, and now teams are beginning to play on the field like they "should" be playing on paper. So here are a few interesting things I've noticed:
Chad Billingsley is dominating - Of course I'll start off with the Dodgers. Everyone panicked right away when Bills had a couple bad starts at home and Cincinnati. Now he's got zero critics, and is looking very much like the pitcher with a career 3.56 ERA. He's strung together a few quality starts in a row, and has even pitched into the 7th inning twice in a row, something he hadn't done since the Summer of last year.
The Giants Offense sucks - You know what you have when your team Batting Average is .257 and you've only scored 175 Runs? A crappy offense. Everybody knows that the Giant's Pitching is awesome, but when your offense is 14th in the National League, with teams like San Diego and Washington above you, your doing that offense thing wrong.
The Nationals are Good(!) - At the time of this post, they are 23-22, and only look to get better as the year goes on. They'll likely get Jason Marquis back from the DL, along with Chien-Ming-Wang (pitchers who, on paper, should improve the team, although Wang is a question mark), Matt Capps has been amazing, and there's also this Strasburg kid you might have heard about.
The Tigers are Great - Call this blogger surprised, because I thought the Tigers would finish third in the AL Central and a good distance behind the Twins and White Sox. Their hitting has not missed Curtis Granderson (yet), with Austin Jackson and Magglio Ordonez being big reasons for that. Their pitching has also been solid, even with Porcello struggling so far. They'll have to get better to take down the Twins, but they might just be able to with some luck.
The Red Sox Offense is still Good - No, it's not going to hit Over 9000 Home Runs per year anymore, but anyone who thinks the Red Sox have a bad offense needs to learn a bit more about Baseball. Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis are very very good, Victor Martinez is one of the best hitting Catchers not named Mauer, and Adrian Beltre is looking like he's going to be a Middle of the Order threat. Big Papi even stopped sucking, surprisingly enough. But with their pitching, this offense is more than adequate.
Andre Ethier was walked to get to Manny Ramirez, more than once - Read that out loud. I shouldn't have to say much more.
The Braves Offense is Good - This is mostly a Mea Culpa on my part, as I was sure that the Braves Offense was going to be around 10th-11th in the National League, around the Cubs and Mets and just above the Giants. They've proven to be like the Red Sox Offense - good enough for their pitching. But some batters even have some pop, like that Heyward guy you might have heard of.
The Angels and Mariners are struggling - These are the two teams that were most often picked to win the AL West, and they are 3rd and 4th in that division respectively. Now, I can't just write each team off yet (after all, I picked the M's to win the AL West myself), but each team is looking pretty bad right now. The Angels pitching has been inconsistent, to say the least, while the M's hitting has been downright dreadful.
So there you go. Some of those things are easy to spot, even for the casual fan, but some of those are much more difficult, or, are hidden under all the NHL and NBA playoff talk on Sports Shows and websites. If you've noticed anything else below, or think for some strange reason that I'm wrong, leave a comment below.