Two weeks does not a six-month season make, but a few strong trends are beginning to emerge in the 2013 MLB regular season. First, the Atlanta Braves are seriously good. With only one loss to their record, the Braves emphatically went into their reigning division champion’s house and come away with a sweep against the Washington Nationals. They managed to build on their week one momentum and defeat both star pitchers Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez. Elsewhere in the National League East, New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey has emerged as a viable candidate to replace departed Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey and has led an effort to keep the Mets respectable in a very tough division. The National League Central is beating up on itself, as the once-struggling Pittsburgh Pirates swept the Cincinnati Reds to get back to .500 before welcoming division-leading St. Louis in for a three-game set before those scorching Braves come to town. In the NL West, the San Francisco Giants have continued backing solid pitching from aces Cain and Bumgarner with timely offense and are narrowly edging the upstart D’backs and resurgent Rockies for the crown.
In the American League, this week will see a matchup between the solid and AL Central leading staff of the Detroit Tigers and the Seattle Mariners who, with the addition of Hisashi Iwakuma, are no longer solely relying on the efforts of “King” Felix Hernandez. The Oakland A’s continue to have as strong a starting rotation as any team in the majors, and the sudden power from their outfield – including veteran speedster Coco Crisp – is giving them versatility for victory over the star power of the rival LA Angels of Anaheim. Finally, the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees are somewhat unexpectedly at the head of the American League East class because of strong pitching efforts thus far. can the Blue Jays overcome an injury to star shortstop Jose Reyes and make noise in the AL East? Will the Tampa Bay Rays‘ bats come alive and give some – any! – support to their strong pitching quintet? Let’s see what the 2013 MLB Season’s third week teaches us!