It doesn’t take long for baseball fans to make definitive statements about a season. Only a handful of games is necessary for some to preemptively judge everything a success, a failure, a lot of fun or a certain 180-ish days of frustration.
Despite knowing that a lot can happen during the course of a 162-game season, that there will be multiple ebbs and flows, that almost nothing you see the first week of the season should be be trusted as baseball gospel, it’s often hard for fans to not jump to all kinds of wild conclusions. And it’s usually all very silly.
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So, after four days of MLB action in 2021, here are 15 overreactions to what we’ve seen so far.
— The Orioles are gonna shock the world. The team widely expected to be the worst in baseball, the team given a literal 0.0 percent chance of reaching the postseason, has started the season 3-0. Next stop: Toppling the record 13-0 starts of the 1982 Braves and 1987 Brewers. The 1988 Orioles smile with approval.
— The Phillies might go 162-0. They swept the defending NL East champion Braves in the opening series, allowing just three runs. Not just that, but the formerly unreliable bullpen looked great. As Rob McElhenney points out, there’s really nothing preventing a perfect season in Philly.
If the @Phillies don’t go 162-0 it’s because they don’t want it enough. They clearly have the talent.
— Rob McElhenney (@RMcElhenney) April 4, 2021
— Freddie Freeman’s MVP season was a fluke. The Braves’ veteran has started the season 0 for 9 and has an anemic on-base percentage of .250. Why would the Braves even want to extend a guy who’s this bad?
— The new-look Mets will probably never get to play. Even though they’re supposed to finally play their first game today, something will prevent it. Mets fans aren’t allowed to have nice things.
— Elsewhere in New York, it turns out that the Yankees are bad. They’ve started 1-2, their offense is terrible and they’re in fifth place in the AL East. It’s somewhat miraculous that nobody’s been fired yet.
— It also turns out that the White Sox are bad and not good. After an Opening Day win, they’re now 1-3 and spiraling toward a hugely disappointing season. The Tony La Russa experiment has failed.
— The Dodgers are good but not great this year. They lost to the Rockies, for goodness sake. The Cody Bellinger-Justin Turner base running fiasco on Opening Day was some strong evidence that the magic is over in Los Angeles.
— The Astros are 4-0 and are back to being America’s favorite scrappy baseball team. Quite possibly the best feel-good story of the season.
— The Cubs are also back! They’re in first place, tied with the Reds. But that might not last: The Reds have the highest run-differential in the National League (+9), so it’s best to prepare yourself for a Red October.
— Rookie Yermin Mercedes is on pace to have the greatest hitting season of all time. Entering play Monday, he’s batting .643 with a 1.643 OPS for the White Sox. He started the season 8 for 8, which had never happened before. He’s amazing. Make sure to enjoy this history as it unfolds.
But if Mercedes should falter, don’t worry because …
— Eric Hosmer is also on pace to have the greatest hitting season of all time. Entering play Monday, he’s hitting .636 and has an OPS of 2.030 for the Padres. He’s amazing. Make sure to enjoy this history as it unfolds.
— Meanwhile, fellow Padre Fernando Tatis Jr. is hitting just .188. He’s very overrated. Sell those rookie cards now.
— Shohei Ohtani is the new Best Angel. Mike Trout is still a fine player, but the two-way Ohtani is the more exciting one. The numbers don’t lie: Ohtani has two homers, while Trout has zero homers. Plus, Ohtani threw a ball 101 mph Sunday night.
— The only one of the second generation Blue Jays stars who’s any good is Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Vladdy is hitting a robust .333 and has a home run. Bo Bichette (.167) and Cavan Biggio (.083) are both failing to hit their weight. Extremely disappointing, but we probably shouldn’t have hyped them up so much.
— The Oakland A’s are as bad as a baseball team can be. They’re 0-4 and have an MLB-worst run differential of minus 26. Moneyball is dead.
No matter your baseball emotions after a handful of games, it’s probably best to temper them at least a little. More likely than not, teams and players will turn out just about as expected by the time we get to October. So whether you’re on a baseball high or a baseball low after these first few games, things almost certainly aren’t as good or bad as they seem.
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