Surprised yet?

You should be.

The first calendar month of the Major League Baseball season is behind us, and there was absolutely no shortage of stunning happenings during that time. From the supposed best team in baseball literally kicking away wins to one of the game’s biggest stars involved in a disturbing soap opera, the game has provided plenty of early barstool chatter.

While some of these surprises can be dismissed as small-sample-size oddities—the Houston Astros in first place and Clayton Kershaw’s 3.73 ERA among them—there are others that will have relevant impacts for a significant portion of the summer. Ignoring them would be to scoff at the most important dealings of the early season.

We shall not scoff here. Instead, we will explore them, focusing on events and trends that not only shaped the first month but can continue to mold how the rest of the season unfolds.

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