Good Weeks

1) Philadelphia Phillies: Not only did they go 4-2 against divisional opponents, but the rest of the NL East is already showing signs of being a pretty mediocre group of teams. Atlanta will probably contend, but this has two-team race written all over it. If Philadelphia keeps putting up runs like they have over their first three series, the Braves will have a hard time keeping up.

On the downside, Brad Lidge will be out until at least the All-Star break… Wait, is that actually a downside?

2) Cincinnati Reds: For similar reasons as Philadelphia, except that there may be no other team in the division capable of competing.

3) Boston Red Sox: They still only have two wins, but both came in a series win over the Yankees. In Sunday’s game, Josh Beckett pitched eight scoreless innings, giving up only two hits. Their lineup is still struggling enormously, with only Pedroia and J.D. Drew really hitting. But taking two of three against the Yankees after losing your first six still makes it a good week, and Beckett is a vital component to the team’s success.

4) Predicted AL Central Bottom-feeders: After losing their first two games of the season, the Cleveland Indians have won seven in a row—including sweeps of the Red Sox and the Mariners. In that span, they have outscored their opponents 39-14. The Royals, meanwhile, went 3-2 this week in division matchups against the White Sox and Tigers.

Bad Weeks

1) Tampa Bay Rays: I don’t want to come across as a Rays hater, but their season is starting out worse than anyone could have imagined. They did win their first game this week, though. But even that took an epic ninth-inning meltdown by the White Sox, during which they committed two errors leading to five unearned runs. In the other five games, the Rays scored just eight combined runs. They are either last or next to last in the American League in every offensive category, and their cleanup hitter (technically) just retired. 

2) Minnesota Twins: The Twins occupy the bottom spot in all the offensive categories that the Rays don’t, including slugging percentage and OPS. In fact, six teams in the American League have scored as many or more runs thus far as the Twins and Rays combined. Jim Thome leads the team with five RBI despite having only 18 at-bats, and second base prospect Tsuyoshi Nishioka is going to miss an extended amount of time with a broken leg.

As a White Sox fan, however, I know for a fact that the Twins are doing this on purpose—just so their ultimate surge to the top of the AL Central will be even more annoying when it finally happens. This team, I do hate, so much more than you could ever understand…

3) New York Mets: Simply put, you have to beat the Nationals two out of three times at home. The Mets, however, may have one of the bottom three pitching staffs in all of baseball.

Guys Who Played Well

Jered Weaver (LAA): 2 W, 14.1 IP, 2 ER, 21 SO

Prince Fielder (MIL): .440 BA, 2 HR, 11 RBI

Paul Konerko (CWS): .417 BA, 3 HR, 8 RBI

Guys Who Did Not Play Well

Chone Figgins (SEA): 2/24, 0 SB, 1 R

Carl Crawford (BOS): 3/27, 0 RBI, 0 Extra-Base Hits

Brian Wilson (SF): 2 G, 1.1 IP, 5 ER, 3 BB

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