Three MLB Storylines through the first three weeks


Photo credit/

We’re one month into the baseball season. What have we seen from the teams already?

The MLB season has blown through three weeks already, though it felt like Opening Day was just yesterday. What have been some of the biggest storylines the league has produced?

1. Have the Tampa Bay Rays become World Series favorites?

Tampa Bay has been a dominant ball club for the last five seasons, but the start they’ve had is surreal. The Rays started the season on a 13-game win streak, tying a MLB modern era record. What made this feat more impressive was their run differential, outscoring opponents by 71 runs during their streak.

On top of that, Tampa Bay has battled early injuries to its pitching staff, with right-handed pitcher Ryan Thompson and left handed starter Jeffrey Springs, who started the season dominantly, sitting on the injured list.

The Rays have had a dominant pitching staff over the years, and that’s the case again this season, as they sit first in team ERA. However, their offense has been the driving force behind their success, with the likes of Randy Arozarena, Wander Franco, Brandon Lowe, Yandy Diaz, Harold Ramírez and Josh Lowe contributing to Tampa Bay leading nearly every major offensive category.

Tampa Bay has since gone 6-3 since the streak. It’s undeniable they are a major threat in the American League. While they won’t continuously go on 13-game win streaks, Tampa Bay has proven they can outpitch and outhit everybody, so don’t be surprised if they sit as World Series favorites towards the end of this year.

2. World Series Hangover?

A championship hangover has affected many teams across every sport. For most teams, they break out of the early-season funk. Despite that fact, both the Houston Astros and Philadelphia Phillies haven’t opened in the most impressive manner. The Astros sit at 12-10, while Philadelphia has a 11-12 record.

Injuries could be playing a role for both ball clubs early this season. Houston is without veterans Michael Brantley, Lance McCullers Jr. and Jose Altuve, who was injured in the World Baseball Classic. All are yet to debut this season. Philadelphia lost Rhys Hoskins in the final week of Spring Training, likely for the season. The Phillies opened the year with other key contributors on the injured list, with left-handed starter Ranger Suarez and superstar outfielder Bryce Harper still waiting to start their 2023 seasons.

Houston has failed to see much success from pivotal players who highlighted their championship run, such as Alex Bregman, Jeremy Pena, Ryan Pressly and Luis Garcia, as well as their major free agent signing Jose Abreu. The Phillies have yet to see consistency from their pitching staff, with top-end starters Aaron Nola and Zach Wheeler struggling through their first few starts, along with the catastrophe that is the bullpen.

There is no need to panic yet. Teams are just passing the 10% mark of the season, so there’s plenty of baseball left, but if this trend continues, there will be cause for concern.

3. Can Luis Arraez hit for a .400 average?

Luis Arraez has been arguably baseball’s best contact hitter since his emergence in 2019. Last season, Arraez won the AL Batting title with the Twins. During the offseason, he was dealt to the Marlins. The NL East has numerous superstar pitchers, so there was some thought that Arraez’s numbers could take a dive.

Instead, Arraez has nearly a .450 batting average. On April 12, Arraez became the first Marlin to hit for the cycle, adding to his impressive start. Currently, Arraez has more multi-hit games (10) than strikeouts (4).

Nobody has hit for a .400 batting average since Ted Williams’ 1941 season. With still well over 100 games remaining in the season, it’s too early to tell if Arraez can match that feat. But if anyone can get it done, it’s him.

All stats are from as of April 20.

Contact the writer: [email protected]