Every game on Sling TV this week features preseason favorites for the World Series title.
The Washington Nationals and Boston Red spent a lot of money in the offseason to fortify their chances while St. Louis made some deft trades and the Yankees… well, the Yankees must think quite a bit of the team they already had because they didn’t go after any big names.
In fact, some pundits don’t consider the Yankees contenders at all. The A.L. East is loaded with talent, as always, and New York is relying on many aging stars and also have some serious question marks in the rotation.
Meanwhile, the Nats assembled one of the best pitching staffs in modern memory with the addition of Max Scherzer. But somehow they’ve gotten off to a horrendous start. If you don’t hit, pitch or field well, there isn’t much left to do well. And, according to CBS’s Jon Heyman, they can’t even do nothing well in the locker room: “If they are flat or lifeless on the field, you should see them in the clubhouse, where some of them appear moribund. The room is close to dead, too dead for late April.”
But Washington is afforded the opportunity Monday night to turn things around against a Braves team that is rebuilding. “Rebuilding” is the now-accepted term teams and fans use to mean that the team isn’t very good and that’s okay because it will be in a few years (they hope).
The Cardinals also get to face a rebuilding team in the Phillies. It seems a little unfair to discuss the Nationals as contenders and use the euphemism “rebuilding” for Philadelphia when, as of this writing, the two teams have identical records (7-12) but that’s who you’ll find at the bottom of the N.L. East.
St. Louis is 12-5 and alone at the top of the N.L. Central. Many experts expect them to hold that position the entire summer and into the post-season. The Cardinals have found a formula that allows them to just keep reloading, which is a preferable term to “rebuilding.”
The Yankees are saddled with a lot of aging contracts – Carlos Beltran, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, and C.C. Sabathia – and they’ll face a lot of Boston’s new money—Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez—on Sunday night in Fenway.
Fortunately for the Bombers, Teixeira and A-Rod have found new life in the early going. Unfortunately for the Bombers, Sandoval and Ramirez are just as dangerous as they’ve always been.
Monday, April 27
Washington at Atlanta, 7pm (ESPN)
Doug Fister vs Eric Stults
Wednesday, April 29
Philadelphia at St. Louis*, 8pm (ESPN)
Aaron Harang vs Carlos Martinez
*This game is subject to blackout in some markets
Sunday, May 3
New York at Boston, 8pm (ESPN)
Adam Warren vs Joe Kelly