MLB Opening Weekend Recap
4 days, 46 games. What an opening weekend it was. We weren't short on action or news, so let's dive right into the biggest stories of the weekend.
Yermin Mercedes. Never heard of him? You're probably not alone. Before the 2021 season kicked off, he had only 1 major league at bat in his career. This season, he made history. Mercedes started off this season 8-8; the best start to a season by a hitter since 1900 (yes you read that right, 1900). He's since slowed down but I'm very excited to watch this young man flourish for the white sox.
Underdogs win big
The Baltimore Orioles swept the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park, handing the Sox their worst start at Fenway since 1948. As a Yankees fan, I take great pride and joy in what I'm about to say.
The red sox will be a bottom three team this year.
The new look Indians lost the series 2-1 to the Detroit Tigers, the Reds take the series against the Cardinals 2-1, and the Athletics and Braves both got swept by the Astros and Phillies.
Shohei Ohtani got the nod Sunday night against the White Sox and my God did he make the most of it. After an injury plagued 2019-2020, he came out slinging on Sunday. After a 1-2-3 first, Ohtani (who was batting second, the first time a starting pitcher batted in that spot since 1903) took the first pitch he saw from Dylan Cease 450 ft for a solo home run. Shohei threw 9 pitches at or above 100 mph, and had two batted balls with an exit velocity above 109 mph. We are witnessing history here. Whether you think Shohei is all he's hyped up to be (I do, personally) or you think he's an overrated hybrid player, he is incredibly fun to watch and he will go down next to Babe Ruth as the greatest hybrid player in MLB history.
Rookies who can rake
Ke'Bryan Hayes, Akil Baddoo, Dylan Carlson. All three of these rookies went yard in their first at bat of the 2021 season. Ke'Bryan Hayes took one deep off of Kyle Hendricks in the first inning of Thursday's season opener, before he left with a wrist injury. That wrist injury landed him on the 10 day IL, but he will be back soon and will continue to rake all season. I have Ke'Bryan Hayes as my NL rookie of the year, edging out Braves pitcher Ian Anderson. Akil Baddoo made the most out of his first major league at bat. One pitch, GONE! With his family in the building, Akil turned on the first pitch he saw and sealed the deal with a bat flip and a point to his family as he rounded the bases.
We're only 3-4 games into a 162 game season. Not a lot of things, if any, that happened this weekend will matter in October. But it's Monday, and what do we do on Mondays? We overreact.
The Red Sox are broken. As I said previously, I do think they will finish in the bottom of the AL east and a bottom 5 team in the whole MLB. The Blue Jays will make the playoffs. Yes I know, the Yankees can't hit with runners in scoring position, but the Jays looked good this weekend and they didn't even have their new star addition, George Springer. The White Sox will struggle without Eloy Jimenez. I still have them as my AL favorites, but it's going to be a rocky road without the heart of their lineup. Eloy is sidelined for 5-6 months after rupturing his left pectoral tendon. Gary Sanchez will win the AL HR title. After an insufferable 2019 campaign where he was well below the Mendoza line, Gary opens the 2021 season with a bang and homers in the Yankees first two games.