In Friday afternoon’s FanGraphs Live stream, starting at 2 PM ET, we are bringing you a doubleheader of games featuring surprising early contenders.
In our first game, Wade Miley makes his 2020 debut for the Cincinnati Reds, a team off to a shocking 21-3 start and standing comfortably at the top of the NL Central. As we near the end of April, Jesse Winker leads the National League with a .405 batting average and Trevor Bauer, at 3-0 with a 2.24 ERA, ranks third in the National League with 1.2 WAR. Five Reds currently rank in the top 20 in position player wins: Eugenio Suárez (1st), Joey Votto (4th), Winker (12th), Shogo Akiyama (14th), and Tucker Barnhart (19th). Of the regulars, free agent signing Nick Castellanos has been the only disappointment, hitting .216/.303/.364 in the early going for -0.5 WAR.
That Arizona is tied for second place in the NL West, 3 1/2 games behind the leader, isn’t surprising. What is surprising, however, is that the leader is the Colorado Rockies, not the Los Angeles Dodgers! The Diamondbacks are coming off getting swept by the Atlanta Braves, but get Madison Bumgarner for today’s turn against Miley, likely Cincy’s weakest starting pitcher.
Over in our American League game, we get a prime Dallas Keuchel vs. Shohei Ohtani matchup as the 15-11 White Sox take on the 12-13 Angels. The White Sox have fallen back to second in the division with the Twins winning nine of their last 10 games, but get Luis Robert back in the lineup coming off a strained hamstring. Their Nomar Mazara gamble has paid off in the early going with Mazara standing at a .377/.402/.740 triple-slash with seven homers in 21 games. Gio González has struggled with a 7.23 ERA, but Keuchel has been a prime pickup so far and has yet to allow a home run in 33 1/3 2020 innings.
So join Paul Sporer, Ben Clemens, and Dan Szymborski for some hot virtual baseball action right here, on this very page!