The MLB standings 2011 are pretty much useless right now. In fact, it will take months for the standings to get widely noticed, at least when it comes to the MLB playoff chase. Since baseball has the longest regular season of all major sports, the first three games of the season are small potatoes, compared to the next 159 to come. However, since this weekend was the big opening statement for every team, fans may already be revising their hopes on how the rest of 2011 will go.
After the first four days of the season, four teams are a perfect 3-0, which leaves four others at 0-3. There are two winless teams in the AL East, but they aren’t the Orioles and Blue Jays. In fact, they are the Red Sox and Rays, which makes for a notable surprise – especially in the case of the Red Sox.
Boston was the near universal favorite to take back the AL East, and reach the World Series. But while everyone focused on the Red Sox and their new sluggers, it was easy to forget that the Rangers were the defending AL champs. They reminded everyone over the weekend by sweeping the Red Sox, as their bats beat up Boston’s starters, while Texas’s rotation didn’t lose a beat without Cliff Lee.
As for the Rays, they were expected to take a step back, since an aging Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon can’t balance out the loss of Carl Crawford. Yet they weren’t expected to get swept by the Orioles at home, as Baltimore kept up their second half momentum from last season.
But the Red Sox are the more shocking 0-3 team in the standings – which is a direct contrast to the other big MLB favorite in 2011. Before the season started, Boston looked to be safe and secure, while Philadelphia was plagued by injuries and newfound doubt. However, despite a slow start in Friday’s opener, the Phillies rebounded and swept the Astros, using both their all-powerful rotation and their questionable offense.
The only team that the Phillies beat last October, the Reds, are the final 3-0 squad after sweeping the seemingly revamped Brewers. Meanwhile, the team that beat the Phillies in October, the Giants, got off to a 1-3 start against the arch-rival Dodgers.
Neither the Phillies, Reds, Orioles and Rangers will go 162-0, while the Red Sox, Rays, Brewers and Astros will not finish 0-162. That perspective makes it almost impossible to take records seriously in April, and even in May and June. But once the standings become tighter in September and October, the MLB contenders may regret not winning enough in April.
At the least, the winning teams from this weekend have overcome their spring training fears and early season jitters, for a little while. Now they hope to keep it up in their next series, and in the next 50-55 to come until October.
MLB.com- “Regular Season Standings”