A look at who’s hot and who’s not in Major League Baseball this week:
1) Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich continues to reside on another plane of hitting, as his first week in 2019 made it look like his second half of 2018, which culminated in the MVP award, wasn’t a fluke. Yelich launched four homers and reached base in more than half of his plate appearances as the Brewers raced to the front of the National League Central.
3) After trading away assets this winter, could the Seattle Mariners still contend? Probably not, but general manager Jerry Dipoto assembled an intriguing roster of post-hype players such as outfielder Domingo Santana, outfielder Mallex Smith and shortstop Tim Beckham. The Mariners were the first team in baseball to reach seven wins.
1) Theo Epstein called this a “year of reckoning” for the Cubs, who have a lame-duck manager, an elevated payroll and sky-high expectations. The early returns were ugly as the Cubs lost five of their first six, with their pitchers walking 41 batters in 49 1/3 innings and their defense committing nine errors.
2) With the Oakland Athletics likely to regress from their 97-win campaign in 2018, the Angels could fill the vacuum in the American League West. Except their start was ugly. The Angels dropped five of six on their opening road trip, and Matt Harvey got pounded by the Texas Rangers in the home opener.