One-On-One: Who’s off to the hottest start in the MLB

Arizona Diamondbacks

By Justin Limoges

I understand the Arizona Diamondbacks’ current roster may not look appealing to many baseball fans. However, this team has made unpredictable strides during the first month of the 2017 season and deserves to be called “the best team in the MLB right now.”

After a disappointing 69-win season in 2016, the Diamondbacks had no real expectations for success this year. The team already has a respectable 12-8 record; the best start through 20 games it’s had in nine years.

Let’s not forget the Diamondbacks were only one loss away from last place in the NL West last season and are now a game-and-a-half back from first place this season.

No other team has had a more difficult schedule to date than the Diamondbacks. Of the six series they’ve already played, five were against 2016 playoff teams. They notably won two series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, who won the NL West last year, and one series against Cleveland, who was the runner-up in the 2016 World Series.

Currently, the team has the best offense, leading the league with the most runs scored and the second-best run differential (+22). This is in thanks to third baseman Jake Lamb and first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, who have scored 15 runs a piece this season.

While Frank argues the Washington Nationals are the best team right now, they should not be given that title due to their considerably easy schedule thus far. Despite having a questionable past, the Diamondbacks are hitting the ground running.

 

Washington Nationals

By Frank Parzgnat

The Washington Nationals have proven themselves as the best team in baseball throughout the opening month of the 2017 season.

Nationals fans have had something to cheer about this season, as the team boasts the best record in baseball at 13-5. What is even more impressive to their start is that they have dominated on the road – the Nats are 7-2 in other teams’ ball parks.

The Nationals’ star power gives them a huge advantage. The team’s roster includes some of the  league’s most well-known players, who are all producing at high levels.

Bryce Harper is the leader of this group, and he’s bounced back nicely from his poor 2016 campaign. Harper is batting .400 with seven home runs and 20 RBI. Along with his phenomenal performance at the plate, Harper is playing tremendous defense in right field.

Max Scherzer is another super-star helping the Nationals tremendously. He has won three out of his first four games with a 1.95 ERA, and his 33 strikeouts are third-best in baseball.

Along with Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez and Tanner Roark, this pitching staff will be tough to conquer. Don’t let Justin fool you. The D-Backs will revert back to their losing ways. They don’t have the staying power to hang with the Giants or Dodgers in the long run.