MLB Week 7: Beast of the Week & Things to Know

Beast of the Week: Previous winners have generally been high-profile players, but this week’s winner is relatively unknown. Playing north of the border and listed at a generous 5’9, Devon Travis is this week’s Beast of the Week after putting up some ridiculous numbers. Travis hit .542 this past week, raising his season average 61 points with five multi-hit games. In six games he knocked in eight runs, aided by seven XBH’s. Travis clubbed six doubles, and now leads the AL with 16, while currently being on pace for 58. Going into this season he was a career .301 hitter, and has the potential to develop into one of the better second baseman in the AL. After an icy start, Travis is heating up and absolutely worth following. Honorable Mention: Corey Dickerson who crushed five home runs this past week.

Corey Dickerson

Weak Sauce of the Weak: This week’s winner is San Diego Padres veteran and home run serving machine, Jered Weaver. The righty couldn’t get out of the 1st inning while allowing seven earned runs on Friday. Weaver is winless in nine starts, with an 0-5 record and bloated 7.44 ERA – looking more and more like big brother, Jeff Weaver. Weaver led all AL pitchers in HR’s allowed last season with 37, and despite pitching in pitcher-friendly Petco Park, Weaver has allowed a stunning 16 home runs. That not only leads the league, but he’s on pace to easily set the record with 58 home runs allowed. Luckily for him and the Padres, they’ll have to wait a little longer for his march towards history as he just hit the DL with a bad hip…that’s some serious weak sauce.

Things to Know: Current National League HR, SLG%, WAR and OPS leader Freddie Freeman broke his left wrist and is out at least two months. A huge loss for the 18-23 Braves, but also for baseball as Freeman was having an MVP caliber season – on pace for 57 home runs and 142 runs scored… Speaking of MVP caliber seasons, MLB home run leader Aaron Judge covered a ridiculous amount of ground to make one of the best diving catches I’ve ever seen, showing he’s more than a one-dimensional power hitter…on the flip side, Chase Headley has struggled to flash the leather, already collecting nine errors and on pace for a disastrous 40. He’s a below average hitter, and if he’s going to play like there’s a hole in his glove, maybe it’s time for the Yankees to focus top prospect Gleyber Torres on third base …I pleaded for the Mets to play outfielder Michael Conforto every day and they finally listened. Conforto is crushing the ball, leading ESPN to do this cover story on him – you heard it here first…Chris Sale tied his own and Pedro Martinez’s record with eight straight 10+ strikeout performances, but seems to always be the recipient of poor run support…another southpaw whose dominating is Alex Wood of the Dodgers. Wood put up more goose eggs this week, and is currently working on a streak of 18-shutout innings that has dropped his ERA to a league leading 1.88…Not to be outdone, one of my breakout pitchers for 2017, Lance McCullers, is currently working on a 19-inning shutout streak…Looks like Twins former top pitching prospect Jose Berrios is figuring it out, after dominating a powerful Rockies lineup over 7 shutout innings with 11 K’s. If the 23-year old continues to develop, the Twins will have a formidable 1-2 punch to push for a Wild-Card spot in a mediocre AL Central…the Astros own the best record in baseball, but are keeping their fingers crossed as ace Dallas Keuchel hit the shelf with a pinched nerve in his neck. Keuchel is leading the AL in wins and ERA and is giving Chris Sale his stiffest competition for AL CY…Jose Bautista Punched

Is there any player in baseball more disliked than Jose Bautista? After hitting an inconsequential home run, Bautista had another ridiculous bat flip, bringing both clubs to the brink of a brawl. I guess getting punched in the face last year by Rougned Odor wasn’t enough…John Sterling, the radio voice of the Yankees ever since I can remember, unknowingly took a shot from my wife this past week. While driving home from Martha’s Vineyard, I had the game on, and after a Chris Carter home run Sterling bellowed, “Carter hit it harder!”…my wife immediately goes, “What is with this guy and his rhyming?”! That’s when it hit me, that for casual fans, Sterling’s home run calls aren’t exactly homers, instead they come off more like nursery rhymes…also falling flat this past week are the Cincinnati Reds, who fell from 1st place in the NL Central to 4.5 games back and 4th place…who would have guessed the Brewers, Twins, and Rockies, would all be in 1st place…more teams are using 13-man pitching staffs as managers increasingly use analytics for optimal bullpen matchups…

In Other News: I was saddened to hear of rock and grunge legend Chris Cornell’s tragic passing at the age of 52. The Soundgarden and Audioslave front man had a transcendent voice that can never be replicated. Soundgarden will always be special to me as their 1994 hit CD, Superunknown, was the first CD I ever listened to on a Discman. I was seven, and a friend and I listened to that CD constantly on the bus after school. Now, four of the five biggest transformative grunge bands of the 90’s have lost their lead singers – Nirvana, Alice in Chains, Stone Temple Pilots, Soundgarden. Eddie Vedder has got to be looking over his shoulder… interestingly enough, somehow rock front-men from the decadent 80’s have lived on from headline bands including: Guns N Roses, Metallica, Van Halen, and Mötley Crüe. I saw Metallica on Wednesday at Nassau Coliseum and they’re still crushing it – go figure.

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