Let's take a look at the hottest topics in MLB this week. Diving right in.
The Angels Are...Good?
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are in first place. The AL West has long been a division the Houston Astros have owned, with the occasional threat from the Oakland A's. The A's have committed to fully tanking, but the Astros are not running away with the division. The Angels are...good? I mean any team with Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani, and Anthony Rendon will score some runs. Taylor Ward has emerged early in this season, as well. The narrative with the Angels has always been "good hitting, bad pitching." With Noah Syndergaard reclaiming some of his former magic, the Angels are 21-11. They've won 7 of their last 10 and Tuesday night Angels' rookie Reid Detmers tossed a no-hitter. Are the Angels for real?
The Dodgers Pitching Staff
After acquiring Freddie Freeman just before the season, the Dodgers' offense was the talk of MLB. Only the Dodgers could lose a player like Corey Seager and still be projected to mash. The Dodgers' big surprise so far has not been the offense, although it's been good. The surprise is how good the Dodgers' pitching has been. The Dodgers lead MLB in ERA at 2.14. The next team is the New York Yankees and their ERA is 2.59. That's quite the gap. The Dodgers are only 19th in MLB in strikeouts, though, so they've done it through a lot of soft contact. The Dodgers have also given up the fewest home runs, the fewest walks, and the fewest hits.
Trout Passes Salmon
Mike Trout is hitting the cover off the ball again. This week, he made Angels history by passing Tim Salmon for the most homers in Angel Stadium history with 161. It just goes to show you that there's always a bigger fish.
If you didn't laugh at this pun, check for a pulse.
Don't Run On Mookie Betts
In a three-game series versus the Pirates, Pittsburgh twice learned the hard way not to test Mookie Betts' arm. Check out this laser to home plate.
Do not test Mookie Betts lest you get your hands caught in the Mookie jar! Just for good measure, here's my favorite Betts throw in his career.
Justin Verlander Almost Throws A No-No
What is in the water down there in Houston? Justin Verlander has been the ageless wonder down there for the Astros and he took a no-hitter into the 8th inning. Had the 39-year-old successfully thrown a no-hitter, it would have been only the third time in MLB history where two no-hitters were thrown on the same day. The last time was Dave Stewart and Fernando Valenzuela on June 29, 1990. This would have been Verlander's 4th career no-hitter. While Verlander may have lost his no-hitter, at least the rest of us who are social media active were spared the most obnoxious beneficiary of nepotism (Ben Verlander) being loud and irritating. A loss for Verlander's career, a win for the rest of us.
Look for The Hot Corner to be coming to you visually sometime in the near future! We'll bring you the hottest things in MLB.