MLB Spring Training 2013: Red-Hot Teams That Will Crash in Regular Season

Jesse ReedCorrespondent IMarch 6, 2013

SURPRISE, AZ - FEBRUARY 25:  Mike Moustakas #8 of the Kansas City Royals high fives teammates after scoring against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the spring training game at Surprise Stadium on February 25, 2013 in Surprise, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Kansas City Royals haven't lost a game so far in spring training, but this hot start won't last once the 2013 MLB regular season gets underway.

The Royals aren't the only team that's giving fans false hope, either. 

Spring training is a magical time when horrible teams can look like champs, and career minor-leaguers bat .500 while many of the game's true stars are just working out the kinks. 

MLB exhibition games matter as much as NFL preseason games, which as we all know means diddly squat. These red-hot teams are about to experience a sobering wake-up call once the regular season begins.


Kansas City Royals

Kansas City has gotten some great games out of its pitchers so far this spring, but if last year was any indication, the team's pitching staff isn't a playoff-caliber unit. 

Through 11 games, the team is giving up just 2.75 runs per game, which is a phenomenal achievement and the best mark of any team in the majors. But last year, with many of the same pitchers on staff, the Royals gave up 4.30 runs per game—the No. 23-ranked unit in the league.

Additionally, Kansas City features two of the hottest hitters in spring training in Alex Gordon and Mike Moustakas—both of whom are batting well over .500. 

So, while it's cool to imagine that the Royals are going to power through the 2013 season as easily as the team has done thus far in spring training, the reality is that we're talking about a mediocre team that will be lucky to make the playoffs. 


Seattle Mariners

The Mariners have a record of 10-2 and have been winning by scoring a busload of points this spring. 

Seattle is tied with Cleveland for the most runs with 89 total runs scored, which averages out to 7.4 runs per contest. The team has been on a home run frenzy, having hit 26 dingers in their 12 contests, which is more than two per game and leads the majors.

Defense and pitching are what wins championships, and Seattle's hot hitting is bound to come to an end soon. 

In the meantime, it's not encouraging to see that Seattle's pitchers have been giving up 4.42 runs per game, which is more than one-half of a run worse than last year's seasonal average of 3.76. 

Seattle will have a real tough time winning games with this formula, which is why this team will come crashing down to earth in the regular season.


Cleveland Indians

With a 9-5 record, it may be a bit of a stretch to say that the Indians are red hot right now, but there's no doubt this team is playing better in spring training that fans should expect during the regular season.

The Indians and Philadelphia Phillies are the only two teams in spring training with a team ERA above 5.00 that also feature a winning record. Cleveland's team ERA through 14 games is 5.73, which is the fifth-worst mark of any team in baseball. 

Like the other two teams we've looked at, Cleveland has been winning thanks to hot bats, scoring 89 runs thus far and totaling an MLB-leading 83 RBI

Hot bats always cool off, and there's no way the Indians will keep winning games giving up as many runs as they do. 


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