MLB: April's Best and Worst

Steve Van ScoyContributor IMay 2, 2008

One month is in the books in the 2008 season and the Yankees are in trouble, the Rays are in first, so are the Cardinals, Andruw Jones and Barry Zito are not exactly earning their contracts and the Arizona Diamondbacks have taken the league by storm.

So with all that said, lets take a look at some of the best and worst things of April:

Best Team- Arizona Diamondbacks.  Far and away the best team in the majors right now.  This team is scary good.  In every aspect of the game.  They are 2nd in the majors in runs and ERA as a team.  Two good categories to be leading.  Webb, Haren, and Owings are a combined 14-1 and oh there's some kid named Max Scherzer waiting to be the 5th starter to go behind another guy named Randy Johnson.  But we knew they could pitch.  No one knew Conor Jackson, Justin Upton, Chris Young and others were all going to mature at the same time.  Look out MLB, this team is good.

Biggest Surprise-  There are three places to go here in my opinion.  It's between the A's, Rays, and Cardinals.  The A's are probably the best of the three right now but are not likely to keep it up.  The same can be said for St. Louis.  So I would say Tampa Bay.  Scott Kazmir comes back off the DL this weekend to add to an already good rotation.  Carl Crawford, Carlos Pena, BJ Upton, Evan Longoria, and Eric Hinski are making for a pretty solud lineup as well.  Look out for this team as the season moves on.

Biggest Dissapointment-  Atlanta Braves.  Coming out of spring training, all I heard out of the guys who followed this team was how good they were.  They were the pick to win the NL East.  But the season hasn't been so kind.  They are lucky to be 12-17 right now.  It will be interesting to see what impact Smoltz has in the bullpen. 

AL MVP- Manny Ramirez.  I know his entire stat line has come off of Mike Mussina but he is having a phenomenal April.  6 HR 20 RBI and hitting .336.  But what stands out about Manny is that Ortiz is not hitting at all.  Ramirez has carried the load when his team needed him to and kept the Red Sox in a tie for 1st place.

NL MVP- Chase Utley.  Not much else of a choice here as Utley has been off the charts.  11 HR 23 RBI and .357 BA.  Just having a torrid start to the season and its likely to continue.

AL CY Young-  Cliff Lee.  How could you pick against these numbers?  5-0 0.96 ERA.  32 K's and only 2 BB's.  Only 4 runs in 37.2 innings.  That sounds like it came out of a video game.  It's highly unlikely he will keep up this type of performance but he should continue to contribute the rest of the way.

NL CY Young-  Brandon Webb.  In a field of Santana, Peavy, and others, Webb has been untouchable.  One of only 4 pitchers ever to be 6-0 in the month of April and also had a 1.96 ERA.  With some more run support this year look for Webb to approach 20 wins and maybe pass it.

As the weather warms and we move into May, we will see some drastic changes for better and for worse.  April was an exciting month, lets hope for more of the same the rest of the season.