Cincinnati and Arizona Off to Surprising Starts

The Cincinnati Reds and Arizona Diamondbacks did not have good seasons in 2016, but this season the two are off to 7-2 and 7-3 starts respectively.

The hot jump out of the starting gate has brought much optimism for the fans of both teams, but the big question is will it last for the next 152 or 153 games.

Cincinnati has outscored its opponents 48-23 over their nine games thus far and their 7-2 record matches their start in 1990 when they were World Series champs.

Joey Votto is the only player below par as he is not hitting .200 as of yet. However, Eugenio Suarez is batting .429 and prior to the season did not have a career average above .260.

One big reason for excitement is Amir Garrett. The southpaw has an ERA of 1.42 in his first two starts. The bullpen has an ERA of 1.23. It may not keep it that low for much longer, but there is much more talent this year than last year when its ERA was 5.10.

Arizona has a legitimate chance to reach the postseason. With talented stars such as Zack Greinke, Paul Goldschmidt and A.J. Pollock, the Diamondbacks could via for the National League West title or at the least a wildcard berth.

The Diamondbacks have Jeff Mathis behind the plate, which sacrifices some offense but certainly makes things better on the defense.

Mathis is No. 3 amongst catchers in getting more strikes for his pitchers, and nearly on par with the player at that pitcher considered the standard setter Buster Posey with the Giants.

Mathis is also hitting thus far, but since he entered the season with the lowest OPS of any player in baseball, he likely will not continue for long.

The big questions for the Diamondbacks are the starting pitchers after Greinke. Taijuan Walker is considered inconsistent in his two seasons with ERAs each season being 4 or more.

Patrick Corbin must prove he is able to bounce back, while Shelby Miller had an ERA last season of 6.14 and his velocity diminished significantly.

Robbie Ray might be a better pitcher that his ERA of 4.90 indicates from last season, but his ERA has never been less than 3.50.

The season is not even two weeks old, and these two teams could be in the cellar of their respective divisions come September, but at least they are making their fans happy to start the season.

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