The first two weeks of the Major League Baseball season have flown by and without doubt it is the Tampa Bay Rays who are dominating the headlines.
The Rays have made a simply electric start to the campaign and are on the verge of setting a new mark for an unbeaten start to a season.
currently sit at 12-0, just one short of the best major league start since 1900.
The 1987 Milwaukee Brewers and the 1982 Atlanta Braves both went 13-0, with the Rays’ 12-0 game winning streak matching their own record set back in June 2004.
The Rays can equal the overall record on Thursday night at home against the Boston Red Sox, who have lost 12 road games in a row to Tampa Bay.
Rays team manager Kevin Cash said: "When we’re doing something that is a franchise record, it’s pretty meaningful, impactful. So the guys should be really proud of that."
The Rays have hit the long ball 30 times this season. That is the third-most home runs in a team’s first 12 games of the season, behind only the Seattle Mariners, who hit 32 in 2019, and the St. Louis Cardinals, who hit 31 in 2000.
The Rays are +900 to win the 2023 World Series.
The seem to have had the injury bug hit the most in the opening couple of weeks. On Wednesday, that list got even longer with Gleyber Torres and DJ LeMahieu dealing with minor injuries.
Carlos Rodon missed the start of the season, but is close to a return, while Josh Donaldson is not far away after picking up a hamstring strain.
Harrison Bader seems a little way off with a thigh strain and pitcher Lou Trevino is expected back in May after an elbow ligament sprain.
There is no rhyme nor reason for the Yankees obtaining so many injuries at the start of the campaign, but they do seem to get the most.
It has hampered their start to the season, but while the Rays are taking hold of the American League East Division at present, there is a long way to go.
The Yankees are +155 to win the American League East Division.
While lost their final game of the series to the Oakland A’s, the Orioles can be pleased with their .500 start to the season.
Their young players have started well, especially catcher Adley Rutschman. The 25-year-old has had 46 at-bats this current season with 18 hits.
Three home runs and eight RBI’s have given him a .391 batting average with a 1.100 OPS, the number one pick in the 2019 draft for Baltimore is having an excellent time of it.
After a brilliant opening day where Rutschman collected a home run, went 5-for-5, walked once and hit four RBI’s, speaking to the official Orioles’ website he said: "I try and take each bat as it comes, and try to give my best effort on that AB.
"Whether I’m 0-for 5 or 5-for-5, the next at-bat is the most important one. It’s been crazy. Like I said, the hits are awesome, but the winning for me is more important."
Rutschman is +2200 to win the American League Most Valuable Player of the year award and Baltimore are +2800 to win the American League East Division.
The current world series champions have made an indifferent start with a 6-7 record, sitting in third place in the table behind the Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Angels.
It’s taken a while for the elite players to get going, none more so than Alex Bregman.
The two-time World Series champion hit his first home run in a 7-4 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday evening and went 2-for-5 in his best game of the embryonic season.
Speaking to the official Astros website, Bregman admitted: "I think today (Tuesday) was the best timing I have had, the best consistency of at-bats I’ve had all-year.
"I was kind of late and quick, and not slow and early. I was kind of making my swing have a little too much effort in it rather than be effortless. I felt good the last two days working on it pregame, and it translated this time."
The Astros are currently +600 to win the World Series in 2023.