Originally written on Baseball Professor  |  Last updated 11/20/14

Trends can be good and bad. Some will continue to keep us happy and others will fall off as predicted. The following trends are those that I believe will continue as the season progresses. I usually only go by history and track record, but in the NFL and MLB lately, so many youngsters have been so good so soon.Note: All stats end with games finished on Wednesday, May 22.10. Josh Hamilton’s bat is waking upHamilton finished April hitting .204 with 2 HR. So far in May, he’s “upped” his average to .222 and has 4 HR. Those aren’t improvements by leaps and bounds, but all it takes is a hot streak to get in a groove and it’s all good for Josh. The pieces are around him (Mike Trout, Mark Trumbo, and Albert Pujols) so there are opportunities abound going forward.9. Clay Buchholz will be Boston’s aceYou can say it’s a new season. You can say it’s because of the alleged sunscreen on his arms he uses. Two things are for sure: John Farrell has had a huge part in Buchholz’s 2013 success and he, not Jon Lester, is the Sox’ ace. The Red Sox are 9-1 in Clay’s 10 starts this season while he sits at a perfect 7-0 with a 1.73 EA and 1.05 WHIP. He’s also fanned 73 and held batters to a .194 average. He’s back!8. Houston will continue to have the worst pitching staffNot only is the Astros’ pitching staff the worst in baseball, they’re the worst by leaps and bounds. They have a 5.37 team ERA (the only team over 5.00) and a team WHIP of 1.60 (1.45 is the 2nd worst mark). We knew they were going to have a rough year and they have done everything they can to make us Nostradamus. Bud Norris is a good pitcher, but Erik Bedard sucks no matter the team and the other starters are part of such an atrocious team that it’s hard to see them getting any better.7. Adrian Gonzalez won’t provide much in terms of runsGonzo has a .309 BA, 4 HR, and 30 RBI, but sits with just 11 R. The Dodgers’ offense hasn’t been that good, and Gonzo’s lack of scoring is good proof of that. His OBP is .374, which is along the lines of his career OBP (.371) so we know he’s getting on base. Once Matt Kemp and the rest of the Dodgers wake up, things will change, but I don’t see that happening for awhile.6. Jordan Zimmerman is Washington’s MV-PitcherSo far, Zim has outpitched highly-touted and much-loved teammate Stephen Strasburg and the near Cy Young winner last year Gio Gonzalez. Zimmerman is 7-2 with 45 K, 9 BB, a 1.62 ERA, and 0.87 WHIP. Strasburg’s every pitch will be scrutinized as much as someone who should really just go away, Tim Tebow. Unlike Tebow, however, Zimmerman is good at his position, and he will continue to be the best option for manager Davey Johnson.5. Paul Goldschmidt is the next NL fantasy stud at 1BGoldyknocks currently leads the D-Backs with a .323 BA, 12 HR, and 36 RBI. He has 43 K and 25 BB. He isn’t the strikeout machine that Ike Davis and Chris Carter are (49 and 70 K respectively) and his OPS is an absurd 1.019. He’s proving to be one of the best draft picks, especially if you waited on first base and missed out on some of the top players (Prince Fielder, Joey Votto, and Pujols). With Pujols and Fielder leaving the NL, there was a definite void, but Goldschmidt has filled it in spades this year.4. Yu Darvish will lead the league in strikeoutsDarvish has 91 K, and he’s had 8+ K in 7 of his 10 starts. Of starters with 10 starts, A.J. Burnett is the closest with 79 K. Darvish routinely gets to face Houston, Seattle, and Oakland, teams all inside the top six in terms of team strikeouts. Yu has adjusted to the league wonderfully in his second full season, and he’s going to make a bid for 275 K and could maybe even reach 300 K.3. Miami’s offense will be hyper-anemicJust as Houston is the worst pitching team in the MLB, Miami has the league’s most anemic offense. They rank last in team average (.222), OPS (.599), HR (23), and RBI (116). The team with the second fewest RBI are the Dodgers, and they sit at 147. Their main slugger, Giancarlo Stanton, has been on the DL most of the year, and even when’s he’s been healthy, he hasn’t had any help. Marcell Ozuna has been serviceable, but when you’re most notable names are Justin Ruggiano, Placido Polanco, and Juan Pierre, you’re in trouble.2. Jean Segura will continue to be one of the top SS in fantasyWe at Baseball Professor were high on the Brewers’ SS and he’s proven us right. I project him as a better version of Elvis Andrus – he hits for more power and steals a ton, scores a lot of runs, and can get on base (he’s currently hitting .353). He will cool off a little, but like Brock Lesnar circa 2002, at SS, he’s the Next Big Thing.1. Miguel Cabrera will flirt with triple crown againHere are Miggy’s numbers as of this post: .384 BA, 12 HR, and 49 RBI. He currently leads baseball in batting average and RBI, while sitting two behind Chris Davis in the HR deptartment. I had the first pick in one of my drafts and didn’t hesitate to take Cabrera over Trout. He’s truly the best player in the game right now, and it’s no surprise that Detroit is, once again, a favorite to win the AL.

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