Lava Flow for May

It’s been a good start to the 2017 season for the Margaritaville Volcanoes, using an impressive offense to pace the league with 390 runs, 131 H’s and 35 wins through the season’s first 60 games. In the highly subjective Strat-generated awards voting, David Ortiz, Robinson Cano and Joey Votto rank 1, 2 and 4 in MVP voting, while batting respectively 3, 5 and 1 in the Volcano batting order. The Volcano pitching keeps many games close. The team with the most HRs through 60 games is Margaritaville with 131. Second place is Boulder with 107. Third place is whoever is playing the Volcanoes with 88. While the Volcanoes are last in the league with a 4.89 ERA, the fault is mainly the starting pitchers. Volcano starters have a 5.78 ERA, while the bullpen has a more respectable 3.36 ERA. The May trade adding super bullpen arm Addison Reed should further solidify the Volcanoes’ strength out of the bullpen. Helping to put a Band-Aid on their starting pitching is the Volcano defense. Springfield leads the league with a .854 x-out conversion percentage. Margaritaville is second at .810. Fueled by the 1-rated Robinson Cano at second base and the 1-rated Francisco Lindor at SS, the Volcanoes lead the league in inducing 76 ground ball double plays. With the strong-armed Wilson Ramos and Gary Sanchez behind the plate, the Volcanoes are also near the top of the league in allowing only 21 opponent steals. June’s showdown with Applegate matches not only the league’s best and second-best records (35 and 34 wins), but contrasting styles of play. The Volcanoes rely on the longball, outhomering the Clips 131 to 57 through the first 60 games, while the Clips bring the league’s third-lowest ERA (3.54) and third fewest HRs allowed (63). June also brings Margaritaville’s first matchup with in-division rival Bismarck, and rematches with pitching-strong Satellite Beach (league-leading fewest HRs allowed with 53) and Tatooine (second-best ERA at 3.52). Both Tatooine and Satellite Beach won the earlier series against Margaritaville 3 games to 2, but must now contest the rematches in batter-friendly Coors Field. The Volcanoes have hit 80 of their 131 HR’s at home, and have a .633 winning percentage at home (.533 on the road).