Major League Baseball

MLB Weekly Roundup: Padres superstar Fernando Tatis Jr. is lighting up the sport

April 26

By Ben Verlander
FOX Sports MLB Analyst

This week featured one of the best series that Major League Baseball has seen in a long time.

The San Diego Padres-Los Angeles Dodgers matchup is quickly emerging as one of the greatest rivalries in the sport since the Yankees and Red Sox battles of old. The four-game series that started Thursday in L.A. did not disappoint — not even close.

Let’s take a look at some of the best things from the week that was in Major League Baseball, as well as some storylines for the coming week.

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

Part of what made that Padres-Dodgers series so exciting was the breakout of Fernando Tatis Jr.

My photo of the week comes from Game 3 of the four-game series. Tatis hit a homer off starting pitcher Trevor Bauer to lead off the game and then trolled Bauer by covering one eye — in response to Bauer pitching against San Diego with one eye closed during Spring Training.

SIX-TOOL PLAYER OF THE WEEK

After a weekend of hitting homers and flipping bats, this week’s six-tool player is none other than Tatis.

In the four-game series against the Dodgers, he hit five home runs, with two multi-home-run games. He hit two homers in Game 2 on Friday, which was 22 years to the day since his father made history by hitting two grand slams in one inning at Dodger Stadium.

I said earlier this year that there was no "face of baseball," but I thought Tatis was emerging as such. I think that is exactly what happened this weekend.

Six-tool player isn’t a stat-based honor, but Tatis embodies what it's all about. He has so much fun playing this game, and it comes through in everything he does on the field. I was in awe of him while watching him play in person this weekend.

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TEAM OF THE WEEK

THIRTEEN. IN. A. ROW.

The Oakland Athletics are this week’s team of the week after they ran out to a 13-game win streak before losing to the Orioles on Sunday.

It was an incredible run, and they seemed destined to make some history after they scored three runs in the 10th inning on Wednesday and then won on an error by the Twins

They didn't quite get to 20 wins in a row, like they did in 2002, but 13 is enough to garner the honor of this week’s team of the week.

WHAT TO WATCH THIS WEEK

1. Corbin Burnes

Starting pitcher Corbin Burnes of the Milwaukee Brewers is the first pitcher in history to start a season with 40 strikeouts and zero walks. He will get two starts this week, beginning on Monday against the Marlins.

2. San Francisco Giants

It’s time we pay some attention to what the San Francisco Giants are doing. They are 14-8 and only two games out of first place behind the Dodgers. Rightfully so, the Dodgers and Padres are garnering all of the attention in the NL West, but the second-place Giants deserve some love.

This week, they take on the Rockies and then the Padres in a weekend series in San Diego, where fans will get to see how for-real these Giants are.

3. Shohei Ohtani

At this point, Ohtani deserves his own segment each week. He is tied for the league lead in home runs, with seven, and he is tabbed to start on the mound Monday. Ohtani is must-watch TV at this point — even more so in a week when we could see him make two starts on the mound. 

Here’s to another exciting week of Major League Baseball.

For more from Ben Verlander, subscribe to the "Flippin' Bats" podcast on YouTube and follow along on TwitterInstagram and Facebook! 

Ben Verlander is an MLB Analyst for FOX Sports and the host of the "Flippin' Bats" podcast. Born and raised in Richmond, Virginia, Verlander was an All-American at Old Dominion University before he joined his brother, Justin, in Detroit as a 14th-round pick of the Tigers in 2013. He spent five years in the Tigers organization. Follow him on Twitter @Verly32.


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