Photo courtesy of ladodgerreport.com
By: Ross Sutton
So far this season, many of the teams in the league that were supposed to dominate, have not played up to expectations. Let’s take a closer look as to why these teams have been struggling.
Dodgers (8-10): After a successful year in which they went all the way to game 7 of the World Series, the Dodgers have struggled so far this year. The injury bug seems to have plagued the team and this is likely a major reason as to why they are not playing good baseball. Some injured players on the team include: Justin Turner (broken wrist), Rich Hill (hand inflammation) and Logan Forsythe (shoulder inflammation). Although having three players on the DL is not that much, Justin Turner is the heart and sole of this offense as his numbers over the last few seasons have been off the charts. Rich Hill is also a key part of the Dodgers rotation and they need him in order to be World Series contenders. The Dodgers are an incredibly talented team and they should be able to figure things out once they get some of their best players back from injury.
Yankees (9-9): The Yankees have not lived up to expectations this year as they currently sit in third place in the AL East. The biggest issues so far this year for the Yankees have been shaky outings from the starting rotation, sloppy defense, and inconsistent offense. Not to use injuries as an excuse, but the Yankees have really struggled to stay healthy since the end of spring training when Greg Bird went down with an ankle injury that required surgery. Other Yankees to miss time this season due to injuries include: Gary Sanchez, C.C Sabathia, Brandon Drury, Tommy Kahnle, Aaron Hicks, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Clint Frazier. Much like the Dodgers, I think the Yankees will turn things around once they regain their health. I also think the Yankees would greatly benefit from making a trade for a starting pitcher at the deadline. The Yankees were rumored to be interested in a few pitchers during the offseason that would have bolstered their rotation including Gerrit Cole, who has been fantastic this year with the Astros. Possibly regretting not acquiring a starting pitcher in the offseason, the Yankees might be active at the trade deadline in order to make them favorites in the American League.
Cubs (9-8): The Cubs are looking to get back to the World Series this year after last year’s disappointing ending. One reason for their lack of success in 2018 could be the fact that Anthony Rizzo is dealing with a back injury. That being said, the Cubs have a great team even without Rizzo and should have a better record. The Cubs have not pitched well to this point in the season, as Jon Lester has the best ERA amongst the team’s starters with a 3.10. Maybe the cold weather is causing the pitchers some issues, but they should still be pitching better. The biggest addition of the offseason for the Cubs was signing Yu Darvish to a 6-year, 126 million dollar deal. This has not paid dividends yet for the Cubs as Darvish currently owns a poor 6.00 ERA. The Cubs are such a talented team, they will very likely play a lot better as the season goes on.
Overall, these three teams are all so talented, there is no reason to push the panic button yet. If things do not get better by the deadline, the Dodgers, Yankees, and Cubs will likely be very involved in trying to improve their team’s chances of winning the World Series in 2018.
Stats courtesy of baseball-reference.com
Injuries courtesy of foxsports.com
Follow @Nosebleed_MLB for more!