By: Chandler Ragsdale
There have been some good teams thus far this season, but there have also been some really…average ones. What is most surprising about some of these teams being so average is that most of them were expected to be very good. This includes teams such as the Yankees, Dodgers, Cubs and Nationals. Therefore the question is raised, is this a sign of things to come, or just a slow start for some of these teams?
The Dodgers have been average at best so far in 2018, and a lot of that has been contributed to their struggling offense. They are in the lower half of the league in runs scored so far, and that is shown in their overall record. Ace Clayton Kershaw is 1-3 so far this season, with a 2.45 ERA (mlb.com)! He is obviously doing his part, but he hasn’t received much run support. With this being said, I do think that this is something that the Dodgers will continue to deal with in their near future. While their lineup isn’t bad, they haven’t produced much power this season, being 22nd in the MLB in homers (mlb.com). If they can’t produce enough runs for Clayton Kershaw to win games, then I’m not sure where the majority of their victories will be coming from this season.
The Nationals have also been struggling this April. A big part of their struggles is due to the NL East not being as weak as it was a year ago. In 2017, they had literally NO competition within their division, and a lot of their wins came from them beating up on their division opponents. However, things are looking different so far in 2018. They are only 5-7 against their division opponents this season, and the Mets, Phillies, and Braves are all above .500 (mlb.com). That leaves the Nationals in 4th in this division and the Marlins last, who will more than likely continue to be uncompetitive this season. I think that with this division being more competitive than a year ago, the Nationals won’t be as successful in 2018.
The Yankees and Cubs are also currently among the average teams in the MLB. The Yankees can hit just fine, but their success is still in question because it isn’t known if their pitching will step up and help them get some wins. They’re currently 20th in the MLB in ERA with a team posting of 4.30 (mlb.com). Good pitching beats good hitting to me, and so far it is being shown that the Yankees won’t be able to rely solely on their lineup in 2018. The Cubs, however, are not in as bad of a position as it may seem. They aren’t doing too bad in any particular category thus far in the early portion of this season, but they just aren’t winning close games. The NL produces a lot of low-scoring, close games, and being that this team isn’t too different from the 2016 World Series Champion team, I think that they will turn things around and start to win some of these close games.