Top 4 Disappointing MLB Teams First Month of 2018
April is nearly over and, as the old saying goes, teams can’t win the pennant in the first month of the season but they sure can lose it. For these teams, a bad start to the year may have already doomed their postseason aspirations.
Top flops this far 2018 MLB season opener
1. Baltimore Orioles (8-20, last place in the AL East)
Manny Machado has been incredible. The third baseman-turned-shortstop is in the top 10 of all major offensive categories and has retained his ability to make eye-popping plays at his new position. But the players around him have scuffled.
Dan Duquette spent the winter half-heartedly assembling a roster to compete in the American League. Alex Cobb has been a disaster (0-3, 13.11 ERA), Chris Davis is a shell of his former self (.167/.257/.256, two home runs), and the team has been riddled with injuries. Go see Machado while you can, O’s fans.
2. Washington Nationals (12-16, fourth place in the NL East)
Bryce Harper will be a free agent after this season, and he may not be coming back to the nation’s capital. Washington needs to win now in a surprisingly competitive division.
Of any club on this list, the Nationals have the best chance to bounce back and make a deep playoff run. They just have too much talent not to. Harper has been good, and other teams know it. His 36 walks lead the league. A healthy Anthony Rendon will do wonders for the lineup. However, this bullpen still needs help; their 4.91 ERA is the third-worst in the NL.
3. Minnesota Twins (9-14, third in AL Central)
The Twins are lucky to play in this division. The Twins, Indians and Royals are the three worst offenses in the AL. They all play in the Central and Cleveland leads the entire division with a mediocre 14-12 record. For Minnesota, the race is far from over.
Byron Buxton was hitting just .195/.233/.244 in the season’s first few weeks before he landed on the DL. They need his bat to wake up. In general, the offense is struggling with the lack of home runs. Their 25 long balls are the third fewest in the AL.
4. Los Angeles Dodgers (12-15, fourth in NL West)
The defending National League champions are being overshadowed by two division rivals that made the playoffs last year. An influx of power would do the Dodgers a world of good. They are tied for 25th in the league in home runs hit, but they are in the top half of teams in on base percentage (.326). Some timely long balls could help them perform a bit better in close games (3-5 in one-run games).
Both Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig are struggling with injuries. Cody Bellinger (.291/.351/.476) has been one of the team’s most consistent offensive threats but is now clashing with management over “lack of hustle”. This is a supremely talented bunch, but they play in a difficult division. Their margin for error is razor thin.