With the 2021 MLB season underway, we have witnessed teams such as the Boston Red Sox and San Francisco Giants exceed expectations. However, there are teams that haven’t gotten off to the start we projected. Here, we discuss who is having a slow start to the new season:
Los Angeles Dodgers
After a relatively hot first few weeks, the reigning World Series Champion have cooled off to a sluggish start. Having lost eight of their last 10 games, the Dodgers has fallen to third in the NL West. This is despite coming off a typically fantastic year in 2020, and continuing above-average pitching into this year. Sitting at an 3.30 ERA, the Dodgers sit at the sixth-lowest ERA in baseball. This issue has been their offense. Los Angeles has cooled to the point where Justin Turner is the only batter with a batting average over the .300 mark. Hitters can be streaky, and that’s what you’re seeing here.
After winning the AL Central in 2020, the Minnesota Twins have fallen to fourth place in the division across the first 32 games. Sitting seven games back, the Twins have gone 5-5 in their last 10 games. With the 10th-worst ERA in the league, most assume that would be the sole reason for the slow start. Unfortunately, the Twins also rank 16th in runs. Minnesota has fallen from the expectations many had for them when the season began.
Many hoped that after a positive 2020 campaign that the Reds would finally find success this season. They jumped to a hot early start, but since then, have declined to a winning mark just above .500. With the fifth-highest ERA in the league, it’s easy to see why. If the Reds can get better pitching out of the likes of Luis Castillo, Amir Garrett, and Cionel Pérez, they can find themselves in a better position to succeed.
Los Angeles Angels
The Los Angeles Angels started the season as one of the most exciting teams in baseball. With the likes of Mike Trout, Anthony Rendon, and a two-way talent in Shohei Ohtani, many expected this to be one of the teams on the must-watch list. While the individual talent has followed through, the Angels have lost seven of their last ten games en route to a 16-18 overall record. Los Angeles is currently last in the AL West, which has been competitive over the last few years. The pitching staff contains the fourth-highest ERA in baseball; an issue that has been nagging them for a number of years now.
The NL East
The NL East has adopted many of the traits of its NFL counterpart in the NFC East. Every team in this division is currently in the race to start the season, but it’s not because they’re playing efficiently. Each team has underperformed to start the season, from the Phillies batting woes to the Braves poor pitching. It will be interesting to watch which team pulls away in the division race, because right now, it’s anyone’s game.