Every single Major League team now has 30 games under their belts, which gives us enough data to start surveying the MLB landscape looking for surprises and disappointments. Fans in Boston, Kansas City, and Denver have to be thrilled with their respective teams hot starts.
However, for fans in other cities things haven’t been as bright. The Toronto Blue Jays were handed the AL East by most pundits before the season even began and they’ve fallen flat on their face out of the gate, carrying a 10-21 record that only the Houston Astros and Miami Marlins are envious of. Things are also starting to get dicey in Anaheim, where the Angels have once again stumbled in the early weeks of the season. Their supposedly vaunted offense has yet to earn its pay, thanks to its middle of the pack ranking in the AL in runs scored, and L.A.’s pitching staff minus Jered Weaver has been a disaster.
They’re not the only cities that are getting anxious about their ball club’s slow start either. Fans in Philadelphia were hoping that a once-great pitching staff led by Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels, and Cliff Lee could rebound to carry the Phillies to the playoffs, but that hasn’t materialized thus far. The Dodgers were imagining themselves as the west coast Yankees with a budget to match. So far all that lavish spending has gotten them is 4th place and a struggling Matt Kemp.Even the handful of fans that attend Rays games have to feel a little nervous in the AL East watching their starting nine drop to 1-6 in games started by Cy Young winner David Price.
With today’s 3-0 defeat at the hands of rival San Francisco, the Dodgers have relinquished sole possession of 1st place in the NL West for the 1st time since April 10th. The team has been slumping ever since Matt Kemp went back on the DL, going 11-14 since May 31st. The team has particularly struggled of late, losing 8 of their last 9. What’s even worse is that the San Francisco Giants have been able to make up 5 games in that amount of time, punctuating their mini-comeback with a 3-game sweep to tie for 1st. The Dodgers were outscored 13-0 by their rival from Northern California, the first time in the history of the franchise that they were shutout in a series of 3 games or more. So why, all of the sudden, is the outlook on LA’s dream season begun to turn cloudy? And can the Dodgers turn it around this season, or are they destined to drop behind San Francisco or maybe even Arizona, who’s only 4.5 games back of 1st?