It’s been a week of Major League Baseball and though there are 156 or so games remaining in the season, there have already been some winners and losers in the first week.
Some teams like the Dodgers and Houston, have performed exactly as expected, as they pursue a trip to the World Series. Others, like Boston and the New York Yankees have been a bit of a shock with their poor starts.
Some surprises also loom, such as the Baltimore Orioles, who had 47 wins last year, and were pegged by oddsmakers to finish with less than 60 this season.
We take a look at the first week of the season, and some of the winners and losers.
His season didn’t start out that well, as he was booed after his second at bat as a new member of the Philadelphia Phillies, but it didn’t take long to win the jaded fans over.
In the team’s second game Harper launched a bomb over the right field wall, the second longest homer hit at the park. The crowd went into a frenzy, clamoring for their newest superstar to take a curtain call, which he did.
“Really cool moment,” Harper said, “for the whole ballpark. …It was really cool to hit a homer for my first hit. Definitely one of the coolest homers I ever hit.”
He then went to his former team’s ballpark and got more boos, but silenced the crowd with a home run there as well.
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Los Angeles Dodgers are so far living up to expectations, one of the few World Series title chasers to do so. The team is 5-2, atop the National League West.
The pitching was going to struggle a bit until ace Clayton Kershaw and Rich Hill return to the rotation, but the depth has helped tremendously. As has the offense, which is currently second the in the majors.
The Baltimore Orioles were supposed to be nothing better than a Triple A team, but starting out with a 4-2 record, including winning two of three from the Yankees on the road.
Last season the team finished with 115 losses, the worst in the baseball. In six games they matched their longest winning streak from 2018.
”It’s been fun,” pitcher Andrew Cashner said. ”There’s definitely a different culture in here. There’s no pressure on these young guys. Nobody is counting on us to win so it’s `Let’s just go out there and play.”’
New York Yankees
New York has several hospitals in Manhattan, but they might need to build a wing for the Yankees if this injury bug continues. The Bronx Bombers have 10 players on the disabled list, including Giancarlo Stanton and Miguel Andujar.
Andujar might be done for the season, and that would leave a gaping hole in the infield. This was a team that was the second pick to win the World Series, but they are 2-4 and just above the last-place Boston Red Sox.
Boston Red Sox
Boston was supposed to be challenging the New York Yankees for the American League East title, not the basement. That is exactly where the two teams are right now.
The Red Sox didn’t lose four games in a row all of last season on their run to the World Series, but managed to do so the first week of the season. It almost was five straight, but ninth-inning heroics from Mookie Betts snapped the streak.
The defending World Series champions will most likely right the ship, but this is definitely not the start they wanted.
Los Angeles Angels
The team is off to a 1-5 start and somewhere former manager Mike Scioscia is quietly smiling. Those batting around Mike Trout are awful. Justin Bour has a batting average of .056, and it’s not the worst. That honor belongs to third baseman Zack Cozart, who is at .053.
Others that have been near Trout are Andrelton Simmons (.174), and Kole Calhoun (.208), who has hit the only home run so far for the team. The team has 13 runs in six games, which is 27th in the league.
The pitching has been equally awful. There is no one on the staff, either starter or reliever, that has an ERA under 3.00.
It could be a long season in Anaheim.