It’s been a fun start to the Major League Baseball season, with a lot of reminders of why baseball is such a special sport. The reigning World Series Champion Boston Red Sox are currently struggling mightily, sitting in last place of their division with a 6-12 record, while the small market Tampa Bay Rays are in first place of the American League East at 13-4. Will the standings stay like this forever? Probably not. But that’s the beauty of baseball: you really don’t know what can happen.
Both the Red Sox and the New York Yankees have been struggling a bit to start the season, with the Yankees currently sitting at 7-9 with an array of injuries at almost every position. Just like every April, the New York Mets have come out strong from the gate, but are also 10-8 and have unbelievable issues with their pitching, a category that was their strong suit in 2018. With the season still so young, let’s take a look at what our regions three teams can do to improve as the 162-game schedule progresses.
Boston Red Sox
The state of the Boston Red Sox is certainly one many fans did not expect, coming off a World Series victory with a lot of the same players on the roster coming into 2019. From giving up 15 runs to the Arizona Diamondbacks on April 5, to more recently losing 8-1 to the embarrassingly bad Baltimore Orioles on Patriot Day Monday, the Sox are obviously not in a good place.
Some of the horrific stats include, but are not limited to, being outscored by 40 runs through 18 games, losing by at least four runs seven times now and the worst start in team history since a 3-15 slate in 1996. Their team ERA is also a 7.18, the worst in team history through 18 games, and star pitcher Chris Sale currently sports a 8.50 ERA without a win in four starts. Certainly not a way to celebrate a World Series.
The good news is that the Red Sox hitters are still producing. J.D. Martinez, Xander Bogaerts and Mitch Moreland all are posting an OPS around .900. Andrew Benintendi has also starred for Boston, hitting .293 on the season. There’s some good things to work with, but the key to the Red Sox will be their consistency. If they can bring everything together with time, I’m sure they’ll be fine.
New York Yankees
The Yankees have only won one series on the year against the Orioles, but where they stand is not as bad as their record shows. With Troy Tulowitzki, Greg Bird, Gary Sanchez, Dellin Betances, Aaron Hicks, Luis Severino, Giancarlo Stanton, Didi Gregorius and Miguel Andujar all out at this moment, it’s obvious New York is just trying to tread above water until they can get back at full force. There’s no doubt that with a full squad, the Yankees have the possibility to be one of the best teams baseball has ever seen.
New York just needs to get hot at the right moment, and with Boston struggling so mightily, I wouldn’t have much to worry about if I was a Yankees fan. Yeah, the Rays are a good team, but they don’t have enough on their roster to compete with New York down the stretch. Most of these injuries will be resolved within the next few weeks, just be positive Yankee fans.
New York Mets
Ah April, the best time of the year to be a Mets fan. New York was able to get off to a 12-2 start in 2018, but in 2019 everything hasn’t been green grass and sunshine. The Mets are certainly hitting, scoring more than five runs in 13 of the team’s first 18 games. But the pitching, wow it’s just awful. You can’t trust anyone in the bullpen, and even some of the starting pitchers have shown issues at the jump of the season.
Most recently comes Steven Matz’s performance at Philadelphia on Tuesday. He gave up eight runs in the first inning, and couldn’t even record an out. And Jason Vargas; why is this guy even still on the team? After having an ERA of 5.02 in 2018, he currently is throwing a 8.19, and hasn’t shown the ability to win a game at all. There’s only one resolution for the Mets: sign Dallas Keuchel or Craig Kimbrel, and they’ll be just fine.