The fact is that the 162-game MLB season takes its toll very slowly. Top teams may slowly fall into third place and out of contention, while teams in third place may end up on top.
Are there any teams after about ten days into the season that are out of it? Iâ€™d sayâ€” â€œYes.â€? And here they are based on about 11 games and according to their depth and potential.
The AL teams that look to be out of it include the Baltimore Orioles, Tampa Bay Rays and Kansas City Royals. Here is whatâ€™s upâ€”
The Baltimore Oriolesâ€”The team is not playing badly but they simply donâ€™t have the depth in their rotation to sustain a 162-game season. Right now the pitching is good.
Tampa Bay Raysâ€”Known for having young talent, the clubâ€™s pitching staff is already struggling. And the front office wonâ€™t do much if anything to improve things during the season. Theyâ€™re hitting at a good clip but so too are opponents.
Kansas City Royalsâ€”This club does not have the hitting. Theyâ€™re batting .226 as a club, while opponents are punching the ball around at a .278 clip. No one can win many games with that disparity.
The AL West is the weakest division in the league and for that reason itâ€™s tough to rule out any team.
In the NL, the Washington Nationals, Pittsburgh Pirates, Chicago Cubs, San Francisco Giants and Colorado Rockies are all destined to watch the post season from their dens.
Washington Nationalsâ€”Enough said. There is simply no depth and little to recommend this club. Close to no hitting, poor pitching and inadequate fielding have this team already at 3- 9.
Pittsburgh Piratesâ€”The Pirates really need closer Torres to be consistent. He has 4 saves but also one loss and an ERA of 6.00. The team is better than itâ€™s been, but it doesnâ€™t have the balance of hitting and pitching needed to get into the playoffs.
Chicago Cubsâ€”This pick is based more on the competitive division than the team itself. The Cubs are in possession of a solid pitching staff, including a good closer in Ryan Dempster. The team can also hit. But St. Louis and a much-improved Milwaukee team will be tough to beat. The NL Central division is the largest with six teams.
San Francisco Giantsâ€”Is Barry Bonds really an asset to this team or a sideshow? The hitting is average at best and the pitching staff lacks a solid closer and depth in the bullpen. This is the Dodgersâ€™ division.
Colorado Rockiesâ€”The Rockies have a solid pitching staff but lack the hitting to carry them along and to give their hurlers some breathing room. Coors Field can really get to a pitching staff during a long season.
Thatâ€™s my take at the start of this season. Some are obvious certainly. The Cubs could breakout, but I doubt it will happen.