You can say that the Los Angeles Dodgers' poor start to the season can be traced back to game seven of last year's World Series. You can say that a slew of injuries have hampered the Dodgers. You can say that the slow starts of players like Cody Bellinger and Yasiel Puig have hurt L.A. Either way, Los Angeles is in early trouble at 16-24.
To make matters worse, the Arizona Diamondbacks have gotten off to a hot start and the Colorado Rockies are starting to get their act together. Even with Arizona currently on a six-game losing streak and everyone else playing middle-of-the-pack baseball, the Dodgers can't seem to gain any headway in the NL West.
It isn't like the Dodgers are suffering from any pitching problems; they're 12th in total team ERA at 3.97 and 11th in team WHIP at 1.30. It's that the Dodgers can't get a lot of extra-base hits, for they rank 24th in slugging percentage at .387. The Dodgers' power/speed number [2(HR x SB)(SB + HR)] is nearly half of the league average, sitting at 18 for 2018 compared to the league average of 29. Los Angeles also sits below the league average in ISO [(total bases - hits)/AB] with a number of only .148 (the league average is .161).
With the slow start by the Dodgers might bring up an interesting question: Should the Dodgers trade ace Clayton Kershaw? Kershaw has an opt-out option at the end of the season and can become a free agent. If Los Angeles didn't want to give an aging pitcher a lot of money, they could opt to try for gathering more prospects. However, this may prove to be a bit of a stretch not because of his age, but because of his recent injury history. How can a contending team trade for Kershaw if he'll just get hurt down the stretch? It seems like a scenario as a result of overthinking. However, it is a possibility. But if the Dodgers wanted to contend, they could try for a Manny Machado rental. However, it'll probably come at the cost of valued prospects like Alex Verdugo and Walker Buehler.
The good news for the Dodgers is that Justin Turner and Logan Forsythe are both returning from the disabled list today. This should help the lineup a bit. However, the Dodgers will need to make a charge immediately if they are to get back into contention. Otherwise, the competition will leaving Los Angeles feeling blue.
My life! Food, sports, school. It's what it is!