As the MLB season has completed week 2, we will examine some teams going in the right direction. And some other teams that didn’t fare so well this second week. So for this piece, we will look at three MLB teams going “Up” and three teams going “down.” Three up and three down will be coming out each Monday of the regular MLB season.
1 Up: Boston Red Six
We begin this week’s list with the Boston Red Sox. Boston is coming off a league-best six-game winning streak, and they are plus 15 runs in run differential. The Red Sox have been an offensive force after dropping the opening series of the season. And while division standing don’t matter this early on, Boston finds itself atop the competitive American League East division. How much longer the Red Sox maintain this streak will depend on their pitching. But for now, their offense is happy to carry the load for the whole team.
1 Down: Washington Nationals
For all the positive success the Red Sox are having, the Washington Nationals are the antithesis of that right now. The Nationals find themselves on the losing end of a five-game streak and -10 in the run differential department. And while it’s still early in the season. And the Nats have shown an ability to come back late in a season and win it all; this is the kind of slow start they wanted to avoid in 2021.
2 Up: Cleveland Indians
While not yet at the heights of the Red Sox’s 6-game streak, the Indians have a 4-gamer going right now. Cleveland also finds itself with an+15 in the run differential department. Scoring 15 more runs than you’ve allowed is a very impressive talent for the Indians as their pitching staff has some questions about it, as does their offense. For the Tribe, it will be a long season and a season of adversity. However, if they can maintain this type of success, it could be a productive season.
2 Down: Detroit Tigers
And to counter the positive position of the Indians early in are the Tigers and their poor start. It has only been nine games, but the Tigers are already at a dreadful .333 winning percentage. Detroit also finds itself with the league’s second-worst run differential at -25. The Tigers were not a club that people expected to compete in 2021. They were looked at as a club that was going to give some opportunities to young players to “see what they have.” And Detroit was going to employ veterans looking for another chance and to rebuild h their value. And so far, nothing had gone the way of the Tigers in 2021. But it’s still early, and Tigers’ fans can hold out hope that it gets better once things heat up in Motown. Otherwise, in the battle of Detroit vs. everybody, everybody will win.
3 Up: Los Angeles Dodgers
As if this was a shock or surprise, the best team in baseball is playing the best baseball in MLB. Over the course of their first 10 games, the Dodgers are 8-2 with an MLB best +23 run differential. LA is the best team in MLB, and it’s by enough of a margin to call it big. So the fact that they’re in this list almost board lines on unnecessary. But they are on a roll with an .800% winning percentage. And it doesn’t seem like it’s going away anytime soon.
3 Down: Oakland Athletics
And while the Dodgers have an MLB best-run differential of +23, the Oakland A’s have an MLB worst -32 with a 3-7 record across ten games. The A’s will find themselves in a season-long battle with the Astros and Angels for the AL West division crown. And while it’s early, and this slow start can be erased quickly with a couple of good series against these division rivals, it’s still a slow start to figure out mentally. And if the approach isn’t right, the season could be over before it really starts.
Bolo: Minnesota Twins
The Minnesota Twins are an interesting team to keep an eye on this season. Minnesota will be one of the teams competing for the American League Central crown. And early on in the season, Minnesota has played well. Currently, the Twins are +21 in run differential, and despite sitting in third in the division it likely won’t be for much longer.