Tom Greene | June 10th, 2019
The calendar flips to June on this 2019 baseball season. At this point, all 30 teams have had hot and cold streaks. All 30 teams have felt the excitement, and now reality has hit. For some of these teams, the euphoria of a possible World Series coming to the city is possible. For others, the rebuilding continues. However, these two teams have the best record in their respective leagues as the calendar flips. Let’s break them down.
The AL’s best team on June 1st…
Is, believe it or not, the Minnesota Twins. With a 38-18 record, the Twins have surprised people everywhere… except our @jball0202, of course. After firing Paul Molitor at the end of last season, the Twins took a chance on hiring a new, young face to the managerial scene. Rocco Baldelli has done an amazing job with his first managerial job in the bigs, and he has the Twins pointing in the right direction. A manager change brings a new voice to the clubhouse, and players may respond positively or negatively to that. So far, it’s been very positive.
The Twins’ starting rotation has proven to make a difference. The rotation has a 3.71 ERA, mirroring the ERA Martin Perez has. Also, Perez, Jose Berrios, and Jake Odorizzi each have seven wins, which is among the top in the league. Odorizzi has proven to be the Ace on the staff so far, despite the Twins signing Michael Pineda last offseason as a power arm. With a 2.16 ERA, look for Odorizzi to start Game 1 of a possible playoff series if it started today.
As for hitting, the Twins are batting .272, which is second in the MLB behind the Astros. Mitch Garver has provided the average when he is healthy. Eddie Rosario has provided the average in Garver’s absence, and the power whether or not Garver is there. The additions of C.J. Cron and Nelson Cruz have also helped in the power department. A combined 46 home runs have been hit between the four. Needless to say, the left field bleachers at Target Field have been peppered, and more will come from that as the weather heats up.
The NL’s best team on June 1st…
Is the Dodgers. Not a huge surprise at this point, but there are still four months to play in this regular season. Losing Manny Machado from the rental trade last season hurt the team, but the emergence of Cody Bellinger has helped fill that void. Of course, a few short years ago, losing Vin Scully from the broadcast booth broke the hearts of many fans, but Joe Davis has helped fill that void, despite Scully being unreplaceable.
At 39-19, the Dodgers are right on pace with the Twins to not only win their division but win it by a lot. On my podcast, I had said that the Dodgers are bound to hit a cold streak at some time. This could very well happen before, or even after the All-Star break. It will depend on the pitching, hitting, and whatever happens on July 31st that will help determine this.
As for what they have now, the Dodgers, like the Twins, have a solid rotation. With a starting ERA of 3.06, the pitching looks like it won’t slow down anytime soon… unless Hyun-Jin Ryu suffers another injury. Ryu is amazing when he is healthy. His 1.48 ERA and eight wins backs this statement up. However, injury after injury has affected his career, as well as the chance for a Cy Young. Dodgers fans hope that he makes it through the season healthy. If not, Clayton Kershaw and Rich Hill will have to pick up the slack.
Dodger batting isn’t quite like Twins batting, hitting only .266 as a team, but Bellinger has made the team shine. 20 home runs and a .379 average has him in the driver’s seat for an NL batting title at this point. Justin Turner and Alex Verdugo have supplemented him with better than .300 averages each. Clearly, the .266 average might be low, as this lineup might mash into October with authority.
The Final Line
Both leagues have stiff competition to catch up to in the month of June, and teams will certainly find out where they stand by the end of this month. However, one thing is clear. The Twins and Dodgers are on the right path. The other 28 teams have to follow them, and we’ll see how closely each team does in the coming month.
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