The Dodgers Are Not off to a Good Start in 2018

The Los Angeles Dodgers

The Los Angeles Dodgers had a magical run in 2017 that brought them one win short of a World Series title. They also had the best record of any team in the regular season. The team did not lose any key players from last season. Therefore, it has surprised many fans and people in the media to see the team struggle so mightily during the first week of the season. The Dodgers have compiled a record of 2-5 during that stretch. Their offense has yet to get on track. They have been striking out with regularity. In short, nothing has been going right for the Dodgers in the first week of the 2018 season.

Nobody in the Dodger organization is panicking yet. After all, the season is 162 games long and only seven have been played. However, there are a few issues that are causes for concern. The first big problem involves Kenley Jansen. He turned in one of the most dominant seasons that any relief pitcher has ever had. He was nearly unhittable and impossible to score against for the majority of last season. However, Jansen has been used a lot the past five season. This has led the Dodgers to make an effort to use him less this season. He didn't pitch a lot in spring training. His lack of work has translated into some poor performances. He gave up a homer to Arizona that tied the game and a go-ahead homer to San Francisco.

Justin Turner and Cody Bellinger are two more key contributors from last year who have struggled during the first seven games of the season. Turner has been a very consistent performer over the past four seasons. Bellinger broke the National League record for home runs by a rookie last season when he belted 39. The Dodgers need both of these guys to contribute if they are going to contend for a playoff spot this year.

It would be an understatement to say that expectations for the Dodgers are very high this year after what the team was able to do last year. They are loaded with talent from top to bottom. The odds are good that the team will get things turned around sooner rather than later. However, they need to avoid digging themselves a deep hole that will be hard for them to get out of. Only time will tell if they can get on track.