As the Major League Baseball season enters June, the stakes get higher. This marks the time when teams should start planning ahead for the end of the season. It is the best time to assess their strengths and weaknesses, and make necessary improvements before the playoffs in October. Taking advantage of the optimal weather conditions this month ensures a smooth transition into the second half of the season. Therefore, June is a critical month for teams as it sets the stage for what is to come.
St. Louis Cardinals
The lack of relief for the St. Louis Cardinals has been a notable development in the 2023 season. Despite having an experienced roster and staff and having an advantageous position in the weakest division, they are currently seven games below .500 and are behind the Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates. Neither of these teams is expected to secure a playoff spot in the near future.
The Cardinals appear to possess all the essential components, while the Reds and Pirates lack experience and do not match the Cardinals' breadth. In addition, the Cardinals have a plethora of high-profile athletes at their disposal, as well as a reputable farm system, which puts them in a favorable position to acquire points during the trade deadline, if necessary. Consequently, the Cardinals should be vigilant and wary of their current circumstances.
However, they should anticipate being located in a distinctly different location within a period of one to two months.
San Diego Padres
The Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates are currently in rebuilding processes and are not expected to make the playoffs anytime soon. Meanwhile, the multi-hit San Diego Padres are struggling with a four-game record below .500 and appear to be on the verge of falling apart. However, if they can remain competitive, there is hope for a brighter future ahead.
Besides Juan Soto, who struggled during the first month of the tournament, the remaining top performers are hard to find. While Manny Machado's potential is on hold due to injury, Xander Bogaerts' OPS is 69 points lower than his usual performance. Jake Cronenworth's batting average, a contact specialist, is at an all-time high of .206.
Fernando Tatis Jr. doesn't get to showcase his professional prowess either. He has a significant gap of over 150 points from his career high OPS.
- Cardinals (@cardenales) May 31, 2023
The Arizona Rattlers have had a challenging division for years, anticipating young talent and prospects, striving to achieve their goals in a year or two. This time, however, Arizona managed to do something they never could have expected.
They are 11 games above .500 and trail the Los Angeles Dodgers as the second highest ranked team in Western Newfoundland.
Despite batting less than many other teams, the Baltimore Orioles have managed to rank fourth in the majors with 53 total bases, using an aggressive style of play that fits well with MLB's more accessible base-stealing rules. Interestingly, the team is a step ahead of the Rattlers in some respects, despite facing a more challenging rebuilding process.
This season, they placed their trust in the potential of their young players to elevate their team's performance to new heights. These rising stars have proven to be reliable contributors to the positions they play. Their positions may rest in second place in a fiercely competitive division, but this team exhibits a sense of self-confidence that could lead them to invest in their roster this year, despite giving up such stock last season.