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The first week of the 2019 MLB season should definitely be taken with a grain of salt. However, whether it's due to injuries or poor play, there are several contending teams that have had such disappointing starts to the season that, if left unchecked, could lead to a lost year.
Here are five preseason contenders that have failed to live up to expectations so far.
1. New York Yankees
The New York Yankees were the favorites to win the World Series heading into the 2019 season, but they've started the season like anything but. The Bronx Bombers have stumbled out of the gate, with a 2-4 record and have suffered a slew of injuries to key players. There's still plenty of time for the Yanks to get healthy, but it could be a tough road for them if they're unable to keep themselves afloat in the meantime.
2. Boston Red Sox
If you told me that the defending World Series champions would start the year 2-5, I'd say you're out of your mind. Yet, here we are. The Boston Red Sox have given up 45 runs through their first seven contests this year and unless the pitching improves, a title defense will look less and less likely as the season moves along.
3. Houston Astros
The Houston Astros were right on par with the Yankees as World Series favorites to start the year, but inconsistent hitting through their first six games has seen the 'Stros limp to a 2-5 record to start the year. The expectation is that Houston's bats are bound to wake up and it should retake its place at the top of the AL West standings, but its slow start could lead to a lower playoff seed come October.
4. Washington Nationals
The Washington Nationals were considered NL East favorites despite losing Bryce Harper to the Phillies in free agency and the improved talent in the division, but a shaky bullpen has proven to be their Achilles heel during their disappointing 2-3 start. Unless it quickly cleans things up in the late innings, D.C. could be in for a long season.
5. Chicago Cubs
The Chicago Cubs have hit the ball well to start the season, but pitching problems (6.75 team ERA) have been largely responsible for their 1-4 start to the year. Pitching will be key for the Cubs if they want to see success going forward, but reclaiming the NL Central from the Milwaukee Brewers and making another World Series run will be an even harder task if they don't fix things soon.
Mike Esposito is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Mike Esposito also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username espo6891. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.