Key weaknesses for contenders
Examining surprising early-season holes for Cardinals, Dodgers and Tigers
It's the first week of May, and so that means it's still early in the season, but maybe not quite as early as you think. No, none of the various starting pitchers with ERA marks south of 2.00 are going to keep that up all year long -- well, maybe Jose Fernandez -- but most teams have played about 18 percent of their schedules at this point.
It's enough that it can't be totally discarded, and where we can at least take an early look at contenders, identify some potential trouble spots and see if there's anything they can -- or should -- do about fixing their early-season ailments.
Here's a look at key weaknesses that have emerged for three contenders.
The Cardinals can't hit lefty pitching
St. Louis is struggling badly against lefty pitching, trailing all of baseball in wOBA:
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Eliminating defensive shifts is a really bad idea.