Measuring Chris Davis' struggles
One of baseball's best hitters is now a liability. What happened?
At the All-Star break last season, Baltimore Orioles slugger Chris Davis was hitting .315 with a stunning 37 homers, 93 RBIs and a 1.109 OPS, and was a top candidate for the AL MVP award. After years of failing to translate minor league production into major league results, Davis had finally taken advantage of his prodigious power and produced at an elite level.
Fast-forward just about a year, and Davis' stat line has crashed back to earth. Entering Wednesday's action, Davis was hitting .201 with 14 homers, 44 RBIs and a .711 OPS.
Despite Davis' struggles, the Orioles currently sit atop the AL East. Still, they're just 2.5 games ahead of the Toronto Blue Jays and have only a four-game lead on the New York Yankees. If the O's want to hold on and win their first AL East title since 1997, they'll need Davis to start hitting like he did last season.
Just how bad has Davis been in 2014? Let's take a closer look at three key areas where Davis excelled a year ago, and is now struggling:
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The Giants cruised to a lopsided win in Game 1.