Ha Sung Kim (San Diego Padres) isn’t smiling in the best season of his big league career.
Through 18 games this season, Kim is batting .281 (112-for-398) with 15 home runs, 27 doubles, 42 RBIs and an OPS of 0.813 in 118 games.
His Wins Above Replacement (WAR) of 5.8 ranks fourth in the majors.
Still, it’s the team’s slump that’s bothering Kim.
The Padres are 58-64 with a .475 winning percentage, good for fourth place in Major League Baseball’s (MLB) National League (NL) West.
The Padres are 17 games behind the NL West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers (74-46 and a .617 winning percentage) and will need to qualify for the postseason as a wild card, which is not an easy task.
In the wild-card race, which excludes the first-place teams in each of the NL’s three districts, the Padres are seventh out of 12 teams with winning percentages of one through three.
Five games separate them from the third wild-card spot, the Chicago Cubs (62-58, .517 winning percentage) at the end of fall baseball.
It’s hard to believe that this is a team with some of the best hitters in the league, including Juan Soto, Manny Machado, Fernando Tatis Jr. and Xander Bogaerts.
“San Diego may have five or 10 of the best players in the league, but it doesn’t have the best 26-man (active roster) or 40-man (full roster),” MLB.com recently wrote, “and that power imbalance has caused a lot of problems.”
The day before, ESPN said, “One of the reasons San Diego struggles with its star-studded roster is its inability to win close games,” noting that the team is “1-10 in close games this season, 0-10 in overtime and 6-19 in one-point games.”
It’s safe to say that San Diego’s fate in its quest for an upset will depend on nine games in the next ten days.
The Padres open a four-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks and a three-game series against the Miami Marlins at home starting today, followed by a three-game road trip to the Milwaukee Brewers on April 26.
All three teams are must-wins for San Diego.
Arizona (62 wins, 60 losses, .508 winning percentage) sits just above the Padres in the sixth wild-card spot, while fifth-place Miami (63 wins, 59 losses, .516 winning percentage) is closing in on third-place Chicago.
Milwaukee (65 wins, 57 losses, .533 winning percentage) is the first-place team in the NL Central.
“San Diego will need to leapfrog Arizona and Miami to make the postseason,” MLB.com wrote the day before, calling it “the most important week for San Diego this season.”
After dropping the first game of the series to Arizona, 1-3, 먹튀검증토토사이트 the Padres will be going all out for the remaining nine games.