MLB Power rankings – One week in, Cubs still on top – Sports News

MLB Sports News

After spending 25 of 27 weeks on top of our rankings last season, and opening at No. 1 in our preseason rankings, it’s more of the same for the Chicago Cubs. But it wasn’t unanimous, with the Cleveland Indians and Baltimore Orioles both getting support for the top spot. The Orioles jumped all the way up to No. 4 from their preseason ranking of No. 13. A little lower in the rankings, the Minnesota Twins (No. 28 to No. 14) and the Arizona Diamondbacks (No. 22 to No. 9) made big moves up.

 

1. Chicago Cubs

Record: 4-2
Preseason ranking: No. 1

Despite a slow start from reigning MVP Kris Bryant (0-for-his-first-13 with six K’s), the Cubs won their opening series in St. Louis behind strong pitching, allowing nine runs in three games. They’ll be tested at home this week in a three-game series against the Dodgers in a rematch of last year’s National League Championship Series. — Paul Hembekides, ESPN Stats & Information


 

2. Cleveland Indians

Record: 3-3
Preseason ranking: No. 2

The reigning American League champs swept the Rangers in their first series of the season, but then dropped three straight in Arizona. The good news is Francisco Lindor has three homers so far. He didn’t hit his third homer until his 37th game last season. Big free-agent acquisition Edwin Encarnación is hitting .217 and Michael Brantley is hitting .235. Once those two get going, the sky is the limit for this offense. — Michael Bonzagni, ESPN Stats & Information


 

3. Washington Nationals

Record: 3-3
Preseason ranking: No. 6

A few takeaways from Week 1 for the NL East favorites: First, Max Scherzer, broken knuckle and all, is going to be just fine (6⅔ innings, two runs in his season debut). Second, Daniel Murphy‘s 2016 was apparently no fluke, based on a second straight super-hot start. Third, Trea Turner‘s first few at-bats (.158 batting average) probably aren’t a concern, but any hamstring issues for a speed guy are worth keeping a close eye on. Fourth, Blake Treinen wasn’t perfect, but he was good enough in his first trial as closer. — Mark Simon, ESPN Stats & Information


 

4. Baltimore Orioles

Record: 4-1
Preseason ranking: No. 13

The Orioles are 4-1 after starting 7-0 last year. They’ve started 4-1 or better through five games in three of the past seven seasons (2011, 2016, 2017). Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman have both looked good, and the end of the game is a sealed deal with Zach Britton. He hasn’t blown a save since Sept. 20, 2015, against the Rays. — Sarah Langs, ESPN Stats & Information


 

5. Houston Astros

Record: 4-3
Preseason ranking: No. 15

George Springer hit four home runs, but my favorite first-week performance was reliever Chris Devenski, who had two four-inning relief appearances, with the Astros winning both games in extra innings — David Schoenfield, ESPN.com


 

6. Boston Red Sox

Record: 3-2
Preseason ranking: No. 3

The Red Sox had an eventful opening week: from a rainout, team illnesses, to a walk-off home run. And this week won’t be any different. They’ll face four different opponents and play all seven days, thanks to a wraparound series and a rainout. Chris Sale looked like an ace in his Red Sox debut, but the offense sans David Ortiz has not yet replicated its MLB-leading 5.4 runs per game pace from 2016. — Sarah Langs, ESPN Stats & Information


 

7. Los Angeles Dodgers

Record: 4-3
Preseason ranking: No. 4

Yasiel Puig has been working with Justin Turner to get more loft in his swing and had a good first week with three home runs. (And more walks than K’s is a good sign as well.) — David Schoenfield, ESPN.com


 

8. Colorado Rockies

Record: 5-2
Preseason ranking: No. 16

The revamped bullpen had an impressive first week with a 2.88 ERA and a 35/9 SO/BB ratio in 25 innings. Newcomers Greg Holland and Mike Dunn allowed just one hit over eight scoreless innings. — David Schoenfield, ESPN.com


 

9. Arizona Diamondbacks

Record: 6-1
Preseason ranking: No. 22

It’s not just that they had the best first week, but that they did it against the Giants and Indians. They averaged 6.86 runs per game while hitting .313/.369/.504. Let’s see if the bats stay hot this week in San Francisco and L.A. — David Schoenfield, ESPN.com


 

10. Detroit Tigers

Record: 3-2
Preseason ranking: No. 14

The Tigers rank sixth in OPS this season (.808). This is even more impressive considering Miguel Cabrera was 0-for-the-season (12 at-bats) before getting his first hit Sunday against the Red Sox. It was the first time in his career Miggy went hitless in his first four games of a season. — Michael Bonzagni, ESPN Stats & Information


 

11. New York Mets

Record: 3-3
Preseason ranking: No. 9

The front of the rotation — Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom and Matt Harvey — looked as good as the Mets could have hoped for. The back of the rotation … not so much, with both Zack Wheeler and Robert Gsellman (nine innings, eight runs in two starts) unable to give the team sufficient length. The offense has looked like nothing has changed, with a heavy reliance on home runs and a lack of strung-together rallies. — Mark Simon, ESPN Stats & Information

 

12. St. Louis Cardinals

Record: 2-4
Preseason ranking: No. 11

The Cardinals’ rotation has been good already, and Carlos Martinez was electric in his first career Opening Day start (before struggling on Sunday). But the bullpen has struggled and the offense has had trouble scoring. Aledmys Diaz is the only player really hitting. They’ll need more offense from their outfielders as the season goes along, especially in the power department. — John Fisher, ESPN Stats & Information


 

13. Pittsburgh Pirates

Record: 3-2
Preseason ranking: No. 15

It’s early, but the Pirates will need more power from young sluggers Josh Bell and Gregory Polanco. And Andrew McCutchen doesn’t need to be an MVP, but he needs to be closer to an All-Star than replacement level. The good news is that the starting pitchers beyond No. 1 Gerrit Cole all pitched well in their first outings. — John Fisher, ESPN Stats & Information


 

14. Minnesota Twins

Record: 5-1
Preseason ranking: No. 28

The Twins came back down to earth after a 4-0 start — which made them one of five teams to start 4-0 after losing 100-plus games in the previous season — but have still gotten largely strong starting pitching so far. Can Byron Buxton stop swinging away and find himself at the plate? Will Brian Dozier return to his 40-homer form from last season? — Sarah Langs, ESPN Stats & Information


 

15. Toronto Blue Jays

Record: 1-5
Preseason ranking: No. 10

So far, the departure of Edwin Encarnacion has been evident in the Jays’ lineup. They’ve scored more than five runs just once in their opening games against the Orioles and Rays. After both Francisco Liriano and Marco Estrada had rough starts their last time out, Marcus Stroman, Aaron Sanchez and J.A. Happ can’t do it alone if the offense doesn’t get going soon. — Sarah Langs, ESPN Stats & Information


 

16. San Francisco Giants

Record: 2-5
Preseason ranking: No. 7

About that outfield: The Giants have already started three left fielders and two center fielders and just signed Melvin Upton Jr. The two positions are hitting a combined .105/.148/.140. — David Schoenfield, ESPN.com


 

17. Miami Marlins

Record: 3-3
Preseason ranking: No. 20

In 2016, the Marlins won their first series with the Mets, then didn’t win another against them. Their start to 2017 was highly encouraging, particularly in how their lefties, Wei-Yin Chen and Adam Conley, shut down the Mets’ bats (11 innings, 2 runs) in a series win. Also of note, catcher J.T. Realmuto had a breakout season last year and has picked up right where he left off, hitting .500 with two homers in the first week. — Mark Simon, ESPN Stats & Information


 

18. Tampa Bay Rays

2016 record: 5-2
Preseason ranking: No. 21

Last season, the Rays finished with 68 wins, tied for second-fewest in the majors thanks in large part to an anemic offense that ranked 27th in OBP (.307) and 24th in runs (672). In the first week of the season, the Rays are tied for third in OBP (.356) and are tied for fourth in runs scored (33). — Michael Bonzagni, ESPN Stats & Information


 

19. Texas Rangers

Record: 2-4
Preseason ranking: No. 8

Sam Dyson’s two ninth-inning blow-ups lost two games, but strong starts from Nomar Mazara (.417, 2 HR) and Rougned Odor (.318, 3 HR) are good signs for the offense. — David Schoenfield, ESPN.com


 

20. Los Angeles Angels

Record: 5-2
Preseason ranking: No. 19

Don’t look now, but Mike Trout is still the best player in the world. He posted a .680 slugging percentage the opening week of the season, hitting two go-ahead home runs in the process. The Halos did take a hit, however, when Garrett Richards exited his first start with a biceps strain that landed him on the DL. — Paul Hembekides, ESPN Stats & Information


 

21. Kansas City Royals

Record: 2-4
Preseason ranking: No. 18

The Royals let Greg Holland walk in free agency and dealt closer Wade Davis to the Cubs for Jorge Soler. The lack of depth in the bullpen could be a problem for Kansas City as their relievers rank last in the majors with a 9.00 ERA. New closer Kelvin Herrera gave up a game-tying homer in the ninth on Sunday and the Royals would eventually lose in 12. — Michael Bonzagni, ESPN Stats & Information


 

22. Seattle Mariners

Record: 1-6
Preseason ranking: No. 12

Sunday’s all-time brutal loss — seven runs in the bottom of the ninth — was the capper on the most disastrous opening week of any team. They didn’t hit, the bullpen didn’t pitch and they became just the second team since 2011 to lose when leading by six-plus runs in the ninth. — David Schoenfield, ESPN.com


 

23. New York Yankees

Record: 2-4
Preseason: No. 17

Gary Sanchez, a key piece of the Yankees’ youth movement, suffered a biceps strain Saturday and will spend time on the disabled list. He accumulated 3.0 Wins Above Replacement in just 53 games last season. Ace Masahiro Tanaka hasn’t continued his strong second half from last season. Instead, he has allowed 10 earned runs in 7⅔ IP. That’s a 11.74 ERA with a 2.61 WHIP. — Sarah Langs, ESPN Stats & Information


 

24. Cincinnati Reds

Record: 4-2
Preseason ranking: No. 29

Brandon Finnegan and Amir Garrett each won their season-opening starts, combining for 13 strikeouts against three walks. The tandem provides optimism for a youthful Reds rotation capable of missing plenty of bats. Stability is likely the key for Cincinnati’s rotation, as 15 different pitchers started a game last season (tied for the second most in MLB). — Paul Hembekides, ESPN Stats & Information


 

25. Oakland Athletics

Record: 3-4
Preseason ranking: No. 26

If we were asked to rank Opening Day starters, Kendall Graveman would have been near the bottom. But after two good starts, including a six-inning no-hit bid against the Rangers, we might reconsider. After allowing lefty hitters to hit .275 and .272 the past two seasons, Graveman has held them to 2-for-14 so far. He’s pitching them inside 72 percent of the time, triple his 2016 rate. — Mark Simon, ESPN Stats & Information


 

26. Philadelphia Phillies

Record: 3-3
Preseason ranking: No. 24

The Phillies have already showed both sides of youth: lots of promise and plenty of room to improve. They scored 14 runs in their first four games and then exploded for 12 runs in the first inning on Saturday. And Vince Velasquez epitomized that struggle. He had 10 strikeouts in his first start, but allowed four runs, including two homers, and lasted just four innings. — John Fisher, ESPN Stats & Information


 

27. Chicago White Sox

Record: 2-3
Preseason ranking: No. 27

The White Sox had two games postponed and handed the Twins their first loss of the season on Saturday. Perhaps the most encouraging sign was James Shields‘ win on Thursday (5⅓ IP, 1 ER, 5 K’s) vs. Detroit. Should he turn the corner on 2016 after his 6.77 ERA with the White Sox, he could provide them with a veteran leader and make Jose Quintana more available in a trade. — Paul Hembekides, ESPN Stats & Information


 

28. Milwaukee Brewers

Record: 2-5
Preseason ranking: No. 25

Opening with the Rockies and Cubs can test a pitching staff, and the Brewers have been up and down so far. In their first six games they allowed two runs or fewer in half of them, and six or more in the other half. But they’ve shown some power in the early going, with multiple players contributing. — John Fisher, ESPN Stats & Information


 

29. Atlanta Braves

Record: 1-5
Preseason ranking: No. 23

A slow start isn’t that surprising, given how the Braves figure to fare in 2017. The big concern from the opening week is the performance of the bullpen, which allowed nine runs in 14⅓ innings in the first four games. Matt Kemp‘s hamstring is a concern and unfortunate, given how good he looked in the season-opening series of the Mets (6-for-13, two home runs). First week MVPs: Julio Teheran and Bartolo Colon. — Mark Simon, ESPN Stats & Information


 

30. San Diego Padres

Record: 3-4
Preseason ranking: No. 30

One early concern is that Wil Myers and Hunter Renfroe both have zero walks. You’d like to see a better approach from the two guys who are supposed to provide your power. — David Schoenfield, ESPN.com

Advertisements

Author: BobbyMcintyre

Blog by "Bobby McIntyre" Pro Singer/Songwriter Promoter/Label/Producer and a Social Media Marketing pro. To book or to start a marketing plan please email me at bobbyschaub@yahoo.com

3 thoughts on “MLB Power rankings – One week in, Cubs still on top – Sports News”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s