MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Week Ending April 8, 2018

Just over a week of baseball has been played. Some teams have struggled while others have performed at a high level. These are the MLB Power Rankings fort the week ending April 8, 2018.

  1. Houston Astros 8-2: Houston seems line an unstoppable force early in the season. Fantastic pitching paired with even better hitting is a combination that few teams can keep up with.The World Series Champions top the MLB Power Rankings.
  2. Boston Red Sox 8-1: The Red Sox have won eight straight games after dropping their opening game of the season. J.D. Martinez finally hit a home run in a Boston uniform and perhaps more are to come.
  3. New York Mets 7-1: Mickey Callaway has the New York Mets firing on all cylinders. An extremely talented pitching staff is limiting opponents to less than three runs per game and the offense is surprisingly hot to start the seaosn.
  4. Arizona Diamondbacks 7-2: Speaking of J.D. Martinez, it does not seem that the Arizona Diamondbacks are missing him all that much right now. The same can be said in regards to Brandon Drury. Arizona is averaging five runs per game to start the season and again they are off to hot start.
  5. Atlanta Braves 6-3: The Braves have one of the best offenses in MLB. Atlanta just seems to pile on runs rather than dwell on a lead. As long as the team keeps hitting they will continue to rise in the power rankings.
  6. Pittsburgh Pirates 7-2: This is a surprise. Not much was expected from the Pittsburgh Pirates this season. This was due to the departures of Andrew McCutchen and Gerrit Cole. Despite that Pittsburgh has raced out to an incredible start with a run differential of almost 20.
  7. Los Angeles Angels 7-3: Finally the Los Angeles Angels have an exciting player on their team not named Mike Trout. Shohei Ohtani is must watch television. Ohtani is just as likely to shut down a team on the mound as he is to take the pitcher deep. The Angels are off to hot start and that is due to the contributions of Trout and Ohtani.
  8. Chicago Cubs 5-4: The Cubs are an interesting team at this moment. Their pitching staff has kept them in games while their offense has underperformed at times. Sure Chicago averaged five runs per game against the Brewers but they also were shut out by the Marlins and Reds on consecutive days.
  9. Cleveland Indians 4-5: Cleveland has not enjoyed a hot start to the season in regards to their offense. The Indians are only putting up three runs per game through their first nine games. Outside of the Josh Tomlin implosion the pitching staff has been fantastic and kept them in games. Maybe some warmer weather will wake up the bats soon.
  10. Washington Nationals 4-5: Washington currently has a negative run differential. They have been outscored by their opponents by five runs. The issue is that their offense has scored 45 times which means their pitching staff has been dreadful. This group needs to turn around soon if the Nationals are going to contend this season.
  11. Los Angeles Dodgers 3-6: Anemic. That is best way to describe the Dodgers offense as of this moment. Lucky for Los Angeles they are holding opponents to three runs per game. Unfortunately they are only scoring just over three runs per game which results in their losing record. This offense needs to wakeup and soon. The roster is just way too talented to press the panic button, yet.
  12. Minnesota Twins 4-3: Brian Dozier and Miguel Sano are carrying the Minnesota offense. The duo has combined for seven home runs and 12 RBI in seven games. On the other hand Lance Lynn, Trevor Hildenberger and Fernando Rodney have been far from stellar to start the season. As the year progresses both should trend closer to one another as the Twins need help from everyone involved to be taken seriously as contenders.
  13. Seattle Mariners 4-3: Seattle has an offense that can be described as boom or bust. Their pitching staff tends to give up a lot of runs. All of this combined with an injury to Nelson Cruz does not bode well for the Mariners despite their 4-3 start to the season.
  14. New York Yankees 5-5: The Bronx Bombers are averaging 5.5 runs per game to start the season, this has led to outscoring their opponents by 11 runs to start the year. However a lackluster start form Giancarlo Stanton who now has two 0-5 games with five strikeouts is concerning. Also their vaunted bullpen looks pretty much ordinary at best to start the year. What it comes down to in the early going  is this. Their offense can score runs but can their bullpen hold a lead?
  15. San Francisco Giants 4-4: San Francisco is probably at their ceiling for the time being. This is due to the injury to Madison Bumgarner. The Giants can only do so much without their best pitcher. Surprisingly they have perhaps overperformed in his absence but their offense is still abysmal. San Francisco needs to find a way to score more runs sooner rather than later.
  16. Milwaukee Brewers 5-5: The Brew Crew has been outscored by their opponents this season by 15 runs, 15! Somehow they still have managed to salvage a 5-5 record. Errors essentially cost them a victory against the Cubs on Saturday and these will need to be corrected if they want to contend in the National League Central this season.
  17. Colorado Rockies 5-5: Maybe investing in pitching and not hitting was a bad idea for Colorado. An offense that is supposed to perform no matter who is in it at home was just outscored by the Braves 14-6 in three games. Perhaps in time everything will normalize but this is a concerning start for the Rockies.
  18. Toronto Blue Jays 6-4: Toronto is having what can be described as a stellar start to the season. A dramatic comeback win against the Yankees courtesy of a Justin Smoak grand slam is the early highlight. The Blue Jays are currently averaging one more run per game than their opponents. In time they could move up in the power rankings.
  19. St. Louis Cardinals 4-5: Simply put St. Louis needs to score more consistently to win games. While they have outscored their opponents by one run to start the season that is contribution to their slow start record wise. A pitching staff can only do so much if the team does not score more five runs or more. When scoring less than five runs the Cardinals are 0-5.
  20. Baltimore Orioles 4-6: 17 runs. Orioles opponents have scored 17 more runs than Baltimore this season. Lopsided losses at the hands of the Twins, Astros and Yankees contribute to this number. If things keep heading in this direction Manny Machado may have a new home rather soon.
  21. Chicago White Sox 3-5: Chicago might have used all of their run scoring abilities in their first game of the season. Since their 14 run outburst they have only scored 23 times in seven games. Their pitching has been below average to start the season which contributes to their negative run differential (-10). Chicago may be a team that beats up on teams with lesser talent but gets beat up on by good teams.
  22. Philadelphia Phillies 3-5: What in the world is Gabe Kapler doing? Kapler’s management of the pitching staff is simply dangerous. Actions like Kapler’s could cause a severe injury. This is inexcusable and should not be happening at the major league level. Now on to something besides Kapler. Omitting a 20-1 victory over the Marlins, Philadelphia opponents are outscoring the Phillies 39-22 this season. This is not a good sign for a team that is trying to speed through a rebuild.
  23. Oakland Athletics 4-7: Oakland is not a good team. Hot starts by Matt Chapman and Jed Lowrie have provided some intrigue but the lackluster performances from others have resulted in their 4-7 record. The Athletics have three starters with ERA’s over 6. Early on it appears Oakland will be tasked with scoring a ton of runs to win games. The only question is do they have the talent to do that consistently?
  24. Texas Rangers 4-7: The Texas Rangers are another team that is struggling pitching wise to start the season. Texas has been outscored by 13 runs in 11 games. The Rangers have been held to three runs or less in five of their losses. The problem is that their pitching is not good enough to compete in games like this on a consistent basis.
  25. Detroit Tigers 4-4: Detroit may be playing above their heads to start the season. Dixon Machado has started off well as has Nicholas Castellanos. However it is hard to see this continuing as that roster is lacking talent to be serious contenders. In fact more players may get shipped off during this season to become even younger.
  26. Miami Marlins 3-6: A major league worst -28 run differential. However most of that belongs to a 20-1 loss to Philadelphia. Even without that game Miami is still has a -9 run differential. Opponents seem to be teeing off on Marlins pitching and it does not appear to be ending soon.
  27. Kansas City Royals 2-5: Fun fact, the Royals only victories this season have both come courtesy of a 1-0 score. The offense is bad. The pitching for the most part has been bad. This could be a long season for Kansas City.
  28. Cincinnati Reds 2-6: The Reds are bad. Four of their seven losses have been due to the Cincinnati offense scoring three runs or less. They have already been shut out twice and struggle to score runs consistently. It will be a rough season in Cincinnati.
  29. San Diego Padres 2-8: San Diego went out and signed Eric Hosmer in free agency. However he is not enough to lift the Padres to victories. Hosmer and Freddy Galvis are the only two players on the team hitting over .260. This is a problem. The young talent on roster is failing to produce and the Padres continue to lose games.
  30. Tampa Bay Rays 1-8: Tampa Bay is a disaster. The pitching is struggling to anything productive. The Rays own a run differential of -22. After a win on Opening Day the Rays have lost eight straight and do not seem capable of winning consistently. Tampa Bay has scored more than four runs twice this season. Opening Day and a 8-7 loss on Sunday to Boston. They will need to score more soon if they do not want to become more of an embarrassment than they actually are.

 

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