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2016 MLB Power Rankings Week 2

Updated on April 18, 2016

MLB Power Rankings

Winless no more. Two teams entered this past weekend with goose eggs in the win column. The Atlanta Braves and Minnesota Twins were both 0-9. Baseball is always tough to predict but I don’t think those teams thought they would make it through the weekend with a combined 6-0 record. Both clubs may be off the schnide but both still reside down in the doldrums of the rankings. With two weeks in the books there’s still a lot of reshuffling going on with the rest of them. Where does your team come in this week?

*Note ~ All records and stats include today’s game featuring the Toronto Blue Jays and Boston Red Sox.

1. Kansas City Royals (8-4) ~ Jarrod Dyson was set to be K.C.’s starting right fielder but that lasted all of a day thanks to a strained oblique during the team’s first game of Spring Training. He was initially thought to be close to a comeback near Opening Day but here we are two weeks into the season and his timetable is still uncertain. His speed and defense would improve what is already a great team. (Last Week's Ranking 1)

2. Chicago Cubs (9-3) ~ The Cubs are winning games like most of the experts predicted but their new right fielder has been sluggish out of the gate. Jason Heyward, he of the eight-year $184 million contract, has just two extra base hits so far and is slashing a meager .205/.314/.250. Not much is being made of it yet because the club is doing well but I bet if you flipped their record around Heyward’s name would be all over the place. (LWR 2)

3. Washington Nationals (9-2) ~ The Nats are off to a blistering 9-2 start and reigning MVP Bryce Harper is a big reason why. In those 11 games the young stud is slashing .359/.458/.897 with six home runs, 15 RBI and 10 runs scored. He’s also stolen three bases and walked twice as many times (8) as he has struck out (4). It makes me sad that my favorite player in the game plays for a rival team. (If you’re new here, I’m an Atlanta fan.) (LWR 8)

4. Los Angeles Dodgers (8-5) ~ If you didn’t know who Kenta Maeda was before the season started you should by now. Over his first three starts in the majors he has given up just one run in 19 innings (a solo home run by San Francisco’s Joe Panik) while striking out 15 and issuing just four walks. Maeda got Dodgers’ fans thinking Greinke who? (LWR 6)

5. Baltimore Orioles (8-3) ~ A team loaded with players who strike out a lot didn’t seem like it would work. Well, the O’s boast the AL’s top two hitters in Mark Trumbo (.386) and Manny Machado (.383). That kind of offense will certainly help what should be a middling at best pitching staff. (LWR 3)

6. San Francisco Giants (7-6) ~ San Francisco is third in baseball with 70 runs scored over their first 13 games. This lineup might be better top to bottom than it was in any of their three recent championship years. Can they make it four even years in a row? (LWR 5)

7. Chicago White Sox (8-4) ~ Chicago is 8-4 and tied atop the AL Central. What’s more impressive is that they have played just two home games so far. They already have seven wins away from home. Only two other clubs have even played seven or more road games. (LWR 11)

8. Detroit Tigers (7-4) ~ Miguel Cabrera has won the AL batting title in four of the last five seasons. This year he is hitting just .262 with one long ball. Cause for concern or just a slow start for a perennial MVP candidate? (LWR 15)

9. Pittsburgh Pirates (7-6) ~ Is Jon Niese pitching coach Ray Searage’s latest masterpiece? The former Met is off to a solid start in Pittsburgh with a 2-0 record and 15:5 K:BB ratio. He’s also posted a 3.50 ERA thus far while only finishing a season with an ERA under that twice in his career. Ray Searage is a magician. I’m convinced. (LWR 4)

10. Texas Rangers (7-6) ~ Looks like all-star 3rd baseman Adrian Beltre will finish his career in a Rangers uniform. The club announced a two-year extension through 2018 to keep the slugger around until he turns 39 years old. While this is certainly positive news it does block stud prospect Joey Gallo for the next two plus seasons. Perhaps the Rangers will look into a position change for Gallo. (LWR 13)

11. Boston Red Sox (6-6) ~ Today is Patriot’s Day which means there is early baseball on a weekday here on the east coast. This is a reminder that Boston is David Ortiz’s f&#$ing city as well as the three year anniversary of the horrific Boston Marathon bombing. I can’t believe that was three years ago already. Where does the time go? Turn down that music! Get off my lawn! (LWR 10)

12. Toronto Blue Jays (7-7) ~ Jose Bautista is in a walk year and so far he is all over the basepaths slashing .310/.473/.667. That OBP is tops in the AL aided by a league-leading 13 walks in 13 games. (LWR 16)

13. St. Louis Cardinals (7-5) ~ For the past decade Adam Wainwright has been one of the best pitchers in all of baseball. Last season he was lost to an Achilles injury but remarkably made it back at the end of the year to pitch a little in relief. Presumably fully healthy he seemed a good bet to perform like the ace that he has been for so long. The results so far are anything but ace-like. Waino is carrying an unsightly 8.27 ERA along with a 1.90 WHIP through three starts. He also has issued nine walks and recorded just seven strikeouts. Sure, it’s early. But when it is time to hit the panic button in STL? (LWR 17)

14. New York Mets (5-6) ~ Ace Jacob deGrom is close to returning to the team after a health scare with his newborn son. Jaxon has been released from the hospital so good news all around and best wishes to the deGrom family going forward. (LWR 12)

15. New York Yankees (5-6) ~ A lot has been made of Alex Rodriguez’s slow start to the season. He was mired in an 0-for-19 slump which he snapped out of Sunday with a home run. This is clearly because for the first time this season I removed him from my fantasy lineup. You’re welcome New York. (LWR 9)

16. Houston Astros (5-8) ~ Tyler White has been a nice surprise in Houston. Many believed Jon Singleton would be the starting first baseman for the Astros but White has made a name for himself on the young season leading the team in average (.357), home runs (4) and RBI (11). That will certainly earn you playing time. (LWR 14)

17. Cleveland Indians (5-5) ~ Corey Kluber took the league by storm in 2014 winning the American League Cy Young award while compiling 18 wins and a 2.44 ERA. Since then, Cleveland’s ace is just 9-19 with a 3.70 ERA. Danny Salazar and Carlos Carrasco have been fantastic pitchers in their own regard but if Kluber can get it together there might not be a better top three in all of baseball. (LWR 19)

18. Cincinnati Reds (6-6) ~ A week ago I gave the Reds some dap for starting the season 5-1. After a 1-5 week I am taking it right back. That weird part of me that likes symmetry so much is hoping for a 3-3 week. That’s not asking for too much, is it? (LWR 7)

19. Colorado Rockies (7-5) ~ While Trevor Story has been a nice, um, story so far this season there is cause for concern. He does still lead the league with seven home runs but he also has a league-high 22 strikeouts to go along with the long balls. Something, at some point, has to give. (LWR 20)

20. Tampa Bay Rays (5-7) ~ Matt Moore appears to be back. The former all-star starter fanned 10 White Sox on Sunday while picking up only the second win by a Tampa starter this season. If he can return to his pre-Tommy John form the Rays rotation will be all the better. (LWR 21)

21. Seattle Mariners (5-7) ~ Hishashi Iwakuma took the mound on Sunday’s game to square off against former teammate Masahiro Tanaka of the New York Yankees. This was the first time two former teammates in Japan dueled in a MLB game. I’m certain it won’t be the last. For the record Tanaka took home bragging rights pulling out the W in a 4-3 Yankee win. (LWR 22)

22. Oakland Athletics (6-7) ~ Who is the closer in Oakland? Is it incumbent Sean Doolittle? Is it newcomer Ryan Madson? The number would suggest the latter as Madson has converted four of Oakland’s five saves. Neither has been dominant by any means. Looks like this might be too early to call. (LWR 18)

23. Philadelphia Phillies (6-7) ~ Vince Velazquez is quickly endearing himself to Phils fans. Acquired in the offseason as part of the package for closer Ken Giles, VV has tossed 15 scoreless innings to start his National League career with 25 strikeouts and just three walks. Odds are he will eventually give up a run but don’t worry Vince. It’s not like Philly fans are notoriously tough or anything. (LWR 28)

24. Los Angeles Angels (5-7) ~ Jered Weaver notched his 1,500th career strikeout on Saturday making him just the third Angel to amass that amount. The other two? Chuck Finley and Nolan Ryan. Maybe you’ve heard of them. (LWR 25)

25. Arizona Diamondbacks (5-8) ~ Jean Segura looks revitalized in the desert. After making the All-Star team in 2013 Segura floundered for two seasons in Milwaukee and was unloaded in the offseason. Perhaps a change of scenery was all the shortstop needed as he is hitting .333 with seven extra base hits through the team’s first dozen games. (LWR 23)

26. Milwaukee Brewers (5-7) ~ When Milwaukee announced Wily Peralta as their Opening Day started Brewers fans knew it was going to be a long year. The problem is that, aside from Jimmy Nelson, it doesn’t appear they have anyone who can pitch. They rank 28th in team ERA and are dead last in WHIP and BAA. You aren’t going to win many games that way. (LWR 26)

27. San Diego Padres (4-9) ~ The shutouts continue for the San Diego Padres but not in a good way. San Diego has been shut out in five of their first 10 games which has never happened before. Looks like it might be another long season in sunny SoCal.(LWR 24)

28. Miami Marlins (3-7) ~ A big thank you to the Marlins for allowing my Braves to pick up their first three wins of the year in Miami no less. (LWR 27)

29. Minnesota Twins (3-9) ~ Aside from picking up their first three wins of the season in a sweep over the Angels there is more good news coming out of Minnesota. Former manager Ron Gardenhire is back with the club as an assistant to GM Terry Ryan. Gardy spent 13 years at the helm in Minnesota guiding the team to six division championships. His last four years, however, saw the Twins finish under .500 and ultimately cost him his job. After not being with the club officially last year, however, he is back. Welcome home Ron. (LWR 29)

30. Atlanta Braves (3-9) ~ Jason Grilli is the closer in Atlanta, at least for now. After allowing at least one run in three of his first five appearances one has to wonder if manager Fredi Gonzalez will look to make a change. Maybe in a rebuilding year he sticks with the veteran and the Braves will try and trade him at the deadline. Who knows? The Braves don’t appear to be a team that will have many save chances this year so maybe it’s a moot point. (LWR 30)

Questions? Comments? Feel free to leave feedback. I will try and respond as quickly as possible. Want to be like Jose Bautista and follow me on Twitter? @therichwhiteguy

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    • Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

      Wesman Todd Shaw 13 months ago from Kaufman, Texas

      The Orioles have a huge power hitting team, it seems.

      Yeppers, we are proud to have Adrian Beltre in Texas for as long as he'll tolerate us down here :)

      That Bryce Harper fella is living up to his billing, and I hope he continues to do so, so we can see how he measures up to the greats of the past.

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