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2016 MLB Power Rankings Week 3

Updated on April 25, 2016

MLB Power Ranks

Three weeks are in the books and we have our first drug suspension, first no-hitter and first triple play. It's something new every day in the wonderful world of baseball. Speaking of new there is a new team atop the rankings this week. Could this be the year Chicago Cubs fans get that giant monkey off their backs?

*Note ~ All stats and records are through Sunday's games.

1. Chicago Cubs (14-5) ~ You may have heard that Jake Arrieta tossed the 2nd no-hitter of his career the last time he took the mound. The reigning Cy Young award winner has picked right up where he left off last year. In four starts he has allowed a team to score against him just once. In fact, since August 30th of last year he has almost as many no-hitters (two) as he has starts in which he allowed a run (three). Best pitcher on the planet right now. (Last Week's Ranking 2)

2. Kansas City Royals (12-6) ~ Dating back to last season first baseman Eric Hosmer has reached base in 26 straight games. He is slashing .314/.360/.486 while helping lead a balanced Royals team as they defend their World Series title.(LWR 1)

3. Washington Nationals (14-4)~ Could Dusty Baker be just what the Nationals needed? The club that severely underachieved last season is off to a 14-4 start, best in the bigs. You have to figure the culture change has something to do with it although having Bryce Harper and his MLB-high 9 home runs and 23 RBI help. (LWR 3)

4. Los Angeles Dodgers (12-7) ~ Somehow the Dodgers are the only team in the National League West with a winning record. That being said, Clayton Kershaw and Kenta Meada can’t do it all. They need some help from the rest of their rotation as Alex Wood and Scott Kazmir have been dumpster fires so far. (LWR 4)

5. Chicago White Sox (13-6) ~ The White Sox are where they are because of their stellar pitching. It wouldn’t shock anyone if Chris Sale or Jose Quintana were finalists for the Cy Young award. It would shock someone if Mat Latos threw his name into the ring but here we are, four starts in the books, and Latos is 4-0 having allowed just two earned runs all season. He could wind up being the steal of the offseason. (LWR 7)

6. Baltimore Orioles (11-6) ~ The streak is over. For the first time this season Manny Machado was held hitless. He would have needed a hit in another 40 straight games to eclipse the great Joe Dimaggio, however. Kind of puts into perspective just how insane that streak really is. (LWR 5)

7. New York Mets (10-7) ~ After last season’s postseason heroics it was understandable why people panicked when Daniel Murphy left town. The man they got to replace him, however, is making it easy to move on. Neil Walker has a team-high seven home runs in his first year as a Met after spending six years in Pittsburgh. Seems like he has taken to the New York spotlight just fine. (LWR 14)

8. Pittsburgh Pirates (9-9) ~ The Pirates lead all of baseball in team batting average (.294) and OBP (.381) yet they are just a game over .500 and in third place in the National League Central. The pitching needs to catch up to the hitting if they are going to keep up in one of baseball’s tougher divisions. (LWR 9)

9. San Francisco Giants (9-11) ~ Madison Bumgarner may have just one win so far this season but he’s faced Clayton Kershaw twice and Zach Greinke in another start. Safe to say the wins will come easier when he doesn’t have to see one of those two take the mound against him. (LWR 6)

10. Texas Rangers (10-9) ~ During the offseason free agent Ian Desmond whined that the qualifying offer he was given by the Nationals was holding him back from signing a large contract. After settling for a short-term deal with Texas he has done nothing to prove it was actually his declining performance that scared off possible suitors. Desmond is slashing a meager .200/.297/.323 through 18 games. Maybe he should have signed that QO. (LWR 10)

11. St. Louis Cardinals (10-8) ~ The Cards boast one of the best offenses in the game ranking in the top three in most categories. With all the big names like Jedd Gyorko, Jeremy Hazelbaker and Aledymas Diaz leading the way you wouldn’t expect anything else. What’s that? You’ve never heard of them? Just more proof that the Cards keep churning out productive player after productive player. (LWR 13)

12. Toronto Blue Jays (10-10) ~ First baseman Chris Colabello has been suspended without pay for 80 games after he tested positive for dehydrochlormethyltestosterone. I don’t think that was ever the word of the day on Pee Wee’s Playhouse. Regardless, Colabello was a big part of the Jays success last season hitting .321/.367/.520 line with 15 homers in 101 games. (LWR 12)

13. Detroit Tigers (8-9)~ Jarrod Saltalamacchia has caught fire since taking over for the injured James McCann. He has already amassed six home runs and 15 RBI in just 13 games. Last season, in 79 games, he hit just nine home runs and drove in 24. At this rate he will surpass those numbers in another week. (LWR 8)

14. Oakland Athletics (10-9) ~ Manager Bob Melvin has said the closer position will remain matchup based but it looks like Ryan Madson has the gig. He leads the American League with seven saves while Sean Doolittle has just two. (LWR 22)

15. Boston Red Sox (9-9) ~ Do you know what newcomers David Price and Craig Kimbrel have in common? High ERAs. Boston’s two prized acquisitions during the offseason have been far from their dominant selves over the first few weeks of the season. Price has an ERA of 7.06 through four starts and Kimbrel is sitting an even 5.00 over his first 10 appearances. History says these two should be just fine but it certainly isn’t the start either of them had in mind. (LWR 11)

16. Arizona Diamondbacks (10-10) ~ Here’s something you don’t see every day. Pitcher Shelby Miller played left field in Sunday’s extra inning loss against Pittsburgh. Miller was forced into action after regular left fielder Nick Ahmed was ejected in the 12th for arguing balls and strikes. Miller actually entered the game as a pinch-runner after pinch-hitter Zack Greinke (also a pitcher but I hope you knew that) had singled. Weird, wild stuff out in the desert. (LWR 25)

17. Cleveland Indians (9-7) ~ Cleveland’s rotation has taken a hit as starter Carlos Carrasco has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained hamstring. He suffered the injury Sunday covering first base. Carrasco is 2-0 with a 2.45 ERA and 0.95 WHIP on the young season. Trevor Bauer will most likely take his place in the meantime. (LWR 17)

18. Colorado Rockies (9-9) ~ Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. The Rockies have no problem scoring runs, however, their big problem is allowing the opposition to score so many runs. Once again it looks as though Colorado will be held back by inadequate pitching. After twenty-plus years of baseball in Denver you’d think they’d have figured something out to help their rotation. (LWR 19)

19. Tampa Bay Rays (8-10) ~ Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. The Rays have no problem stopping the opposition from scoring runs, however, their big problem is on the offensive side of the ball. Through 18 games Tampa has scored just 65 runs. Maybe they should have a talk with Colorado’s brass. (LWR 20)

20. Seattle Mariners (9-9) ~ In his last outing Felix Hernandez struck out just four batters but it was the first one that carried some clout. King Felix surpassed the great Randy Johnson for the franchise record with his 2,163rd career strikeout. Now if they can just get him to the postseason…(LWR 21)

21. New York Yankees (7-10) ~ Losers of eight of their past 11 things are looking bleak in the Bronx. With Alex Rodriguez suffering an oblique injury and Aaron Hicks nursing an arm injury could that prompt the Yankees to call up veteran Nick Swisher who is currently playing in AAA? If anyone can inject some life into a clubhouse it’s Swisher. (LWR 15)

22. Cincinnati Reds (9-10) ~ Someone needs to file a missing persons report for Joey Votto. The slugging first baseman did manage four hits over his last three games to raise his batting average to .206. A career .309 hitter, that is a far cry from what the perennial MVP candidate usually produces. If you play fantasy baseball now might be a good time to try and buy low. (LWR 18)

23. Houston Astros (6-13) ~ I could use the obligatory “Houston, we have a problem” but I want to believe I’m better than that even though I’m clearly not. Now that that’s out of the way Houston does have a problem. Pitching. They are in the bottom five of most pitching statistics and even reigning Cy Young award winner Dallas Keuchel has gotten off to a slow start. I think they’re better than this but until they start to show that with some wins they will continue to tumble in the rankings. (LWR 16)

24. Philadelphia Phillies (9-10) ~ Don’t look now but it appears that Odubel Herrera is turning into a solid major leaguer. The former Rule 5 pick is on base seemingly every day and while there isn’t much power to speak of, find me a team who couldn’t use a guy with a .432 OBP. I dare you. (LWR 23)

25. Los Angeles Angels (8-11) ~ Albert Pujols tied Reggie Jackson for 13th place on the all-time home run list on Sunday when he blasted the 563rd long ball of his career. It was a nice moment for the former MVP who is hitting just .153 on the year. That mega contract is looking worse and worse as the years go by. (LWR 24)

26. Milwaukee Brewers (8-11) ~ All of a sudden Ryan Braun is resembling his former MVP self. Through 18 games Braun is slashing an impressive .364/.432/.636 with five home runs and 15 RBI. It’s hard to believe he will be a part of the next competitive Milwaukee team so one wonders if he can keep hitting like this what sort of package he can bring back to the Brew Crew in a trade. (LWR 26)

27. San Diego Padres (7-12) ~ So far so good with the Fernando Rodney experiment. A year after looking like he is done Rodney has picked up three saves and is yet to allow an earned run in his first 6 1/3 innings as a Padre. (LWR 27)

28. Miami Marlins (6-10) ~ With a presumably healthy Jose Fernandez and offseason acquisition Wei-Yin Chen it’s surprising to see that the Fish don’t have one started with an ERA under 4.25. They are playing more to the level of the Phillies and Atlanta Braves rather than competing with the Mets and Nationals like some thought they could do this year. (LWR 28)

29. Minnesota Twins (5-14) ~ They were three outs away from salvaging a win in Washington when Bryce Harper launched a game-tying home run in the bottom of the 9th on Sunday. They were three outs away from salvaging an extra innings win in Washington when relief pitcher Oliver Perez laid down a bunt that ended up tying the game. Then in the 16th inning they let Chris Heisey walk it off with a home run of his own. That right there is snatching defeat from the jaws of victory if I’ve ever seen it. (LWR 29)

30. Atlanta Braves (4-14) ~ In their season opener they hit two home runs. In the 17 games since they have hit one. Let that sink in for a moment. (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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    • lions44 profile image

      CJ Kelly 13 months ago from Auburn, WA

      Spot on with the Yankees. With such a great bullpen (and it will get better very soon), they should be at least competitive. But I see the Orioles falling by mid-year. No faith in Buck, I guess.

    • Rich White profile image
      Author

      Rich 13 months ago from Pennsylvania

      As soon as Aroldis Chapman comes back from his suspension that bullpen becomes unhittable. Their starting pitching will need to pick it up and hand over some leads.

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