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My 2016 MLB Power Rankings Week 2

Updated on April 17, 2017

MLB Power Rankings

We waited months for baseball season to be upon us and now we are already two weeks in. Just like that. How did that happen? Where did the time go? Are we really on April’s back nine already? Some teams look like the contenders we thought they would be. Others, not so much. But, there are still about 150 more games left in the season. If your club stumbled out of the gate, it’s OK. There’s time to recover. For now, it’s time to rank them how I see them. Feel free to agree or argue in the comments below.

*Note ~ All stats and records will include today’s early tilt in Boston.

1. Baltimore Orioles (8-3) ~ The best record in baseball resides in Baltimore. Not all is good, however, for the O’s. They just placed otherworldly closer Zach Britton on the disabled list with forearm soreness. He says it is more in his wrist area than the elbow so that could be good news. Britton has converted his last 54 save attempts which is the second-longest streak in MLB history. (Last Week’s Ranking 3)

2. Chicago Cubs (6-6) ~ It certainly isn’t time to panic in Chicago, but the Cubs would need to rip off 19 straight wins to match last season’s 25-6 start. It isn’t last year’s start that the Cubs necessarily hope to replicate, rather, it is the way the club finished that they will hope for again. (LWR 1)

3. Washington Nationals (7-5) ~ Daniel Murphy is once again putting on a hitting clinc. He has multiple hits in seven of his first dozen games a year after posting a .347/.390/.595 batting line. The dude came out of nowhere in the 2015 postseason with the Mets and hasn’t stopped hitting. (LWR 4)

4. Boston Red Sox (8-5) ~ MVP candidate Mookie Betts has now gone 123 plate appearances without striking out. That is the longest such streak by a Red Sox since Denny Doyle went 159 appearances back in 1975. (LWR 5)

5. Houston Astros (8-4) ~ Ken Giles has now given up five runs in his last three outings which puts his ERA at an even 9.00. That isn’t what you want from your closer. The eye-popping 16.2 K/9, however, IS what you want from your closer. I’d expect his ERA to drop significantly as the season goes on. He certainly has the stuff to be a top closer in 2016 and beyond. (LWR 6)

6. Cleveland Indians (5-7) ~ They came oh-so-close to taking home the crown in 2016 with a makeshift playoff rotation. With their starters presumably back to full strength the Indians looked like the class of the American League. Two weeks into the season and they are dead last in the majors with a 5.35 team ERA. It’s hard to win games when you are asking your offense to put up at least six a night. (LWR 2)

7. New York Mets (7-6) ~ Yoenis Cespedes is back to bludgeoning baseballs. With two multi-homer games this week he is tied atop the MLB leaderboards with six longballs on the year. He has just 10 RBI to go along with the six bombs, but the man just has some freakish strength. I’d love to see him take batting practice. (LWR 9)

8. New York Yankees (8-4) ~ A perfect week for the Yankees who have won seven in a row. A big reason why is the hot bat of Chase Headley who is slashing a white hot .410/.531/.615. After a miserable 2016 the third baseman is resembling the star the Yankees thought they were getting when they pried him away from the San Diego Padres. (LWR 21)

9. Detroit Tigers (8-4) ~ The Achilles heel for the Detroit Tigers in recent years has been the bullpen. No matter how they re-work or re-tool it doesn’t seem to go well for them. Two weeks into the season and the Tigers are second in baseball with nine quality starts yet rank 27th with a team ERA of 4.92. Tigers gonna Tiger. (LWR 10)

10. Arizona Diamondbacks (8-5) ~ After missing nearly all of 2016 with a fractured elbow, A.J. Pollock was an early favorite to win Comeback Player of the Year. Two weeks into the season that bet doesn’t look like it will pay out. Pollock has struggled out of the gate slashing a meager .196/.226/.353. (LWR 8)

11. Los Angeles Dodgers (7-6) ~ Rich Hill has started two games so far and left them both with blister issues. Considering the time he missed last year with blisters, this has to be a huge concern to the Dodgers who don’t have a whole lot of pitching depth. Could Julio Urias be called up sooner than expected? (LWR 7)

12. Colorado Rockies (9-5) ~ Series wins against the Dodgers and Giants have the Rockies perched atop the National League West. Now, about that home series loss to San Diego… (LWR 11)

13. Miami Marlins (7-5) ~ Marcell Ozuna had himself a nice breakout year in 2016 with 76 RBI and a career-high tying 26 home runs. If the first two weeks are any indication, he should obliterate those numbers. He has already gone yard five times and driven in an NL-high 18 while slashing a ridiculous .404/.453/.745. Ozuna has officially entered Beast Mode. (LWR 19)

14. Pittsburgh Pirates (6-6) ~ It’s sweeps week in the ‘burgh. First, the Buccos were swept (albeit a delayed sweep due to rain) by the Red Sox to open the year. They then turned around and swept away my Atlanta Braves. That was followed up by a three-game sweep at the hands of the Reds. Then they went to Chicago and swept away the defending champion Cubbies. Up next is a road trip to St. Louis. Will the brooms be out again? For which team? (LWR 15)

15. San Francisco Giants (5-9) ~ The Giants are set to get a boost as Buster Posey is slated to return from the disabled list Tuesday. The former MVP was hit in the head by a pitch a week ago but has progressed well and appears to have avoided a concussion. Good news for the bay area and baseball fans alike. Well, except maybe Dodgers fans. (LWR 12)

16. Minnesota Twins (7-5) ~ Last year the Twins couldn’t pitch themselves out of a wet paper bag. This year? It’s been a complete 180. The Twins staff leads the majors in team ERA (2.46), WHIP (0.97) and batting average against (.194) to name a few. Just another reason why baseball is simply a wonderful game. (LWR 16)

17. Cincinnati Reds (8-5) ~ Last week I said I expected big, big things from Brandon Finnegan. Now he has been lost to the disabled list. Only took me one week to jinx someone. I think that might be a new personal record. (LWR 26)

18. Tampa Bay Rays (6-8) ~ Steven Souza Jr is healthy and hitting. His .424 OBP leads the team (by far) and he has a team-high nine walks as well compared to 13 strikeouts. Oh, he also has a team high 10 RBI. (LWR 14)

19. Texas Rangers (4-8) ~ More bullpen woes for the Rangers as they let another one slip away Sunday. That said, with a rotation headed by Yu Darvish and Cole Hamels, an offense that can score runs in bunches, and the eventual return of a future Hall of Famer in third baseman Adrian Beltre, the Rangers are one team I am not yet worried about. (LWR 17)

20. Kansas City Royals (6-6) ~ Sal Perez and Mike Moustakas have combined for 10 of Kansas City’s 15 home runs on the year. The rest of the offense needs to come alive and this team can still make some noise in the AL Central. (LWR 23)

21. Los Angeles Angels (6-7) ~ Albert Pujols is off to a very slow start as he is carrying a putrid slash line of .200/.259/.280. I’d be willing to bet Eddie Money that he will turn things around. The future Hall of Famer is a career .309 hitter with 592 home runs. He’s not finished just yet. (LWR 20)

22. Milwaukee Brewers (7-6) ~ Everyone scoffed when the Brewers signed Eric Thames in the offseason to be an everyday player for them. He flamed out of the bigs a few years ago and went to Korea where he absolutely tore it up. Everyone thought he would flame out again back in America. For the first two weeks of the season, everyone who scoffed has been eating crow. Thames is in the top three in the NL in home runs (6), RBI (11), runs (12), slugging (.921), OPS (1.376) and is sixth with a .368 batting average. Maybe the Brewers knew what they were doing after all. (LWR 30)

23. Seattle Mariners (5-8) ~ After winning just two of their first 10, the M’s come through with a big sweep against the Rangers. That helped everyone in Seattle avoid the panic button. For now at least. Mitch Hanigar is currently leading the team (when plate appearances are taken into account) in batting average, home runs, RBI, OBP and hits. With names like Kyle Seager, Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz and Jean Segura in the lineup, you’re going to have a problem if Mitch Hanigar is pacing them all. (LWR 22)

24. St. Louis Cardinals (3-9) ~ St. Louis has the worst record in the National League and a big reason behind that is their pitching. They are 29th in all of baseball with a 4.98 ERA and are dead last in WHIP (1.52) and batting average against (.277). Through three starts Adam Wainwright is sporting a 7.24 ERA. Closer Seung-Hwan Oh? He’s at 9.64. The Cards need a big turnaround from those two in particular to help right the ship. (LWR 13)

25. Atlanta Braves (5-6) ~ With a win tonight the Braves will open up their new stadium with a four-game sweep against the Padres. I don’t ask for much. Please, baseball gods, let me have this. (LWR 27)

26. Oakland A’s (5-7) ~ Sonny Gray is set to throw three innings in a rehab start today. If his progress from a strained lat continues to go well he could be back in Oakland’s rotation by the end of April. Considering Oakland may want to trade their former ace, the sooner he gets back to repairing his MLB resume, the better for the A’s. (LWR 25)

27. Toronto Blue Jays (2-10) ~ Former MVP Josh Donaldson is on the disabled list with a calf injury. That isn’t going to help an offense that has scored just 34 runs in 12 games. That is dead last in all of baseball. Someone better call an electrician, because the power is out in Toronto. I’ll show myself out now. (LWR 18)

28. Chicago White Sox (6-5) ~ Who had Avisail Garcia leading the bigs in batting average (.465) through the first two weeks of the season? Anybody? Didn’t think so. But, here we are. Avisail Garcia: Your current MLB batting champion. (LWR 28)

29. Philadelphia Phillies (4-8) ~ Jeanmar Gomez, and his ERA of something near 12, has lost his closer’s gig in Philadelphia. His replacement? Well, Joaquin Benoit nailed down the save on Saturday, but Sunday was a different story. He gave up a walkoff three-run shot to Bryce Harper. Is one blown save going to make the Phillies rethink the back of their bullpen? It shouldn’t, but this wasn’t a good start with their new closer. (LWR 24)

30. San Diego Padres (5-8) ~ Last week Wil Myers became just the second Padre to hit for the cycle. Any guesses on who the other player is? It isn’t Tony Gwynn. Give up? Matt Kemp did it just two years ago. Kind of crazy to think it hadn’t been done in a Padre uniform before him. (LWR 29)

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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    • Valeant profile image

      JOC 4 weeks ago from Syracuse, NY

      You're basically ranking by history here. Because if you were by result, you'd have Toronto last and Colorado would be much higher.

    • Rich White profile image
      Author

      Rich 4 weeks ago from Pennsylvania

      @JOC - Thank you for the read and comment! I rank them as I see them. Records aren't everything, though they do play their part. I dropped Toronto nine spots from the first week. While they are off to a terrible start, I still feel they are better than their record. Colorado seems to be an OK team but they just lost their ace to a broken foot and lost a series to the Padres, whom I believe are the worst team in baseball.

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