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My Latest 2017 MLB Power Rankings

Updated on May 8, 2017

MLB Power Rankings

Spring is here, but you may not know it in the northeast part of the country. Here in Pennsylvania highs have been in the 50s and there has been a lot of clouds and rain. None of that makes for good baseball. Here’s hoping it is warmer where you are. Go catch a game while I hide inside under blankets and turn up the heat. Maybe drink a hot chocolate. Spring is here though…..right?

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

1. Washington Nationals (21-10) ~ Ryan Zimmerman, fresh off winning the NL Player of the Month award for April, has not stopped hitting since the calendar flipped to May. Through five games he has hit .500 with two homers, four doubles, two walks, five RBI and six runs scored. He’s actually raised his average from .420 at the end of April to .435. To say the man is scorching hot at the dish is downplaying it. (Last Week’s Ranking 1)

2. Houston Astros (21-11) ~ With all the big bats in Houston’s lineup it might take a few guesses as to who is currently leading the team in home runs and RBI. Could it be Evan Gattis with all his raw power? How about shortstop sensation Carlos Correa? Stud centerfielder George Springer is a good candidate. Maybe it is the wily veteran Carlos Beltran. Wrong, wrong, wrong and wrong. Utilityman supreme Marwin Gonzalez is the answer. He is pacing Houston with nine long balls and 21 driven in. Oh, and he can play just about anywhere but pitcher or catcher. Or maybe he can? I’m looking at you A.J. Hinch. (LWR 2)

3. New York Yankees (20-9) ~ Remember when the Yankees started out 1-4? Yeah, me neither. Since that start they’ve won 19 of 24 and just got some more help as Gary Sanchez was activated from the disabled list. The star of last year’s second half went 3-for-9 with three walks, two runs scored and an RBI in his first MLB-game action in a month. (LWR 5)

4. Baltimore Orioles (20-10) ~ Zach Britton was reinstated from the disabled list last week and made two scoreless appearances before being placed back on the DL with a forearm strain. The all-world closer will seek second opinions on the arm and looks like he will miss some significant time. Brad Brach will resume closing games until Britton’s return. (LWR 3)

5. Chicago Cubs (16-15) ~ Playoff spots are not handed out in May, but if they were the Cubbies would be on the outside looking in. Three straight losses in essentially four games (last night’s affair went 18 innings) have dropped the defending champs into third place in the NL Central. A road trip to Denver to take on the first place Rockies begins tonight and it is possible the Cubs leave Colorado with a sub-.500 record. (LWR 4)

6. Cleveland Indians (17-13) ~ In his first season with the Tribe, slugger Edwin Encarnacion has struggled with a .217 batting average. He is still getting on base having walked 20 times already but the power isn’t there. He has just seven extra base hits (five homers, two doubles) and 11 RBI after leading the league with 127 driven in last year in Toronto. (LWR 6)

7. Colorado Rockies (20-12) ~ Somebody should tell Greg Holland that Coors Field is where pitchers go to die. Not to re-establish themselves. He certainly hasn’t been given that memo as the former Royals closer is doing just fine in the high altitude. His 13 saves lead all of baseball and he has allowed just two runs in 14 innings of work. So far, that one year $7 million deal looks like a steal for the Rockies. (LWR 10)

8. Los Angeles Dodgers (17-14) ~ As Justin Turner goes, so go the Dodgers. The third baseman who signed a four-year $64 million deal in the offseason to stay in L.A. is carrying a ridiculous triple slash line of .377/.451/.509 which would all be career-highs. The third baseman also plays gold glove caliber defense and finished ninth in last year’s MVP balloting. Even when his numbers dip back towards the rest of the pack, he is a legitimate MVP candidate this year. He should get more attention than he does as he may be the best hitter on the team. (LWR 9)

9. Boston Red Sox (17-14) ~ Chris Sale is racking up strikeouts at a near-inhuman pace. Sunday’s start was his sixth in a row in which he recorded double-digit strikeouts. It is the second time in his career that he has had such a streak. The only other pitchers who have two such streaks are Nolan Ryan, Randy Johnson and Pedro Martinez. That’s it. That’s the whole list. Other teams keep lining them up and Sale keeps mowing them down. (LWR 8)

10. Arizona Diamondbacks (17-15) ~ Zack Greinke appears to have rebounded from an off year in 2016. The former Dodgers ace who signed a whopper of a deal to pitch in the desert (six years $206.5 million) is beginning to pitch like he did in L.A. He has allowed two or fewer runs in five of his seven starts and has racked up 27 strikeouts over his past three outings. It’s been a long time since Arizona had a frontline starter to strike fear into opposing teams. They may have one now. (LWR 7)

11. St. Louis Cardinals (16-14) ~ Matt Carpenter and Tommy Pham are certainly going to be sad to leave Atlanta. They combined for six home runs, 10 RBI and eight runs scored in their three-game sweep of the Braves. As a Braves fan, I say good riddance to them both. Jeez. St. Louis is now back over .500. (LWR 11)

12. Tampa Bay Rays (16-17) ~ Colby Rasmus has been activated from the disabled list and should resume his position in left field. That would bump Corey Dickerson back to DH. Dickerson has been outstanding this year at the dish and alongside Kevin Kiermaier and Steven Souza Jr. the Rays have themselves quite the formidable outfield. (LWR 13)

13. Detroit Tigers (15-15) ~ Francisco Rodriguez has to be in danger of losing his closer’s role. He blew saves in consecutive games over the weekend giving him four blown saves on the year. He has an unsightly 8.49 ERA and has already given up four home runs after surrendering just six last season. This isn’t your father’s K-Rod. It is time for manager Brad Ausmus to make the change. (LWR 12)

14. New York Mets (14-16) ~ Another week in the books and more drama for the Mets. Starter Matt Harvey was suspended without pay for three games for violating “team rules”. There are talks that he plans to file a grievance against the team. Seems like everything that could go wrong is doing just that for the Mets. (LWR 15)

15. Milwaukee Brewers (16-16) ~ Ryan Braun has just one plate appearance this month (he struck out while pinch-hitting) but the Brewers expect the former MVP to be back in the lineup come Tuesday. He has been dealing with an arm injury and the Brewers decided to play it safe as Braun could be a trade candidate come mid-summer. (LWR 17)

16. Minnesota Twins (15-14) ~ Second baseman Brian Dozier was a hot trade commodity over the offseason. The Twins never lowered their asking price and whether that will work out for them in the long run remains to be seen. Dozier has struggled a bit out of the gate with just nine extra-base hits after racking up 82 last year. If he can pick things up with the bat, he could help give the Twins another threat at the dish aside from Miguel Sano. (LWR 19)

17. Pittsburgh Pirates (14-17) ~ Jameson Taillon has landed on the DL with groin discomfort. While that doesn’t sound fun for anyone it is especially so for the Pirates. Taillon has been fantastic this year along with Ivan Nova and Gerrit Cole atop the Pirates rotation. After them, it gets really bleak as Chad Kuhl and Tyler Glasnow both have ERAs over 5.50. (LWR 18)

18. Texas Rangers (13-19) ~ Cole Hamels has an oblique injury which has landed the stud pitcher on the DL. He is expected to miss six-to-eight weeks so this is a legit concern for the Rangers. Rumors are if the club is out of contention come the deadline they will try to move Yu Darvish. It would be a shame if an injury to one ace pitcher leads the team to trade away their other ace. (LWR 14)

19. Los Angeles Angels (16-17) ~ Mike Trout has missed two straight games with a hamstring injury. He is the best player in baseball. The Angels will not be able to keep up in the extra competitive AL West if he is forced to miss an extended period of time. (LWR 21)

20. Cincinnati Reds (17-14) ~ Five wins in a row for the Reds including a sweep of San Francisco in which they battered the Giants by a combined score of 31-5. Their 163 runs scored for the season is good for third in all of baseball behind just the Nationals (194) and Yankees (167). (LWR 26)

21. Seattle Mariners (15-17) ~ James Paxton is the latest Mariner starting pitcher to land on the disabled list joining Drew Smyly and Felix Hernandez. Paxton, Seattle’s best pitcher thus far, has a Grade 1 forearm strain. As far as strains go, it is the least severe. The M’s will hope that Paxton only misses one or two turns in the rotation. (LWR 23)

22. Miami Marlins (13-17) ~ J.T. Realmuto is the best catcher you’ve never heard of. Miami’s backstop hit .303/.343/.428 last year which is spectacular for a catcher. This year he’s been even better slashing .330/.374/.460. You might say he’s the real deal. You might also wonder why that isn’t his nickname. I know I am. (LWR 16)

23. Chicago White Sox (15-15) ~ What has happened to Todd Frazier? The two-time All-Star is hitting below the Mendoza line and has just three home runs after hitting 104 over the previous three years. He is in the last year of his contract and this isn’t the start he was looking for as he gets set to enter free agency. (LWR 20)

24. Oakland A’s (14-17) ~ Sonny Gray is back and through two starts it has been a mixed bag. He gave up three homers in his first start against the Twins. Then he gave up just one earned run against the Tigers but only lasted 4 2/3 innings. I think he will be fine and, in fact, I have him on two fantasy teams. Low risk high reward, right? The A’s, and I, will hope to see Gray return to ace-like status of 2015. (LWR 22)

25. Philadelphia Phillies (13-17) ~ Eight losses in their last ten is no good no matter how you look at it. But let’s try. Six of those losses were by one or two runs and they all came against the Dodgers, Cubs and Nationals which are all projected playoff teams. It is a rebuilding year in Philly for sure, but the cupboard isn’t as bare as you might think. (LWR 24)

26. Toronto Blue Jays (11-20) ~ The Jays have been scuffling all year but some help is on the way. Josh Donaldson and Troy Tulowitzki are both expected to return from the disabled list as early as this week. Getting the left side of their infield back will be a boost offensively and defensively. (LWR 29)

27. Atlanta Braves (11-18) ~ R.A. Dickey is back in the National League which means he gets to take more than a handful of at-bats during the year. So far, he is making the most of them. Dickey has driven in five runs across his six starts which ties his career-high set back in 2010. (LWR 25)

28. San Francisco Giants (11-21) ~ Well, the Giants can’t score runs as they are 29th in all of baseball in that department. They can’t stop their opponents from scoring runs either as they are 28th in that department. At least one of those will have to change if they are going to try and save their season. (LWR 27)

29. San Diego Padres (12-20) ~ The Padres are 4-2 against the Giants and 7-12 against the rest of the NL West. That’s a lot of divisional games already and the Pads are eight games back of front-running Colorado. They don’t play the Giants again until after the All-Star break so they may want to try and beat someone else in the division in the meantime. (LWR 28)

30. Kansas City Royals (10-20) ~ Kansas City held the Indians to just five runs in their three-game set and lost two of them. They had just one hit in Sunday’s 1-0 loss. The bats will need to come alive soon or GM Dayton Moore may tear it all down quicker than some had anticipated. (LWR 30)

Questions? Comments? Feel free to leave feedback. Good or bad. I can take it. I will try and respond as quickly as possible. I can also be found on Twitter. Handle is in my profile. Jose Bautista follows me. Maybe more MLB players will. I can only hope.

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    • Valeant profile image

      JOC 5 months ago from Syracuse, NY

      I would have Cincy right after St. Louis.