My 2017 MLB Power Rankings Week 1
MLB Power Rankings Week 1
It's the most wonderful time of the year. No, it's not Christmas. It's baseball season. It seems like it has been so long since there have been meaningful baseball games. Ages ago since the Cubbies broke their 108-year drought to be called champions once again. America's pasttime is here again and it is time to turn on the grills and crack open a few cold ones. As if we needed an excuse. But, you've waiting long enough for baseball. I won't keep you any longer to wait for the first Power Rankings of the year.
*Note ~ There were some early games today so the records and stats were as up-to-date as possible while I was writing this.
1. Chicago Cubs (4-2) ~ You may have heard that the Chicago Cubs won the World Series last year. If not, you may be in the wrong place. The Cubs will tell you, however, that last year was just that: last year. Their goal this year is the same as the other 29 clubs: to win it all. This year’s club looks even stronger what with Wade Davis closing things out in the 9th and what will presumably be a full year from Kyle Schwarber. Can they do it again? They certainly have the talent.
2. Cleveland Indians (3-3) ~ You may have also heard that the Cleveland Indians came painstakingly close to capturing the crown last year before falling to the Cubs in seven games. You may have also heard that this year’s club is even stronger with a healthy Michael Brantley, Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar. Oh, and they added free agent Edwin Encarnacion who smacked 42 home runs last year. Yeah, they should be a factor in the American League.
3. Baltimore Orioles (4-1) ~ One week into the season and the Orioles have stolen two bases. Why am I bringing this up? Well, you see, the O’s just don’t steal bases. In 2016 they had just 19. As a team! So, yes, the fact that they have two already is noteworthy.
4. Washington Nationals (3-3) ~ Shortstop Trea Turner’s injured hamstring has landed him on the 10-day disabled list. Man is it weird writing that. Not that Turner is injured. The 10-day disabled list. It even LOOKS weird. Oh well, it is a new thing this year. I’m sure we will all get used to it sooner or later. At least it means the Nats can expect Turner back sooner than they could have with a DL stint last year.
5. Boston Red Sox (3-3) ~ The Sox appear stacked again this year and are one of the favorites to threaten Cleveland’s pennant defense but there is one glaring hole. David Ortiz is no longer there. The slugger retired after the 2016 season, his 14th in a Boston uniform. Over the past four years he hit at least 30 home runs and drove in at least 103. While Mookie Betts looks like a perennial MVP candidate, Ortiz’s lost production is near impossible to replace for any team.
6. Houston Astros (4-3) ~ In 2015 Dallas Keuchel posted a 2.48 ERA and won 20 games which helped him take home the AL Cy Young award. Last year? Not so much. He managed an unsightly 4.55 ERA to go along with a 9-12 record. Through his first two starts this year he has allowed just one earned run on four hits in 14 innings. Houston needs Keuchel to return to Cy Younf form to keep up in the tough AL West.
7. Los Angeles Dodgers (4-3) ~ When you think about the Dodgers you think about otherworldly ace Clayton Kershaw. For my money he is the best in the business. For the Dodgers, even more so when you take a look at who comes after him in the rotation. Hyun-Jin Ryu, Kenta Maeda, Rich Hill and Brandon McCarthy are big names but three of them are huge injury risks. This team is loaded with talent but a healthy rotation will be the key to another deep October run.
8. Arizona Diamondbacks (6-2) ~ Snakes. Why did it have to be snakes? That had to be going through the head of Giants and Indians players after the first week of the season which saw Arizona take six of the first seven from those playoff hopefuls. Their game against San Francisco went final as I was writing this. Either way, this is my surprise team from opening week.
9. New York Mets (3-3) ~ Tim Tebow launched two home runs in his first two games as a member of the Mets......Single-A club. While everything I hear about Tebow on a personal level is good, I can't envision him to be truly in the Mets plans anytime soon.
10. Detroit Tigers (4-2) ~ Justin Verlander may not get to see Chris Sale as much this year since the latter was shipped off to Boston, but they met today and didn't disappoint. The two aces combined for 14 strikeouts while allowing just two earned runs and eight hits in 14 2/3 innings with Verlander's squad getting the best of the BoSox. After a resurgence last year, Verlander looks primed for another big season.
11. Colorado Rockies (5-2) ~ Mark Reynolds is getting playing time while newcomer Ian Desmond recovers from a broken wrist. Over the first week all he has done is hit .346 with six extra base hits and eight RBI. Not bad from someone who was supposed to be a backup.
12. San Francisco Giants (3-5) ~ Melvin Upton Jr. has a new home. That home is San Francisco. The Giants will only be on the hook for the league minimum so it's really a no risk move. I wonder how Angel Pagan feels about all this.
13. St. Louis Cardinals (2-4) ~ Yadier Molina had a baseball stick to him. That is all.
14. Tampa Bay Rays (5-3) ~ Last year the big problem in Tampa was a lack of offense. Today was more of the same as the club managed just two hits against the Yankees while Michael Pineda flirted with a perfect game.
15. Pittsburgh Pirates (3-2) ~ Living in Pennsylvania allows me to watch Philadelphia Phillies and Pirates games on the regular. Being an Atlanta Braves fan, that means I get a few opportunities to see my team play when they match up against a Pennsylvania team. So I was happy to be able to watch them play Sunday. I was not thrilled, however, when the Pirates came back in the 9th and then walked off in the 10th innings of said game. Such is the life of a Braves fan. Pittsburgh with the sweep.
16. Minnesota Twins (5-1) ~ Minnesota lost a league-high 103 games last year. Naturally, they are off to a 5-1 start this season and sit alone atop the AL Central. That won't last. Enjoy it now Twins fans. It will more than likely be another long summer.
17. Texas Rangers (2-4) ~ In two official innings closer Sam Dyson has given up eight runs while allowing seven hits and three walks to just one strikeout. He has two of the Rangers' four losses. A rough start to be sure, but if he turns it around the Rangers should be just fine.
18. Toronto Blue Jays (1-5) ~ Every year there are teams that are better than they were the year before. Every year there are teams that regress from the year before. I have to believe that this year Toronto will find themselves as a team that regresses. Just a gut feeling.
19. Miami Marlins (3-3) ~ There is simply no escaping the fact that Jose Fernandez is missing from this roster. The precocious, young talented pitcher tragically lost his life in a boating accident last year. Dealing with that on a personal level is difficult enough, but there is no replacing what he could do for the team on the field.
20. Los Angeles Angels (5-2) ~ The Angels offense is firing on all cylinders having scored at least five runs in all five of their wins so far. The two losses? Just three combined runs. With Mike Trout, five runs a game isn't impossible. It's unlikely, but not impossible.
21. New York Yankees (3-4) ~ In the write-up for the Rays I mentioned how Michael Pineda was flirting with a perfecto today. So glad I have him on my fantasy team. What's that? I didn't set my lineup with today's early games? Oh. :*(
22. Seattle Mariners (1-6) ~ For the past few years I've been very high on Seattle. They have talent. This should be when they put it together. For the past few years I've been wrong. For the first week of this season I've still been wrong. I'm sticking with them though. Gotta keep the faith.
23. Kansas City Royals (2-5) ~ Wade Davis is gone. Greg Holland? He's gone too. Yordano Ventura is also no longer around as he, like Jose Fernandez, was tragically taken at a young age. Those losses have helped contribute to a rough start for K.C. with pitching being the large culprit for their slow start.
24. Philadelphia Phillies (3-3) ~ Ryan Howard, the last piece remaining from the 2008 World Champions, is no longer with the club. The rebuild is full on and there is promise for the future in Philadelphia.
25. Oakland Athletics (4-4) ~ Last year Khris Davis outhomered his same-named counterpart Chris Davis of Baltimore 42 to 38. Khris is already up to six in just eight games. Needless to say, it appears he is ready to win that battle once again.
26. Cincinnati Reds (4-2) ~ When the Reds traded Johnny Cueto to Kansas City in 2015 they received a slew of pitchers in return. One of them, Brandon Finnegan, looks like he is ready to be a star. The lefty tossed seven innings of one-hit ball in his season debut while striking out nine. Big things are going to happen for him and soon.
27. Atlanta Braves (1-5) ~ Julio Teheran has not allowed an earned run in either of his first two starts spanning 13 innings. Julio Teheran has not yet earned a win. Go Barves!
28. Chicago White Sox (2-3) ~ Chris Sale is in Boston. Adam Eaton is in Washington. Jose Quintana is on the trade market. The reshuffling in Chicago has begun. Could Jose Abreu also be moved? Or will he be the main building block for the next winning team?
29. San Diego Padres (3-4) ~ Jered Weaver simply doesn't have anything left in the tank. The longtime Angels ace signed a one-year deal with San Diego and looked awful in his first start allowing two home runs in five innings against the Dodgers. His fastball velocity is around 80 mph and that will not cut it against major league hitting. It's been a great career Jered but it is time to give it up.
30. Milwaukee Brewers (2-5) ~ Junior Guerra, Milwaukee's pitcher on Opening Day, is on the disabled list with a calf strain. Without him there just isn't much to fear in the Brewers' rotation. Zach Davies has an ERA over 10. Tommy Milone is sitting even at 9.00. It's going to be an interesting year for Milwaukee.
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