Every Monday, The Sports Post will bring our own little spin on weekly MLB Power Rankings to you. For the time being, it is still an ever-evolving formula. On a basic level, rankings will fluctuate from week to week based on the following: team performance based on projections, injuries, strength of schedule the previous week, and more. We’ll also take into account last seasona��in the sense of whether or not said team made the postseasona��compared to where they stand currently. So stick with us as we make it through another MLB season.
It’s only been a week, and already there’s plenty to talk about. Trevor Story cannot stop writing his own. Nomar Mazara got called up to the show much earlier than expected, and electrified in his debut. Unfortunately, we lost Kyle Schwarber for the season. And the Oriolesa��the only undefeated club remaininga��are hell bent on proving me wrong every year. This list could go on for days.
Which means we’ve already reached the part of the show when you’re going to start seeing rankings pop up each week. Here’s the thing about preseason rankings of any sort: they’re fairly meaningless. They can be interesting and at times it’s fun to speculate, but games are played for a reason, and now that we’re one week into the regular season we’ve got samples to work with. Small ones, sure, but samples nonetheless.
So here’s what we’re going to do. Since this truly was week one, this list isn’t going to be based off my look at all 30 teams before Opening Day. Instead, this weekly column will begin with some oddities. It will strictly be about week one’s resultsa��not projections, predictions, assumptions, or anything of the sort. Now each week after this one the rankings will change as the season rolls along, but not a day sooner.
If you think the Reds and Orioles are much too high, don’t worrya��we’ve got over 150 games left to go. I have a hunch they won’t be there forever. Do I think the Twins are one of the worst teams in the league? Absolutely not, but they had a rough week. Are the Athletics going to win the AL West? Who knows, but they started well. Do I hate your team? Unlikely. There’s only one that fits said criteria, despite how complimentary I’ve been towards them over the years.
Let the ramblings begin.
30. Atlanta Braves (0-5): Just as bad as advertised. Possibly worse? They were outscored 38-17 over their first five. Buckle up, Braves fans.
29. Minnesota Twins (0-6): No the Twins aren’t the second-worst team in the league (on paper anyway), but being the only winless team other than Atlanta doesn’t do one any favors. One quick observation: two runs per game ain’t going to get it done.
28. Miami Marlins (1-3): The first of many long, long balls from Giancarlo Stanton, we hope. Meanwhile, JosA� FernA?ndez got roughed up in his first starta��has Jeffrey Loria checked in with teams to see if they’re still interested?
27. Arizona Diamondbacks (2-5): Is Jean Segura’s .407/.429/.889 start (with three home runs) sustainable? Another question with an easy answer: Do I have a date with Mae Whitman coming up?
26. Philadelphia Phillies (2-4): Philadelphia just took two of three from the Mets. This could be their peak.
25. Los Angeles Angels (2-4): Andrew Heaney is out for at least a couple weeks, but hey, Jered Weaver was effective Sunday! Like the Twins, LAA is averaging just two runs per game.
24. Tampa Bay Rays (2-4): Chris Archer has given up eight earned over 10 innings to start his season. Not even the new slide rule is going to help the Rays win with that production.
23. San Diego Padres (2-4): They went from scoring zero runs in their first three games to combining for 32 over their next three. I’d lean towards seeing more of the former as we proceed.
22. Houston Astros (2-4): Houston hit 10 home runs over their first six contests. Tyler White can’t stop hitting, just as Colby Rasmus can’t stop getting on base. But they just lost two of three in Milwaukee and their team ERA thus far is 7.71. Only one club is worse…
21. Colorado Rockies (3-3): Rocking a solid 9.20 team ERA through the first week, Colorado has given up 51 runs (or 8.5 per game) to start the season. No matter how many home runs Trevor Story hits, that won’t get it done.
20. Milwaukee Brewers (3-3): Breaking even on the season opening home stand against the Giants and Astros? Not too shabby. This team will get on base and score, but their base running and pitching will likely leave plenty to be desired.
19. Seattle Mariners (2-4): 67 percent of Robinson Cano’s six hits on the season are home runs. Pitching has been sound, but the offense has sputtered.
18. Texas Rangers (3-4): Nomar Mazara is going to be fun to watcha��or he won’t be starting in just over a month. Still, not a bad debut for the 20-year-old outfielder.
17. St. Louis Cardinals (3-3): Technically, the Cardinals are second-last in the NL Central. However, their offense has started far brighter than many thought it would.
16. Cleveland Indians (2-2): It was a rough week for the Indians rotation, but a Mike Napoli resurgence at the plate is a promising sign.
15. Toronto Blue Jays (3-4): They’ve played more games than just about everybody else and aren’t leading the league in runs scoreda��I’m starting to worry. Wait, Josh Donaldson has four home runs already? And how about Marco Estrada?
14. New York Yankees (3-2): Starlin Castro has arrived and C.C. Sabathia turned in a solid first outing. You could have a worse week than the Yankees did.
13. Los Angeles Dodgers (4-3): Team Puig forever. I get the feeling that if Clayton Kershaw figures out how to get Madison Bumgarner out, he’ll be alright.
12. Oakland Athletics (4-3): Among the unluckiest clubs last season, the Athletics haven’t hit worth much but their pitching has more than made up for it.
11. Boston Red Sox (3-2): There’s plenty of offense to go around (except from Pablo) but it was a rough week for many in the rotation. Don’t test that bullpen, though.
10. Chicago White Sox (4-2): It appears they didn’t need Drake LaRoche after all.
9. New York Mets (2-3): My kingdom for Noah Syndergaard. What a phenomenal pitcher. Honestly, Matt Harvey might be the third-best starter on this team, and that’s just silly.
8. Washington Nationals (3-1): Bryce Harper is better than you. He’s also picked up right where he left off last year.
7. Pittsburgh Pirates (4-2): The fact that they’ve won four of six while Juan Nicasio and Jeff Locke have been their most effective pitchers through the first week says a lot.
6. Detroit Tigers (3-1): JosA� Iglesias is one step closer to becoming the best hitter in baseball. Wait, that’s not right.
5. Kansas City Royals (4-1): Starting to feel like Edinson Volquez is the ace of this staff, you guys.
4. Baltimore Orioles (5-0): I get it, Baltimore. Two years ago I pick you to falter, y’all win 90-plus games. I do so again this season, you start 5-0. Message received.
3. Cincinnati Reds (5-1): Somebody break up the Reds, because they’ve allowed just three runs per game and their most accomplished starter on the roster is Alfredo SimA?n… who was signed just shy of a month ago.
2. San Francisco Giants (5-2): The home runs are flying fast and furiously, Matt Cain turned in a very effective first start, and oh, is there anything Madison Bumgarner can’t do?
1. Chicago Cubs (5-1): Yes, their depth will be tested early on. Maybe Jake Arrieta can make up for the loss of Kyle Schwarber at the plate.