Sports

MLB Power Rankings: First impressions, including Ohtani’s Angels, Tatis’ Padres, Yankees and Red Sox

Aside from the Mets and Nationals, who are still waiting to start their 2021 seasons, we’ve now seen one series from every team in baseball. Before we move forward, let’s get the required caveat out of the way: Most teams have played just three games and that’s 1.8 percent of the season. Trying to make a sweeping judgement on anything with just 1.8 percent completed — especially since every team has only played against one other team — would be beyond foolish. 

That’s where we have to find a balancing point here in the rankings. We’re trying to rank partially based upon what we’ve seen so far while also acknowledging fluky things happen in small samples. 

Some likely good teams so far have looked excellent. 

The Padres were heavily hyped heading into the season. They have something to prove this season as they look to topple the mighty Dodgers. Getting off to a slow start would’ve been quite the detriment. Instead they took three of four and looked the part of legitimate contender. 

Are the Angels finally for real? They sure looked the part in taking three of four from the White Sox

The Astros just totally humiliated the A’s in a four-game sweep. That was a Tour De Force. They pitched well, the offense was a wrecking crew. The final tally? Astros 35, A’s 9. This after the A’s fans attempted to boo them out of the ballpark all series. What a statement. This was probably the most impressive team of the first weekend. 

How about the Phillies? A three-game sweep to start the season against the mighty Braves, who have won the NL East three straight years, is one way to raise some eyebrows. The Phillies had one of the worst bullpens in history last season. So far this year, Phillies’ relievers have worked 7 1/3 scoreless innings with 11 strikeouts and only one hit allowed. 

On the flip side, that’s a pretty terrible start for Cleveland — only a few innings away from being swept by the hapless Tigers with a totally punchless offense. The late offensive surge to salvage the game Sunday was a nice reminder just how quickly things can turn here in this marathon. Still, losing two of three to the Tigers is a rough start. 

The Yankees haven’t looked very good at all, notably on offense against mostly pitching they should be hitting, though we have to credit the Blue Jays for looking strong. 

And how about those Red Sox? They were just swept in three games at home by the Orioles and outscored 18-5 in the process. Bad offense and bad pitching isn’t a very good combination. I expect them to move, but for now they are saddled with the label of the worst team in these power rankings. 

As for the rest, let’s get to it. 

Biggest Movers

Rk

Teams

 

Chg

Rcrd


1


Dodgers

Will Smith is 4 for 7 with two doubles and a home run and I’m going to get frustrated about him only playing every other game pretty quickly. Actually, I’m already annoyed. But that’s just how good and deep the Dodgers are. They can handle him with kid gloves. 3-1

2


Astros

That was emphatic. Good lord, what a series. I see you, Houston. 4 4-0

3


Padres

One negative: Fernando Tatis has five errors through four games. He had three errors all season in 2020. 1 3-1

4


Blue Jays

They took two of three in the Bronx without George Springer and with the first three spots in the order doing very little. 3 2-1

5


Mets

Hey, at least they had the Francisco Lindor extension to celebrate. As for the ranking, I don’t really feel like I can demote them. I guess we’ll keep them here. 0-0

6


Twins

A complete and utter meltdown on opening day kept them from a near-perfect series, but taking two of three in Milwaukee is a successful start. 3 2-1

7


Rays

Quirky and fun fact here: Through their first 15 innings this season, the Rays had just two runs. They were both Austin Meadows home runs and they had also never trailed. 5 2-1

8


Yankees

Not a great series to start the season, as noted. The good news is the Orioles visit next. The Yankees were 7-3 against the O’s last year and 17-2 in 2019. Plus, the Orioles likely aren’t very good at all and they are 3-0. The law of averages will kick in soon enough. 5 1-2

9


Phillies

While we’re rightfully praising the bullpen, let’s not neglect the starters. We knew Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler are great, but then Zach Eflin allowed just one run on four hits in seven innings Sunday. 10 3-0

10


Angels

If this is going to be the Shohei Ohtani we see all season, the Angels are strong contenders and he’s an MVP candidate. Fingers crossed. 3 3-1

11


Braves

They just didn’t hit. Some of it can be credited to the Phillies and some of it is just baseball. Sometimes you don’t hit. They will. This team is still loaded and I see no reason for concern, which is why I see no reason to drop them any lower than right here. 7 0-3

12


Reds

Nick Castellanos was at the center of a benches-clearing fracas on Saturday, got ejected, and then Sunday tripled and crushed a three-run, tiebreaking homer. The Reds visit St. Louis on April 23. It won’t be boring. 8 2-1

13


Cubs

They are hitting .143 as a team and it was against the hapless Pirates. Somehow, they have been incredibly efficient in scoring runs. They have 12 runs on 12 hits so far. 3 2-1

14


Cardinals

Again, all “it’s only three games” caveats apply, but Cardinals starters have a 12.00 ERA and 1.83 WHIP. 3 1-2

15


White Sox

They coughed up the opener, lost three of four and now Tim Anderson has a hamstring injury. This is not going well. 7 1-3

16


Nationals

Hopefully they get to play soon. There’s really not much else to say. 1 0-0

17


Athletics

There’s really not anything positive to be said about that series. Turn the page and realize there are 158 games left. Of course, they get to deal with the Dodgers next. 7 0-4

18


Brewers

One miracle comeback kept them from being swept. Aside from that comeback, there wasn’t really much positive. We’ll reiterate it was only three games, they won one and the Twins are probably very good. 1 1-2

19


Royals

Only three games — blah, blah, blah — but the Royals are hitting .330 as a team so far. That’s fun! 2 2-1

20


Tigers

Akil Baddoo homering on the first MLB pitch he ever saw was one of the most fun highlights of the weekend. Love it. Now I hope every Tigers fan will excuse me for making the following prediction: This is the highest they are ranked all season. 6 2-1

21


Indians

A few innings against the Tigers’ bullpen doesn’t do much to alleviate my standing concern with this offense. 3 1-2

22


Orioles

In 2019, Cedric Mullins was 6 for 64 (.094). So far this season he is 9 for 13 (.692). 7 3-0

23


Mariners

It’s so nice to see Mitch Haniger back and he even homered for the first time since June of 2019. 1 2-1

24


Giants

Excellent opening day outing from Kevin Gausman along with a Buster Posey homer and things were getting exciting … until a total team meltdown in the late innings and now they head to San Diego after losing a series to the Mariners. 2 1-2

25


Marlins

Very encouraging starts from Sandy Alcantara and Pablo Lopez as the Marlins look to prove last season was real, but the news on Sixto Sanchez was a bit of a gut punch. 2 1-2

26


Diamondbacks

After three losses to start the year, the D-Backs got six scoreless innings from Taylor Widener in his first career start. That came against a really strong offense, too. What a great outing. 1 1-3

27


Rangers

Power Rankings Favorite Joey Gallo is hitting .500/.667/.800 and already has one 450-foot bomb. 1-2

28


Rockies

Fun opening day win. Bad team. 1-3

29


Pirates

The series loss also came with losing stud rookie Ke’Bryan Hayes to a wrist injury. Boo! 1 1-2

30


Red Sox

A silver lining to this miserable start is that J.D. Martinez might be back. He’s 6 for 12 with three doubles and a home run. 16 0-3




Source link

Related Articles