MLB Power Rankings: Week 1 Results – April 2016

The Cubs are the prohibitive favorite to win the 2016 World Series, butcoming year.

Hunter Stokes (BBBA Featured Writer) 

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Disclaimer:  We based these rankings on best strength to win the World Series.  Therefore some teams that have an easier division to play in, with the least path of resistance to the postseason overall may be ranked a lot higher than a club who is equally talented, yet may play in a juggernaut of a division.

Team – Rank (W – L Record) (Last week ranking in parenthesis)

(1) Chicago Cubs  (5 – 1)  (1):  The Cubs weathered the loss of their slugging OF Kyle Schwarber this week – by taking 5 of the 1st 6 games played, and all on the road.  After these 6 contests – the squad is outscoring their opponents 42 – 15.

Love the idea of setting the table with Dexter Fowler, Jason Heyward and Ben Zobrist 1-2-3 prior to the boppers coming after in Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant.

Having the 2015 NL ROY may help Rizzo win the NL MVP this season.  He had 10 RBI this week – including a 6 RBI effort.

Jake Arrieta is already 2 – 0, and this team shows no signs of slowing down.

(2)  KC Royals  (4 – 1) (2):  This club just knows how to win with the dominant Bullpen and clutch hitting.  They have only yielded 11 runs thus far, and this team has not even hit huge strides on offense yet.

The AL Central is better in 2016 there is no question, however KC will be ready to take them on.  There may not be a more filthy Late Inning Reliever right now than Wade DavisEdinson Volquez has picked up right where he left off in 2015 as well.

The Giants have won the World Series in 2010, 2012 and 2014 recently. A lot of the core is still intact for 2016 - and they could add in Free Agency over the winter, while the Dodgers may not be as formidable in 2016 either. With some flexibility coming in the forms of finances, the San Fran club should spend what they can in 2016 - go for another few premiere players, before trying any form of rebuilding afterwards. The Giants finished the 2015 season a disappointing 83 - 79 - which continued their odd curse.

(3) SF Giants (5 – 2) (5):  San Francisco may be the most all-around complete club in the Majors.  The offense just gels with Hunter Pence there in the lineup.  They outscored their opponents 43 – 25, and took 3 of 4 versus their Division rivals the Dodgers this weekend.

Brandon Belt signing a big extension is just another example of how stable this franchise is.  With Los Angles having injury trouble, and Arizona getting out of the gate slowly, the Giants have a big chance to put some distance in the division early.

(4) Washington Nationals (3 – 1): (7):  With a slow start for the Mets, and taking advantage of a PPD here or there – and scattered starts, the Nats can lineup Max Scherzer and Stephen Straburg to tote the mound more often early.

This is a big play on how the New York pitching staff has struggled, and has some injury concerns.

Bryce Harper has 2 HRs and 2 doubles in 4 games.  It is possible that 2015 was just  a prelude to how good this guy might become.  Anthony Rendon is back, and Daniel Murphy provides a professional hitter to help Harper from the left side.

(5)  Los Angeles Dodgers (4 – 3) (13):  It is a big jump for this club to go from 13th to 5th.  Forget about the club losing 3 of 4 to San Fran here, they blanked the Padres 25 – 0 in a 3 game series before that.  They will hang in until players come back from injury.

Yasiel Puig looks motivated.  Corey Seager is in the lineup. Now the Bullpen looks scary bad, and the rotation does have concerns past Clayton Kershaw and Scott Kazmir, however this club has a chance to right the ship quick.

(6)  NY Mets (3) (2 – 3):  Yes they are under .500, but this is just a weird 5 game start to the season.  Seeing the way the Marlins are struggling early, and the Braves are horrible means there are some padded wins coming.

Over the long run. I believe this team will be fine

(7)  Detroit Tigers  (3 – 1):  (11):  Jordan Zimmermann shutout the Yankees on Friday, and the team started 3 – 0.  Miguel Cabrera and CO. should have no trouble scoring runs, and their defense is not talked about as much as they should be.

The Motown Boys are looking good to be in the hunt all year.

(8) Toronto Blue Jays: (3 – 4) (2):  These rankings are somewhat relevant to how the teams will do in confidence to win the World Series.  Even with a slow start, this club has started strong on offense.  The AL East is a big crapshoot, and it may have 4 clubs battling all the through the year.

Marco Estrada really helped salvage the week with the 3 – 0 shutout of the Red Sox on Sunday.

(9) Pittsburgh Pirates (4 – 2) (8):  A quick 4 wins was offset by 2 losses to end the week.  There is nothing wrong with winning 4 games a week.  Their 3 game sweep of the Cardinals speaks volumes of their talent level.

The Bucs did win 98 games in 2015.  Top of the lineup has worked out thus far.

(10) St. Louis Cardinals (3 – 3) (10):  Won 3 in a row after being swept by the Pirates.  In the end, this club is just so strong and deep.  I am not buying into the Reds  5 – 1 start either.  The RedBirds should be in contention for a playoff spot all year long.

(11) Houston Astros (2 – 4) (4):  Losing back to back series is not great, but they were on the road for that.  Carlos Correa is smacking the ball around the yard, and Tyler White is an awesome young player who just knows how to hit.  NO one has taken command of the AL, and with that, I still believe the Astros are the best in the Division.

(12)  Boston Red Sox (3 – 2) (12):  Scored 6 runs or more for their 1st 4 contests before being blanked on Sunday.  Not sure on the rotation after David Price, but the offense sure looks legitimate.  A motivated Hanley Ramirez is a strong case for the club improving internally.

(13)  NY Yankees (3 – 2) (14):  Started off where they need to in winning 3 of first 5 games.  The age is really scary when they rest the likes of Brian McCann, Alex Rodriguez and Carlos Beltran all on the same day not even a week into the season.

(14) Baltimore Orioles ( 5 – 0) (19):  No one is happier than me for this fast start.  Chris Tillman looked good in fanning 14 batters in his 7 Innings pitched worth of work.

Manny Machado is a guy I am glad I put some money on to win the HR crown for the MLB (at 50/1 odds). He may crack 40 this year.  Joey Rickard off to a fast start.

The Bullpen is lockdown so far.  They are 5 – 0 at home, where they went 47 – 31 last year, now the key will be to win on the road.

(15)  Cleveland Indians (2 – 2) (15):  4 games makes it really tough to gauge.  Just as predicted this team misses Michael Brantley.  We need another week to really get the pulse on this squad.

(16)  Chicago White Sox (4 – 2):  Avisail Garcia may just thrive in the DH role.  Jose Abreu is a beast.  Chris Sale is already 2 – 0.  Lets hope he can avoid having his usual “dead arm period” in late April.

(17)  Texas Rangers (3 – 4) (9):  They got punched by Robinson Cano and Seattle in the 1st 3 games, before splitting a 4 game set with the Angels to end the weekend.

Nomar Mazara hits a HR in his debut while replacing Shin-Soo Choo for the next month if he can remain productive.  Cole Hamels keeps winning to begin his Rangers career.

Bullpen really had a tough week.

(18)  Seattle Mariners (2 – 4) (17):  Getting swept by the A’s at home, and wasting a Felix Hernandez effort for the 2nd straight game is not a good sign.  Robinson Cano does look fantastic to start the year.  1B and SS production has to be cause for concern early.

(19)  Oakland A’s (3 – 3)  (24):  Your 1st place club in the AL West after one week.  Coco Crisp homers for the 1st time in 70 games Sunday.  Lineup doesn’t look that hot, but Pitching Staff looks better than originally thought.

(20)  Cincinnati Reds (5 – 1)  (29):  You have to give them some props for besting the Bucs for a weekend series – after sweeping the Phillies in their 1st series.  This won’t maintain, but maybe you have a player in Eugenio Suarez – to compliment Joey Votto, and a revamped Jay Bruce?

(21)  Arizona D’Backs (2 – 5) (16)L  Really couldn’t have been much worse of a 1st week for the Snakes.  They lose A.J. Pollock late last weekend, and then have Zack Greinke lose his 1st starts (9.90 ERA) while you are paying him over $1 MIL per start for the duration of his contract.

(22) LA Angels (2 – 4) (23):  Tough to start the year against the high-powered Cubs, and then see Texas come to town right after.  Mike Trout and Albert Pujols will generally not struggle like they did this week.  Good rescue day and some optimism brought forth with a Jered Weaver win on Sunday.

(23) TB Rays  (2 – 5) (21):  Chris Archer with a tough few starts, and Matt Moore did not fare much better.  Nice to have Steven Souza JR. hit 3 HRs this week.  Had to play high-octane offenses of Baltimore and Toronto this week.  Sign of things to come in 2016 in my view.

(24) Miami Marlins (1 – 3) (18):  Much like the Indians, playing just four games is tough to judge much.  Detroit and Washington are extremely tough 1st 2 series.  Still hate the results so far.  When does Jose Fernandez ever lose at New Marlins Park?  Uh -oh:  bad omen.

(25)  Colorado Rockies (3 – 3) (25):  How awesome is this start for Trevor Story (7 HRs in his 1st 27 AB – spanning 6 games).  Nobody had ever hit HRs in 4 straight to start their career (yet alone hit 6 in that time frame.) If he can hit 3 jacks in his next 45 AB. he will break Kevin Maas‘s record of 10 dingers in 72 AB. Record for fastest to 15 was also Maas at 110 AB in 1990.

The ‘Rox’ are awesome for playing fantasy sports.  All things considered, to be outscored 51 – 35 – but be .500 after the 1st week is a success.

(26)  Milwaukee (3 – 3) (30):  Scooter Gennett gained 25 LBS and is a HR hitter now?  What? Jimmy Nelson full value for 1st 2 Game Starts.  Don’t look for this too last either.  Tough schedule coming.

(27)  San Diego Padres (2 – 4) (26):  Set a record for not scoring a run for their 1st 3 games, then proceeded to score 29 runs in the next 2 games at Coors Field.  At least they have a heartbeat now.  Matt Kemp needs to be traded to an American League team to act as a DH this year.

(28) Philadelphia Phillies (2 – 4) (27):  Back to Back nice starts by Vincent Velasquez and Jeremy Hellickson saw the Phillies gain same respect after being swept by Cincy to start the week.

(29) Minnesota Twins ( 0 – 6) (22):  They say you can’t win a Division in April but you can lose one, I say this is the case for the Twinkies.

(30)  Atlanta Braves (0 – 5)  (28):  This could get ugly in the last year at Turner Field.

The Braves need a lot of players but may not be that active until next year when they move to their new stadium. It could be another long year in Hotlanta.

*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of and their other members***


A big thanks goes out to our featured writer Hunter Stokes for preparing today’s post.

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About hunterstokes21

I Played NCAA Baseball at Liberty University in the 90's with Sid Bream's kid Sheldon. Once Hit a Home Run by hitting a hot air balloon that was coming over 2nd base (It was agreed that if a balloon was hit before game by the umpires and coaches - even though they were setting up in LF/CF Bleachers). I believe in the "Church Of Baseball". Come in for worship anytime.

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